Saint Vitalis Baptismal Font and Baptistery Wall, Site Context
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
Though little is known of Sbeïtla's history, archeological evidence of this North African settlement shows that a Byzantine military outpost was built on the site of an earlier Roman town. Not far from remnants of a Capitoline Temple and two early Christian ecclesial buildings (4th/5th C.) is the site of Saint Vitalis, a Byzantine church built in the 5th / early 6th C. Although the basilica is largely gone, the baptismal font of Saint Vitalis and portions of its stone and mortar baptistery walls have survived. The baptistery was constructed as a separate space adjoining the main church, located directly behind the apse. The large immersion font, richly decorated with mosaic designs, is an unusual labial shape with two sets of four deep steps at either end.June 1984
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