Dayr Al-Nasara (Antinoopolis)

DAYR AL-NASARA (Antinoopolis)


This complex of ruins is on a rocky spur almost 4 miles (about 7 km) northeast of the ruins of ANTINOOPOLIS, in the angle of the amphitheater formed by the chain where it rises perpendicularly above the Nile. The town of Antinoë occupies approximately the center. It was seen by M. Jomard (Description d’Egypte, 1822-1828, Vol. 4, pl. 541), who gave a good description at a time when it was in a better state than it is today.

G. Wilkinson (1843, Vol. 2, pp. 60-61) also saw it, although he named it Dayr al-Dik and noted on the lower level a cave with an engraved cross. This is no doubt the same one published with greater care by S. Donadoni (1950, Vol. 2, pp. 481-82). It appears that the excavations by were carried out at the necropolis of Dayr al-Nasara, and not, as he wrote, at the site of Dayr al-Dik (cf. Martin, 1971, p. 9, n. 1).

  • Clédat, J. “Notes archéologiques et philologiques.” Bulletin de l’Institut oriental 2 (1902):42-70.
  • Donadoni, S. Epigrafia minore di Antinoe: Studi in onore di A. Calderini e R. Paribeni. Milan, 1950.
  • Jomard, M. Description d’Egypte, Vol. 4. Paris, 1822-1828.
  • Martin, M. La Laure de Deir al-Dik à Antinoé. Bibliothèque d’études 8. Cairo, 1971.
  • Mi‘sa’il Bahr. Ta’rikh al Qiddis al-Anba Yuhannis al-Qasir wa- Mantiqat Ansina. Alexandria, 1957.
  • Wilkinson, G. Modern Egypt and Thebes, Vols. 1-2. London, 1843.



The layout of the courtyard is adapted to the contours of the terrain and is surrounded on all sides by rooms, single and in series. What remains of an entrance may be discerned in the northeast corner. The badly ruined little church, which, to by the capitals strewn about, was designed as a basilica, is on the east side of the courtyard. All that is left visible are bits of the apse, the forechoir, and a few side rooms. More accommodation for monks is found in the neighboring caves.

  • Martin, M. La Laure de Dêr al Dîk a Antinoé. Bibliothèque d’études coptes 8. Cairo, 1971.