Over the duration of the project efforts were made to talk to local people to collect their memories of the monastery. The older inhabitants of Qaryatayn could remember the small mud brick shrine that stood over the sarcophagus until the modern church was built on the site in 1938. The eastern range of the cloister had also had a range of mud brick rooms until the 1980s, when termite damage caused them to collapse leaving only the south east tower and one other chamber still standing. Until this collapse the monastery was inhabited by Bayt Habib, a Christian Bedu clan. Members of this family, especially the family patriarch Abu Nasif, were amongst the most knowledgeable of the local informants.
Type: Ethnographic information/Social History
Tags: Bedouin, Bedu, Dayr Mar Elian, Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project, Ethnographic information, Monastery, Qaryatayn, Social History, Syria, Syrian Civil War