Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1907-1908

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Progress of Egyptology.

with geometric ornament in colour. In two rooms there had been a frieze
of figures of saints. One room was marked as being that of the founder
by an inscription on a slab in the floor; a small chamber close by was
occupied by the watchmen, for they had scrawled in red paint portraits of
themselves, each with a name ' Apa 1ST. the watchman' above it. Another
room was perhaps the refectory; it had a painted frieze, a finely carved
doorway of stone, and a stone bench along the wall. A still larger room
may have been a hospital. A long barrel-roofed chamber containing a
number of amphorae was clearly a wine-cellar, another had been a cow-byre
and in yet another two ovens for bread baking remained, but in most of
the rooms there was no clear proof of the use to which they had been put.

" More important than the living part of the monastery was the
church, which was found at the southern end of the site. Its extreme
dimensions, including the narthex, were nearly 40 metres by 20 ; the nave,
excluding the haikal, was 24^ by 17i, and the space between the northern
and southern range of columns nearly 11 metres. To the south of the church
was a mandara or court in which several columns are still standing. The
walls of the main building had almost disappeared; the squared stones
had been taken away by Arabs, as some names scrawled on broken edges
testified, but most of the capitals from columns and pilasters and curved
stones from arches had been spared and were found at different levels in
the sand. A rich series of Coptic stonework, including 13 large capitals
with vineleaf decoration, was thus secured for the Museum. The con-
struction of the roof was and remains a difficulty; the span of the nave is
too great for us to suppose that it was arched, and we are forced to suppose
that a framed roof of wood was employed. None of the heavy timbers
that must have been used were left, but this is what would be expected;
they would be carefully taken away and used in Arab structures.

" A considerable number of graffiti were observed, nearly all in Coptic,
three or four only in Arabic and these probably later than the destruction
of the church. Two fragments of marble bore inscriptions in Greek.

" The monastery had suffered serious damage before its final destruction
in Arab times and had been rebuilt at a time of great poverty, for fine pieces
of decorated limestone were used up in the walls of brick as mere building
material without regard to their value as ornament. The east end of the
church had been ravaged even more thoroughly than the rest, but the
existence of two central apses, an earlier and a later, could be proved ;
there may also have been two side chapels, but this is not certain. The
apse or dome was well built of stone, and mosaics were used for internal
decoration. The church had been much divided up by wooden screens;
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