This figure is facing St. Catherine and the west on the westernmost arch of the northern arcade but although generally well-preserved, the inscription naming the saint has not survived. This picture was taken before the image was cleaned.
St. Catherine is well-preserved and is the east-facing saint on the westernmost arch of the northern arcade. This picture was taken before the fresco was cleaned.
The evangelist Luke is on the western spandrel of the northern arcade of the nave and although partially damaged is still identifiable as St. Luke.
The evangelist Mark is on the western spandrel of the southern arcade of the nave and clearly identifiable by inscription. The damaged ring around the head of the figure was caused by an attempt to steal this portion of the fresco which appears to have been disturbed.
St. Elizabeth faces east underneath the central arch of the southern arcade. This image was taken shortly before the fresco was cleaned.
This figure faces south and is on the northern pier adjoining the west wall. The figure is wearing the distinctive monastic hood of a Syrian Orthodox monk and carries a cross with one hand raised in blessing. The Syriac inscription is too damaged for the saint to be identified. Above the saint are people who are presumed to be members of pagan cults destined for hell.
The figure facing the nave on the south east pillar of the church is clearly labelled in Syriac 'Mar Julyano Sobo' or St. Julian the Old Man. This is the same figure as St. Julian of the East or 'Mar Elian esh Sharqi' which was the dedication of the monastery in Qaryatayn, approximately 45 kilometres away and which was destroyed by IS in August 2015.
Tags: 1207/08, An Nabk, Church, Deir Mar Musa, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Fresco, Mar Elian, Mar Elian esh-Sharqi, Mar Musa al-Habashi, Mar Yulyano Sobo, Monastery, Qaryatayn, St. Julian of the East, St. Julian the Old Man, Syria, Syriac, Syriac Inscription, Syrian Civil War
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.
Tags: Archaeological Excavation, Archaeology, Church, Dayr Mar Elian, Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project, Hebrew, Inscription, Mar Elian, Mar Elian esh-Sharqi, Monastery, Qaryatayn, Sarcophagus, Star of David, Syria, Syriac, Syriac Inscription, Syrian Civil War
Apart from the pilgrim graffiti on the sarcophagus of Mar Elian, the only evidence of Syriac epigraphy found on the site was this fragment inscribed on a ceramic sherd.
The Byzantine sarcophagus believed to hold the remains of Mar Elian (St. Julian) and is covered with pilgrimage graffiti believed to date back to at least the C9th. The form of the sarcophagus is late antique and dates from the C5th-C8th. These images show the tomb before it was cleaned by excavators and damage to the grave, reputedly caused by villagers in the 1920s, is clearly visible. It also shows the sarcophagus before its coverings were removed with the votive offerings placed at the shrine by the faithful and the green satin covering given by local Muslims denoting the tomb of a holy man in their tradition.
Tags: Archaeology, Church, Dayr Mar Elian, Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project, Mar Elian, Mar Elian esh-Sharqi, Monastery, Qaryatayn, Sarcophagus, Shrine, Syria, Syriac, Syriac Inscription, Tomb