Qasr Ibrim

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Qasr Ibrim 2008.jpg

On the east bank of the Nile 240 km upriver from Philae. A fortified settlement perched on a promontory nearly 100 m above the level of the Nile. The place may have been settled as early as Pharaonic times, and was occupied continuously thereafter, down to AD 1813. It was the locus of a major temple in late Meroitic times, and was selected as the locus of a cathedral in Early Christian times. Throughout the Christian period it was always a major religious center and a focus of pilgrimage; at times it was also a commercial center and the main residence of the Eparch of Nobadia. Because of near-perfect conditions of preservation, the site has yielded an unprecedented harvest of textual finds, in nine languages from hieroglyphic to Turkish. Excavations within the citadel were carried on by the Egypt Exploration Society, under a succession of directors, from 1963 until 2007. Extensive Christian cemeteries below the citadel were not excavated.

Sources: For the townsite, Adams 1996 and Adams 2010. For the cathedral, Aldsworth 2010.

(Contributed by William Y. Adams.)

For selected texts found at Qasr Ibrim, see this page: Qasr Ibrim Texts.

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