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Dayr Sunbat - Coptic Wiki


A complex of ruins northeast of the ruins of ANTINOOPOLIS, in the angle of the amphitheater formed by the Arabian chain, of which the town of occupies approximately the center.

The whole complex, established on the spur of the mountain that overhangs Antinoopolis, includes the monastery itself, two chapels, and several cells.

The monastery was built of bricks (see the schematic plan drawn up by Martin, 1971, p. 65). It consists chiefly of a massive building of about 26 by 13 feet (8 by 4 m) in the middle of a courtyard about 65 feet (20 m) on each side. The building is divided into two small halls, the vault of which has collapsed. Along the north and south walls of the courtyard, five small rooms 13 by 13 feet (4 by 4 m), all that remain, are disposed along each side. To the east of the dayr is a large quarry, which may have served as a storehouse. The area around the monastery is full of slighter structures.

Martin counts two chapels. To these, he adds the hall numbered 4. Although it has an apse, it does not seem that this was a chapel, for it was oriented north and south.

The site of the monastery must have included cells on either side of the large quarry, behind the monastery. Moreover, the quarries that served as cells almost all have in front of them an artificial terrace with a retaining wall.

The inscriptions are given in Martin (1971, pp. 81-86). Sometimes the south church and the cells that surround it, forming a complex, are called Dayr al-Hawa (cf. Misa’il Bahr, 1957, p. 107).

  • Clédat, J. “Notes archéologiques et philologiques.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’Archéologie orientale 2 (1902):41-70.
  • Jomard, E. F., ed. Description de l’. Paris, 1821.
  • Martin, M. La Laure de Der al Dik à Antinoè. des études coptes 8, pp. 64-66. Cairo, 1971.
  • Misa’il Bahr. Tarikh al-Qiddis al-Anba Yuhannis al-Qasir wa Mantiqat Ansina. Alexandria, 1957.