JABAL AL-TARIF (Nag Hammadi)

mountainous mass on the of the Nile, facing the town of Nag Hammadi on the opposite bank and forming part of the chain. It is pierced by caves and ancient tombs that were occupied by hermits and still traces of them. These have been carefully noted by P. Bucher (1931, pp. 157-60).

The search for the precise place where the famous Nag Hammadi Coptic papyri were found has been the cause of some archaeological prospecting in the region. Coins have been found that show that the sites were occupied in the fifth and sixth centuries.


  • Bucher, P. “Les commencements des Psaumes LI à XCIII: inscription d’une tombe de Kasr es-Saijad.” Kemi 4 (1931):157-60.
  • Elderen, B. van. “The Nag Hammadi Excavation.” Archeology 42 (1979):225-31.
  • Goehring, J. E. “Byzantine Coins from the Jabal al-Tarif in Upper Egypt.” Bulletin de la d’archéologie copte 26 (1984):31-40.
  • Leclant, J. “ et travaux en Egypte et au Soudan.” Orientalia 46 (1977):233-99; 47 (1978):266-320: 48 (1979):340-412. Robinson, J. M. “The First Season of the Nag Hammadi Excavation, 27 November-19 1975.” Göttinger Misz. 22 (1976): 71-79; see also: American Research Center in Egypt, Newsletter 96 (1976):18-24; and 99/100 (1977):36-54.
  • ___. “From Cliff to Cairo. Story of the Discoverers and the Middlemen of the Nag Hammadi Codices.” Bibliothèque de Nag Hammadi, pp. 21-58. Etudes 1. Québec and Louvain, 1981.
  • . “The Discovering and Marketing of Coptic Manuscripts: The Nag Hammadi Codices and the Bodmer Papyri.” In The Roots of Egyptian Christianity, pp. 2-25, ed. B. A. Pearson and J. E. Goehring. Philadelphia, 1986.
  • Robinson, J. M., and B. van Elderen. “The Second Season of the Nag Hammadi Excavation, 22 November-29 1976.” Göttinger Misz. 24 (1977):57-73.