White Monastery Church Conservation Project

The fifth-century Church of Anba Shenoute at the White Monastery (Dayr al-Abyad) in Sohag is one of the largest and most important late antique buildings in Egypt. The proposed architectural conservation project at the church will be the first for over a century. Project Director: Stephen Davis

The limestone church of the White Monastery(Dayr al-Abyaḍ), constructed in the fifth century, is one of largest and most important Christian structures in Egypt. Different parts of the building have been modified or restored through time, with the most significant conservation work carried out by the Comité de Conservation des Monuments del’Art Arabein 1906–08. In the 1990s, the Supreme Council of Antiquities(SCA)shored up some elements thought to be at risk, such as the apse of the narthex, but no other work has been carried out to date on the structure. The proposed architectural conservation project at the church will be the first for over a century. The goal of the project is to stabilize two critical elements of the stonework of the church and thus prevent catastrophic collapse. The two conservation interventions, once implemented, would guarantee the future stability of the west end of the church. They will also prepare this area for the creation of a small visitor center in the narthex and domed cistern room as described in the 2010 ‘Site Management and Development Report’ written by architect Nicholas Warner with funding received from the AEF in 2009, in a future phase of work.

Project Details


Location: Sohag, Egypt, Northern Africa, Africa Organiser(s): Yale University Project partner(s): American Research Center in Egypt Funder(s): American Research Center in Egypt - Antiquities Endowment Fund Grant Funding received: $63,485 Commencement Date: 11/2014 Project Status: Completed
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