Earthquake Family

Skeletal remains of the young Christian Family, on display at the Kourion Museum

The Young Family who died in 365AD

The Earthquake House at Kourion was the final resting place of a small family, a father embracing his wife and child. Their skeletal remains were unearthed in 1987 by Drs. David Soren and Jamie James and their team.

The discovery was in itself of colossal archaeological value, yet it is the father’s ring that brings a fresh perspective to a previously little-known aspect of the early Christians in Cyprus, how they lived and the jewelry they wore.

Because of the Chi-Rho and Alpha-Omega on the ring found close to the father’s hand, we know that he and his family were Followers of The Way.

 

And while the wearing of Christian jewelry is commonplace today, few people can imagine what it meant to publicly wear a sign of their Faith in the fourth century, for their grandparents could have been persecuted or even martyred just 50 years earlier for doing so.

Whatever the case, the small bronze ring proves that they were Christians living in Kourion in 365AD.

The Bronze Chi Rho Ring unearthed at KourionThe Father’s Ring

Map showing the 365AD Eastern Mediterranean Earthquake EpicenterThe Earthquake of 365AD…The epicenter off Crete

In the early morning of June 21, a catastrophic earthquake in three waves hit Cyprus and all of the eastern Mediterranean.

It measured between seven and eight on the Richter Scale and has since been known as the ‘365 Crete Earthquake’ by seismologists.

 

The great earthquake across the eastern Mediterranean in 365AD may have shaken the seats of the high and mighty for a thousand miles around, yet it is the story of this humble Christian family which reaches across more than sixteen centuries and touches us in a way no ancient chronicler’s account of the catastrophe ever could.

 

The Kourion Earthquake House
The Kourion Earthquake House

During the last seconds of his life, the husband’s sole concern was the protection of his wife and child.   As their bedroom collapsed, its roof broken by the thunderous crashing of countless stones, this lion-heart father used the only thing he had to shield those he loved……his own body.

The evidence of his last desperate act was entombed for 1600 years until 1987 when the archaeological team excavated the site.

The family and the ring are in the Kourion Museum in Espikopi Village.

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