A cross-regional initiative for the study of
monasticism in the late antique Near East
Heritage Site of Avdat in the Negev Desert of southern Israel and the other at Beni Hassan in Middle Egypt—aim to define patterns of monastic settlement in two understudied regions.
Over the past few decades, the study of Christian monasticism in Egypt and the Southern Levant has been enriched by a number of exciting archaeological projects, which have provided valuable insights into the social, economic, and religious lives of the monks of late antiquity, circa 500 CE. Such work has also increased our knowledge of the physical settings of monastic communities. These settings both shape and are shaped by the various activities of the monks—this dynamic and reciprocal notion of monastic landscapes is at the core of the New Directions in Monastic Archaeology initiative. The current field projects of the initiative—one at the UNESCO World