Monastery of Apa Jeremias

Apa JeremiasThe ruined monastery of the Coptic Saint Jeremias (Jeremiah) lies south of the causeway of the pyramid of Unas on the edge of the desert plateau of Saqqara, due east of the New Kingdom necropolis. This monastery was founded in the late fifth century AD, perhaps by Jeremias himself, and it functioned up to the middle of the ninth century. It was first excavated between 1906 and 1909 by the British archaeologist J.E. Quibell, who found many remains of stone sculpture and painted plaster decoration, most of which is now on display in the Coptic Museum in Cairo. Many building blocks of the monastery had been taken from the ancient tombs of Saqqara, including limestone reliefs from Old Kingdom mastabas and from the nearby New Kingdom tombs. Limestone was only used for the four churches of the complex; the cells of the monks and other utilitary structures were built in mudbrick.