“The City of Monks” … the discovery of ancient structures carved into the rocks in Egypt since the fifth century AD (pictures)

A Norwegian-French archaeological mission discovered archaeological buildings in the Bahariya region southwest of Cairo, which it said represented a site taken by the monks as a residential complex in the fifth century AD, while the pictures show houses carved into the rock.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in statement, Saturday, March 13, 2021, the foreign mission uncovered a number of buildings constructed of basalt stone and carved into the rocks, and buildings constructed of mud bricks in the Tal area south of Qasr al-Ajouz in the Bahariya Oasis.

This discovery comes, according to the statement, in the third season of the mission of excavation and exploration in the region.


For his part, Victor Gica, head of the mission, explained that the importance of this discovery is due to reaching the planning of buildings and understanding the formation of the first monastic congregations in Egypt in this region.

Jika pointed out that the current season of the mission for the year 2020 witnessed the unveiling of 19 rooms carved into the rock, and a church that maintains its own structure, with two rooms carved into the rock attached to it, pointing out that the walls carry writings in yellow ink, which include religious texts from the Bible in the Greek language. Reflecting the nature of monastic life in this region.

The inscriptions indicate, according to Jika, that monks settled in this area since the fifth century AD.


The statement also quoted Osama Talaat, head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish antiquities sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, that the mud brick buildings dating back to between the fourth and seventh centuries AD consist of six areas that include the remains of three churches and monks, and the walls bear scribbles and symbols that have connotations. Coptic.

Egypt is constantly striving to promote its ancient heritage through these discoveries, in order to revive the tourism sector, which has received successive blows due to the political and security instability in the country, as well as the pandemic of the spread of the Coronavirus.

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