An early Christian anchorite settlement on the edge of the desert, northwest of Samalut, part of which has been uncovered by the Egyptian Antiquities Organization. As in Kellia, the hermitages consist of rectangular buildings situated well away from each other, with a walled courtyard and a small living area in one corner that was often extended on different sides at a later period. The ground plans of the houses, however, differ from the examples at KELLIA.
Almost in the center of the area is a church that was built partly on an older hermitage and was constructed along the lines of a basilica. Early Christian spolia were used for the columns. The sanctuary of the church consists of an apse with a wide but short forechoir and two rectangular side rooms. The southern side room is narrowed a little on the south and east sides in order to make room for a staircase. Inserted in the wall work on both sides of the apse curve are two small rooms probably intended as hiding places (KHIZANAH).
[See also: Architectural Elements of Churches.]