Abu Mena

abu mena

Abu Mena was a town, monastery complex and Christian pilgrimage center in Late Antique Egypt, about 45 km southwest of Alexandria its remains were designated a World Heritage Site in 1979 there are very few standing remains, but the foundations of most major buildings, such as the great basilica, are easily discernible recent agricultural efforts in the area have led to a significant rise in the water table, which has caused a number of the site’s buildings to collapse or become unstable the site was added to the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2001 authorities were forced to place sand in the bases of buildings that are most endangered in the site.

abu mena

Menas of Alexandria was martyred in the late 3rd or early fourth century. Various fifth-century and later accounts give slightly differing versions of his burial and the subsequent founding of his church. The essential elements are that his body was taken from Alexandria on a camel, which was led into the desert beyond Lake Mareotis at some point, the camel refused to continue walking, despite all efforts to goad it this was taken as a sign of divine will, and the body’s attendants buried it on that spot.

abu mena

Word of the shepherd’s healing powers spread rapidly the synaxarium describes Constantine I sending his sick daughter to the shepherd to be cured, and credits her with finding Menas’ body, after which Constantine ordered the construction of a church at the site by the late fourth century, it was a significant pilgrimage site for Christians who sought healing and other miracles menas flasks are a particular type of small terracotta ampullae sold to pilgrims as containers for holy water or holy oil which are found very widely around the Western Mediterranean, dating roughly from the century and a half before the Muslim conquest they are cheaply-made but impressed with images of the saint that are of significance in the study of iconography it is presumed they were made around the city.

 

 

 

 

 


Masada

Masada-Israel

Masada is a rocky usual fortress, of majestic loveliness, in the Judaean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army, in Seventy Three A.D. It was built as a palace complex, in the classic style of the early Roman Empire, by Herod the Great, King of Judaea, (reigned 37 – 4 B.C.). The camps, fortifications and attack ramp that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege works surviving to the present day.

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Masada is a dramatically positioned site of huge natural attractiveness overlooking the Dead Sea, a craggy natural fortress on which the Judaean king Herod the Great constructed a sumptuous palace multifaceted in classical Roman style. After Judaea became a province of the Roman Empire, it was the refuge of the last survivors of the Jewish revolt, who chose death rather than slavery when the Roman besiegers broke through their defenses. As such it has an emblematic value for the Jewish people.

masada

It is also an archaeological site of enormous significance. The remains of Herod’s palaces are outstanding and very intact examples of this type of architecture, whilst the untouched siege works are the finest and most complete anywhere in the Roman world.

The Masada complex, build by Herod the Great, King of Judaea, who reigned between thirty seven BCE and Four CE, and chiefly the “hanging” fortress with its three terraces, is an outstanding example of opulent architectural design, elaborately engineered and constructed in extreme conditions. The palace on the northern face of the dramatic mountain site consists of an exceptional group of classical Roman Imperial buildings. The water system was particularly sophisticated, collecting run-off water from a single day’s rain to sustain life for a thousand people over a period of two to three years. This achievement allowed the transformation of a barren, isolated, arid hilltop into a lavish royal retreat.

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When this natural suspicious site, further powered by gigantic walls, was engaged by survivors of the Jewish Revolt against Roman rule, it was successfully besieged by a massive Roman army. The military camps, siege works and an attack ramp that encircle the site, and a network of legionary fortresses of quadrilateral plan, are the most complete anywhere in the Roman world. Masada is a poignant symbol of the continuing human struggle between oppression and liberty.

Island of Meroe

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The Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe, a half-desert landscape between the Nile and Atbara rivers, was the center of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the eighth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. The assets consist of the royal city of the Kushite kings at Meroe, close to the River Nile, the nearby religious site of Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra. It was the place of the rulers who occupied Egypt for close to a century and features, among other vestiges, pyramids, temples and domestic buildings as well as major installations connected to water management.

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Their huge empire extended from the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa, and the property testifies to the exchange between the art, architectures, religions and languages of both areas.
Meroë was the foundation of a prosperous kingdom whose assets was due to a physically powerful iron industry, and international trade involving India and China. So much metalworking went on in Meroë, through the operational of bloomeries and possibly blast furnaces, that it has even been called “the Birmingham of Africa” because of its vast manufacture and trade of iron to the rest of Africa, and other international deal partners.

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At the time, iron was one of the most significant metals worldwide, and Meroitic metalworkers were among the most excellent in the world. Meroë also exported textiles and jewelry. Their fabrics were based on cotton and working on this creation reached its highest attainment in Nubia around 400 BC. Furthermore, Nubia was very rich in gold. It is possible that the Egyptian word for gold, nub, was the basis of name of Nubia. Trade in “exotic” animals from farther south in Africa was another feature of their economy.