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The first real archeological evidence of a house specifically for Christian worship is in Syria at Dura Europus. Christianity had been introduced there by the Romans during their occupation around 163.
American universities brought to light two promising diaspora synagogues, each in a rich urban context: at Dura Europus in Syria, found by Yale archaeologists in 1932; and at Sardis in Turkey, discovered by a Harvard-led team in 1962.
As McNicoll presents his catalogue, Mausolus and his family in Caria were principal instigators, with democratic cities (such as Priene) following suit, and then Alexander's successors throwing massive cordons around their bases (e.g., Dura Europus) as part-strategy, part-megalomania.