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Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany Takla

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166631

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166631.001.0001

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Al-Shaykh Sa‘id Revisited

Al-Shaykh Sa‘id Revisited

A Reassessment of the Spatial Layout of a Monastic Community

(p.265) 24 Al-Shaykh Sa‘id Revisited
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt

Gertrud J.M. van Loon

American University in Cairo Press

Al-Shaykh Saʻid (Middle Egypt) covers the southern part of the archaeological concession area of the Dayr al-Barsha Project, directed by Harco Willems. The site is named after the nearby tomb of a local saint. An ensemble of Old Kingdom tombs (end of Fifth Dynasty–beginning of Sixth Dynasty) was cut into the steep western cliff face of an outcrop between two wadis. Monumental tombs line the principal ridge, with a lower and a higher level of smaller tombs and shafts. This chapter explores the way that monks adapted the tombs of al-Shaykh Saʻid to a monastic community as well as the role of the wall in front of the cliffs. Was it part of the layout of the settlement or did it serve another purpose?

Keywords:   Old Kingdom tombs, monks, monastic community, Middle Egypt, settlements

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