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  • Collection: The Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project (DMEAP)

98 Items

Detail of the southern cloister wall

The render was stripped back on the southern exterior wall of the cloister to look at its construction techniques in an attempt to date the monastery walls.

Type: Architecture
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Details of clearing the walls and other debris around the sarcophagus of Mar Elian

These pictures show the clearing away of the walls and debris that abutted the sarcophagus of Mar Elian. This was necessary due to the damp that was permeating the tomb from the north wall. In this pictures the darker soil in the pictures shows where the earth was still damp even in the summer heat of the Syrian desert.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Details of the Byzantine sarcophagus once the surrounding walls have been dismantled

This shows details of the Byzantine sarcophagus once it has been cleared of rubble and cleaned up. Amongst the pilgrimage graffiti a star of David was discovered with two Hebrew characters, suggesting that at some point Jewish, as well as Christian and Muslim pilgrims venerated the holy man buried at the site. A number of Syriac and Arabic inscriptions on the tomb have been published in epigraphic surveys of Syria.

Type: Sculpture
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East facing elevation of the east wall of the tower and adjoining room

These images show the second external elevation of the tower at the SE corner of the cloister.

Type: Architecture
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Eid Mar Elian 2001

Every September 9th the feast day of Mar Elian ("Eid Mar Elian") is celebrated at Dayr Mar Elian. As the saint is venerated as both a Christian saint (Mar Elian) and a Muslim Sheikh or holy man (Sheikh Ahmed Khoury - Sheikh Ahmed the Priest) several thousand people from Qaryatayn and the neighbouring villages attend the mass held in the cloister. This is presided over by the local Syrian Catholic Metropolitan and the Sheikh of Qaryatayn. These pictures start by showing the preparations for the event the day before the pilgrims arrive, before showing the events of the day itself. Msgr. Georges Kassab and Sheikh Assad are shown addressing the crowds attended by assorted Christian clerics, including Fr. Jacques Mourad, Prior of Mar Elian and Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, the Abbot of Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi. On this occasion a small display was constructed in the church to explain about the forthcoming archaeological excavations and to educate local people about the processes of archaeology so that they were happy that the project would not impact on their worship at the tomb of Mar Elian.

Type: Ethnographic information/Social History
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Extension to the trench by the entrance to Mar Elian

As it became clear that the alignment of the cloister had changed over time, a trench opened to the east of the monastery entrance was extended to the west in order to study the changed angle of alignment of the enclosure wall.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Fragment of garshuni manuscript

This fragment of a C19th garshuni manuscript was donated to DMEAP by a local resident whose family were guardians of a cache of Syrian Orthodox manuscripts dating back to the C17th - these manuscripts have since been presented to the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Homs.

Type: Manuscript
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