A Proposal for the Restitution of the World’s First Baptistry and University, Mor Yakup Church, Turkey
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Medieval monuments
Christian architecture



Submitted : 2023-09-25
Accepted : 2023-10-10
Published : 2023-10-25


The structure known today as St. Jacob’s Church represents one of the oldest Christian medieval monuments in the region. With the emergence of findings suggesting that the structure was the world’s first university during recent excavation efforts, it has gained even more significance. Since 2006, the excavation works conducted by the Mardin Museum Directorate in the vicinity of Mor Yakup Church have yielded information about various phases of the structure. However, assessments regarding the nature of the structure are still debated within the academic environment. This study aimed to thoroughly investigate the functional changes and periods that St. Jacob’s Church underwent throughout history and to provide a detailed description and restitution for each period. In this study, we utilized excavation reports, data from written sources related to the settlement and structure, information obtained from the structure itself, traces existing on the structure, and data derived from architectural necessities (logic/scenario). The results indicate that this structure served three different functions (baptistry, church, university) and went through two main periods (pre-Christianity and postChristianity)


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