DAYR AL-‘AWANAH (Asyut)
The village of al-‘Awanah is situated on the right bank of the Nile to the southeast of Asyut, about 11 miles (18 km) to the north of the basin of al-Badari and about 7 miles (12 km) to the south of DAYR AL-BISRAH. The monastery of al-‘Awanah is today a Christian quarter with a church that is to the south of the village.
V. de Bock (1878, pp. 67-72) drew attention to it as worthy of interest and called it Deir Awana Cherbana. The atlas of the Description de l’Egypte (1821-1829, fol. 12) also registers it in its place.
The ancient part of the church is formed by a choir with three altars under deep, perforated domes and, in front of them, a bay of joists roofed by three similar domes. This is Type C in S. Clarke’s classification (1912, p. 109). The back of the church has a ceiling opposite the dome.
The church is dedicated to Saint George. Perhaps it is the same as the one called Dayr Mar Jirjis of Khammas (or Hammas) by al- Maqrizi (1853, Vol. 2, p. 503). But the name of this town does not appear to be attested elsewhere.
- Bock, V. de. “Notice sur les monuments coptes de la vallée du Nil.” Comité de conservation des monuments de l’art arabe 15 (1878):67-72.
- Clarke, S. The Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. London, 1912.
- Description de l’Egypte. Paris, 1802-1829.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.