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The Hermitages in the Desert of Esna

The Hermitages in the Desert of Esna

(p.181) 17 The Hermitages in the Desert of Esna
Christianity and Monasticism in Upper Egypt
Gawdat GabraHany N. Takla
American University in Cairo Press

The Institut français d'archéologie orientale in Cairo (IFAO) carried out two excavation campaigns in the underground hermitages located approximately six kilometers west of Esna. A broad band of sand had been leveled between the western edge of the cultivated land and the mountain, and new water streams had been installed. In spite of this change, nine hermitages were located in 1967 and six others in 1968. Two excavation campaigns took place. The danger had already begun in 1967, and they were urged to carry out the excavation, especially after the damage of some archaeological remains observed previously. Nowadays, we do not know the state of preservation of the hermitages, especially after the extension of cultivation projects in the desert west of Esna. An excavation campaign to study the murals in Dayr al-Shuhada and Dayr al-Fakhuri (Leroy 1975) began in the desert close to Esna.

Keywords:   Esna, Institut français d'archéologie orientale, Cairo, hermitages, excavation, cultivation, murals, Dayr al-Shuhada, Dayr al-Fakhuri

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