Qasr Ibrim

Date: Eighth to fifteenth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Egypt
Medium: Wood, Parchment
Description: The Nubian people living along the Nile were converted to Miaphysite Christianity by Byzantine missionaries in the mid-sixth century. The city of Qasr Ibrim adopted Christianity in the early eighth century, when it became part of the Nubian kingdom of Makuria, in what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt (Faras was also absorbed into the Makurian kingdom during this period). Qasr Ibrim was originally a fortified site on a high cliff. Because of its elevated position, it remained above water after the construction of the High Dam at Aswan in the 1960s. Qasr Ibrim is now an island in Lake Nasser.

A carved wooden angel from the twelfth or thirteenth century was excavated from a cemetery at Qasr Ibrim. This pectoral has a Greek inscription on the back that names Tapara as its owner. An Old Nubian manuscript fragment from the late Middle Ages was found in the silt covering the floor of a church. It includes an image of a seated bishop holding a book and gesturing in speech. Christianity was the religion of the Makurian kingdom until the sixteenth century, when an Ottoman army occupied the site.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 8, 9
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons; © The Trustees of the British Museum

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Qasr Ibrim in Lake Nasser Pectoral angel from Qasr Ibrim Book fragment from Qasr Ibrim