Christianity in Bet Qatraye: a survey of textual and archaeological sources to the knowledge of Christianity in north-east Arabia and the islands of the Persian Gulf
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Our knowledge of Christianity in Bet Qatraye is given by textual and archaeological sources that span over several centuries and a large geographical area. The few relevant texts are mainly documents related to the Church of the East, spanning four hundred years, from the late 4th to the late 7th century, with sporadic references to the 9th and 12th centuries. The texts mention a number of places and episcopal sees mainly around the Bahrain archipelago. The archaeological sources date to the 7th to 9th centuries, and are scattered around the islands of the Gulf, as well as around Jubayl, Saudi Arabia. The archaeological finds are mainly churches and monasteries, which seem to bear several similarities in architecture and decoration despite the geographical dispersion, in addition to several lesser finds. This thesis gives an orderly, updated presentation of these sources, including information from the latest season of excavation at the site of al-Qusur, as well as some common interpretations, and reflects upon some issues often mentioned in connection to some of these interpretations.