The American Research Center in Eygpt

Monastery of St. Anthony, Red Sea

Monastery of St. Anthony, Red Sea

Monastery of St. Anthony, Red Sea
COPTIC

Monastic Cell Conservation

Director: Fr. Maximous el Antony
Completed January 2009

Monastery St._Athony_2006

The excavated monk's cell. Photo: Michael Jones

In 2004, renovations at this working monastery on the Red Sea coast unearthed remains of an earlier church and monastic cells beneath a 14th century church floor. Archaeological recording and conservation work was subsequently carried out, and in 2008 a glass floor was installed over the conserved remains and interior lighting was fitted to create a display space below the floor of the present-day church. An information panel about the display, in English and Arabic, was created in early 2009.

Anth floor

The displayed cell. Photo: Michael Jones

The monastery is a popular destination for both foreign tourists and Egyptian pilgrims with an interest in the lives of the ancient monks who first populated the desert.

This means of preservation and display is an innovative example of site management that enables both secular and religious visitors to see from above the early monastic remains preserved below.

The three facets of the project--archaeology, conservation and display of the early monastic structures--will be published as a case study in conservation and site presentation.

Read about Monastic Visions, the ARCE book published about St. Anthony's Monastery >>

See images of the monastery in the photo gallery >>

ARCE archivist reflects on the work of establishing a museum at the monastery >>

Exhibition gallery of litergical objects enhances understanding of the Coptic tradition >>

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