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Gathering information on local history

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.


Emma Loosley

Date of Visit

3rd July 2002
11th July 2002
29th August 2003


Daniel Hull
Stephen Rowland
Mukhles Atallah


Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated

Related Resources

The photographs of the 2001-2003 survey and excavation seasons have been lodged with the Archaeological Data Service and are reproduced here with their permission. For those who would like more specialised information such as context and intervention numbers or direction of shot please refer to:


Ethnographic information/Social History


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The Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project (DMEAP)


Emma Loosley, “Gathering information on local history,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed July 20, 2024,

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