Revealing Monastic Life The Ibis Hypogeum Graffiti Project, 17 North Abydos

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Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin
Jitse H. F. Dijkstra
Lauren Duchesne
Nicholas Hedley
Sabrina C. Higgins
Jennifer Westerfeld



This article provides a preliminary survey of a project, made possible by the American Research Center in Egypt, to record and study the graffiti and paintings from the monastic dwellings built into Vaults 9 and 12 of the ibis hypogeum in Abydos North, presumably in Late Antiquity. The monastic reuse of this type of monument is extremely rare in Egypt and for that reason alone of prime interest. What is more, the detailed information obtained from the graffiti and paintings offers fascinating glimpses into the “lived religion” of the monks who occupied the building over a considerable period of time, thus adding a significant corpus of new material for the study of monasticism in Late Antique and medieval Egypt.


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