DAYR AL-MALAK MIKHA’IL (Naqadah)
The strip of stony ground (hajir in Arabic) that separates the cultivated land from the Libyan Mountains on the left bank and extends from Naqadah to Qamulah was called Jabal al-Asas and was known to the Copts as the Mountain of Tsenti. This strip of about 6 miles (10 km) includes no fewer than eight monasteries, of which six were on the edge of the desert and two are cut into the rock.
The first of these monasteries is that of Saint Michael. It is 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Naqadah. It is situated within an ancient cemetery that extends some distance to the north. It contains two churches, of which the one situated to the southwest of the enclosure is completely ruined. Its church was mentioned by S. Clarke (1912, p. 215, n. 9). A good description was given by O. Meinardus (1965, pp. 311-12; 1977, p. 426).
- Clarke, S. Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. Oxford, 1912. Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2nd ed., 1977.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.