A cross-regional initiative for the study of
monasticism in the late antique Near East
Cave Hermitage in the Batn al-Baqara
The hermitage was first identified by Maurice Martin in the 1960s and was briefly described in his 1971 IFAO publication, La laure de Dêr al Dîk à Antinoé. Based upon Martin's published description, the team attempted to locate the hermitage during the 2014 season, but was unsuccessful. However, subsequent inspection of the IFAO digital archive of photographs from Martin's expeditions in the 1960s enabled the team to finally locate the hermitage during the 2015 season (to see the relevant images in the IFAO archive, click here). One of the two tell-tale square windows of the hermitage is visible in the image at left.
The cave hermitage is situated on the northern side of the wadi approximately 1 km from the Speos Artemidos.
Batn al Baqara
Closer view of hermitage, which is approximately 6 m up the mountain. Due to some rock collapse, the team was unable to access it in 2015. However, the surface pottery in front of the hermitage was documented and the Late Roman dates for the ceramics accord with the time when the cave was inhabited by the monks.
Neck sherd from Late Roman amphora (LRA-1) with rim and handle scar. Identified by Michael Jones.