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View of the 1938 Church of Mar Elian

This church was built in 1938 over the Byzantine sarcophagus of Mar Elian on the site of the earlier shrine. In 2002 it was discovered that the cement cladding enclosed a mud brick structure. When the church was surveyed and the cement was stripped back to alleviate a damp problem, it became clear that the church had become fundamentally unstable. It was dismantled in 2004 and the salvaged materials were used in the rebuilding of a new church on the model of the 1938 structure to the west of the shrine. The new building was made of stone and a traditional mud brick chapel was constructed over the sarcophagus, which remained in situ.


Emma Loosley

Date of Visit

27th July 2001
29th July 2001


Daniel Hull


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:




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The Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project (DMEAP)


Emma Loosley, “View of the 1938 Church of Mar Elian,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed June 19, 2024,

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