Into Arabia (quickly)
The initial collection of churches for this month is from the northern part of the Roman province of Arabia. There are forth-three potential structures. A different factor in this area is that many come in clusters. At Umm al-Jimal there are twelve; at Khirbah As Samra there are five; Rihab has seven possibilities; and Madaba has six. This speeds up the research, as much of the material is published together. As a result, after one week, I am about half way through the collection.
New features are showing up in this group. At Umm al-Jimal, the vast majority of the basilical churches (and even the chapels) are private installations with little or no public access. Also, I am noticing more appearances of the Syrian form and fewer indications of modifications of it in the sixth century. As some of these areas held to monophysite theology (and some still do), the hypothesis would expect such a result. But the picture could also change, as I work through the site reports. That is part of the adventure of research.