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ISSUES/2016/02



 



Title: DEIR ST. MACARIUS OF ALEXANDRIA IN WADI EL-RAYAN, FAYOUM: A FORGOTTEN MONASTERY
Author(s): Maher A. EISSA, Louay M. SAIED,Abdelrazek ELNAGGAR
Journal: SHEDET(Annual Peer-Reviewed Journal Issued By The Faculty Of Archaeology, Fayoum University)
Issue: 3 Date: 2016
Pages: 12-23
Cite as: Maher A. EISSA, Louay M. SAIED,Abdelrazek ELNAGGAR. (2016). Deir St. Macariusof Alexandria in Wadi El-Rayan, Fayoum: A Forgotten Monastery. SHEDET(Annual Peer-Reviewed Journal Issued By The Faculty Of Archaeology, Fayoum University), 3 (2016) pp. 12-23. https://doi.org/10.36816/shedet.003.02


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DEIR ST. MACARIUS OF ALEXANDRIA IN WADI

EL-RAYAN, FAYOUM: A FORGOTTEN MONASTERY


Maher A. EISSA, Louay M. SAIED,Abdelrazek ELNAGGAR


The Fayoum region is a very interesting and important place not only for papyrologists but also for archaeologists. In fact, the archaeological studies in Fayoum have broad dimensions in time and space. However, a decade ago, GawdatGabra, provided the recent and comprehensive book on Fayoumic Coptic studies (including history, language and archaeology etc.). Fayoum was regarded as a fertile archaeological region that promised to bring to light hitherto unknown antiquities. Consequently, the new discoveries and finds provide a great deal of information and details about Fayoum in Coptic era. Thanks to the dry climate, this preserved hugenumber of archaeological sites and finds. . One can say ‘No volume about the history of Christianity and Monasticism in Egypt would be complete without a chapter about Fayoum region’. There is a strong reason to believe that Christianity found its way to the Fayoum region if not simultaneously with, then shortly after, its entrance into the Delta. Actually, there is a very little information about Deir St. Macarius ofAlexandria in Wadi el-Rayan. However, it was already mentioned in a fewpublished works as that of Ahmed Fakhry (1905-1973), an Egyptianarchaeologist, visited the area of Deir St. Marcarius of Alexandria in Wadiel-Rayan in pursuit of his archaeological concerns, which is considered theonly archaeological investigation carried out at this the site. A few moredetails were recorded by traveling scholars who saw the monastery and the hills in vicinity.12 For instance, Otto Meinardus had examined and describedthe caves and the church. The monastery locates in the south of the depression of Wadi el-Rayan “Ain Al-Rayan al-Bahriya”. The monastery, repopulated since 1960s, is situated in the south eastern region of the Fayoum province in Egypt, at the foot of a ridge of desert hills that belong to the mountain on Wadi el-Rayan. It lies about 170 km southwest of Cairo, and 35 km southeast of the recent city ofFayoum, the capital of the province, the closest urban area is Gharaq al-Sultani in the southern part of the Fayoum oasis.Traditionally, The origins of the monastic community in Deir St. Macarius of Alexandria is known as anchoritic life from the time of its establishment, it goes back to the fourth century, when the first hermitages were cut in the slopes of the desert mountain, and modern times thereafter as well. Whereas AbounaMatta al-Maskin and his group of anchoritic disciples, who since 1960 have established themselves in the area of Deir St. Macarius of Alexandria in Wadi el-Rayan.
 




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