The Unluckiest Church

Archaeologist predicts the future is grim for the ancient church's site

Phocas, bishop of Sinope (a city on the Black Sea in what is now Turkey), wasn't very lucky. In A.D. 117, during the Emperor Trajan's persecution of Christians, Roman soldiers suffocated him in the town's bath. But a fourth-century church built on his clifftop grave was even unluckier, says archaeologist Stephen Hill of the University of Warwick, England. It suffered two earthquakes, a flood, and a landslide — all during its construction. The site was apparently abandoned by the church, and seems to have become a medieval opium den. Now the archaeological site itself is staring into some bad luck. Hill told The National Post of Canada that the site "will survive into next year but its long-term future is not good."

Related Elsewhere

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'Unluckiest church in the world' is found—Ananova (December 13, 2002)
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