A 900-year-old medieval crypt, containing seven naturally mummified bodies and walls covered with inscriptions, has been excavated in a monastery at Old Dongola, the capital of a lost medieval kingdom that flourished in the Nile Valley.
Old Dongola is located in modern-day Sudan, and 900 years ago, it was the capital of Makuria, a Christian kingdom that lived in peace with its Islamic neighbor to the north.
One of the mummies in the crypt (scientists aren’t certain which one) is believed to be that of Archbishop Georgios, probably the most powerful religious leader in the kingdom. His epitaph was found nearby and says that he died in A.D. 1113 at the age of 82. Read more.
Archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of a monastery building buried beneath the historic tomb of a former Siamese king in Mandalay Division.
The tomb of King Uthumphon, in the well-known Linzin Hill graveyard in Amarapura Township, has been under excavation since February.
Mickey Heart, a historian who leads the excavation team, said the foundations show the monastery building was about 18 meters wide, while the monastery compound was about five acres.
“We still can’t say exactly which abbot resided in this, but since it was situated near the pagoda built by the Thai king, it could have been the place where Thai abbots were living,” he told The Irrawaddy. Read more.
One of the world’s oldest monasteries has been forced to close its doors because of the deteriorating security situation in Egypt, devastating the economy of the remote surrounding area, it has emerged.
St Catherine’s monastery was built by order of the Emperor Justinian I, who reigned from 527 to 565, on the site beneath Mount Sinai where, according to scripture, God spoke to the prophet Moses from a burning bush. But in July, Egyptian officials asked it to close its doors. The closure followed the removal of former president Mohamed Morsi, which sparked upheaval across the country and revenge attacks on Christian churches. Read more.
A haven of peace in the sea of concrete that is the Gaza Strip, the crumbling remains of the Holy Land’s oldest monastery are in danger of disappearing for lack of funds to preserve them. Saint Hilarion, also known as Tel Umm al-Amr, draws its name from the fourth century hermit who came from southern Gaza and is considered to be the father of Palestinian monasticism. Its life close to the Mediterranean shore spanned more than four centuries — from the late Roman Empire to the Umayyad period. Abandoned after an earthquake in the seventh century, it was uncovered by local archaeologists in 1999.
But today, “it’s a complete mess — archaeologically, scientifically and on a human level,” laments Rene Elter, a researcher at the Ecole Biblique, a French academic institution in Jerusalem, who is responsible for trying preserve the site. Read more.
THE discovery of an apparent Anglo-Saxon grave underneath a church could be proof of the siting of a Seventh Century monastery.
The find, which archaeologists are describing as “exciting”, was unearthed while work is being done to St Hilda’s Church, on Hartlepool’s Headland.
The floor has been taken up at the historic church to make way for a new heating system, and experts at Tees Archaeology have been at the church for recording purposes working on two areas measuring 27ft by 27ft.
As well as the Anglo-Saxon grave, another six, believed to date between the 1600s and 1900s, were also found, as well as various loose bones.
Dr Steve Sherlock, of Tees Archaeology, said: “It’s an exciting thing. Read more.
ISLAMABAD: The only Buddhist monastery in the Taxila valley was a thriving centre of learning at the end of the third century AD.
The monastery attracted so many students and monks from around greater India that its administration built an annex to house the seekers of enlightenment coming to meditate there, archaeologists at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) have discovered.
Another notable finding was that the main compound of the monastery, located in present-day Badal Pur, is at least 300 years older than archaeologists previously estimated. The main compound, which consists of 55 “monk cells”, was excavated between 2005 and 2012. Read more.
Archaeologists working at the site of a medieval monastery in Veliki Preslav, one of the former capitals of Bulgaria, have found 101 copper coins said to date from the late 12th to early 13th centuries CE.
Preslav was the capital of the First Bulgarian Kingdom from 893 to 972 CE. The site is about 20km from the town of Shoumen in north-eastern Bulgaria.
The coins bear the images of Byzantine emperors Isaac II Angelos, who reigned from 1185 to 1195, and Alexios III Angelos, whose reign was from 1195 to 1203.
They were found in the north-east corner of the monastery building, which dates to the ninth century. Read more.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS exploring links among early medieval monasteries in Ireland, Britain and mainland Europe have discovered important evidence of a settlement in Co Donegal.
The team of tutors and students from the University of Sunderland made their discovery last week during a 10-day field trip to Culdaff on the Inishowen peninsula. Using the latest in mapping equipment, they discovered a circular boundary wall, some 100 metres in diameter, buried underground in fields at Carrowmore.
The location of the find has two high crosses and is already known as an early Christian site dating back to the sixth century.
However, the latest discovery provides the first physical proof that an early medieval monastery existed at the spot. Read more.