5th century AD church unearthed in Egypt, once populated by monks

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said on Saturday (13) that French and Norwegian archaeological teams have discovered new Christian sites in the Western Desert, revealing monastic Life in the region in the 5th century AD and helping to understand the development of buildings in the area and the formation of the first monastic communities.

During the third excavation of a site in the Bahari Oasis, a team led by the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology found several basalt buildings, some dug into the bedrock and others made of mud bricks.

The Antiquities Department noted that the complex consists of six areas, including the remains of three churches and monastic rooms with graffiti and Coptic script on the walls.

Victor Ghica, the leader of the group, said that 19 structures and a church were unearthed in the bedrock last year, and that the church walls have religious inscriptions and biblical chapters written in Greek, revealing the character of monastic life in the area and clearly indicating that there were monks there as early as the 5th century AD.