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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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Toward the Documentation of the Monastery of the Holy Virgin at al-Muharraq, Asyut

Toward the Documentation of the Monastery of the Holy Virgin at al-Muharraq, Asyut

(p.281) 25 Toward the Documentation of the Monastery of the Holy Virgin at al-Muharraq, Asyut
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt

Howard Middleton-Jones

American University in Cairo Press

The site of Dayr al-Muharraq is located at the foot of the mountains of Qusqam (Coptic Syowt and present day al-Qusiya). Nothing is known for certain about the date of the foundation of this monastery. According to tradition, found in a sermon attributed to Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, the Holy Family stayed at this site for a period of six months, and Jesus returned here after the resurrection to consecrate the altar mentioned in Isaiah 19:19. The site encompasses a number of unique and important architectural elements, including a marbled-top stone altar, and a unique collection of beautifully illustrated icons. It is therefore vital that these important examples of art and architecture, representing the Coptic tradition, be collated and recorded for the heritage of the Coptic culture. This chapter introduces a scientific method of documenting every item found in this monastery in database form. It involves the development of a national “register” that would maintain the full records of all associated architectural elements, artwork, and important archaeological finds.

Keywords:   Dayr al-Muharraq, monastery, documentation, database, national register

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