MEIR

A village close to Sanabu in the Libyan mountains and site of the necropolis of the ancient of the nome, Kousit (today the village of al-Qusiyyah). The tombs of the Sixth Dynasty were fitted up to serve as dwellings by Christian hermits, and in particular those of Senbi and Oukhotep preserve traces of monastic occupation.

On the outside in the façade with portico and columns, the hermits raised a wall of unbaked in such a way as to form chambers. On the inside, the columns were cut away to enlarge the free space. Niches and apses were hollowed into the walls, the sculptures were mutilated, and the were covered with plaster. The and Coptic inscriptions have been published, the former by G. Lefebvre (1911, p. 248), the latter by J. Clédat (1901, pp. 87ff.).

The plans of these tombs are found in Blackman (1915) and in Badawy (1953, pp. 67-89). An up-to-date description of these hypogea is given by Meinardus (1st ed., 1965, p. 271; 2d ed., 1977, p. 377).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Badawy, A. établissements chrétiens dans les anciennes tombes d’Egypte. Tome commémoratif du millénaire de la patriarchale d’Alexandrie), pp. 69-89. Alexandria, 1953.
  • Blackman, A. M. The Rock Tombs of Meir. London, 1915.
  • Clédat, J. “Notes archéologiques et philologiques.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 1 (1901):87-97; 2 (1902):41-70.
  • Lefebvre, G. “Egypte chrétienne 4.” du Service des de l’Egypte 11 (1911):238-50.
  • Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2nd ed., Cairo, 1977.

RENÉ-GEORGES COQUIN

MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.