Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sir Bani Yas

The National reports on the opening of the ruins of a Christian monastery in Abu Dhabi:
"The remains of a Christian monastery and church on Sir Bani Yas Island, believed to have been settled around 600 AD by a community of 30 to 40 monks, opened for public viewing on Saturday.

The site, unearthed in the early 1990s, is believed to be the only permanent settlement ever established on the island, and researchers said the find has valuable historical and religious significance...

"The monastery complex, a multi-building compound located on the eastern side of the 87-square-kilometre island, is the only pre-Islamic Christian site known in the UAE. Discovered in 1992 during an archaeological survey, the monastery is believed to have been an important destination for pilgrims travelling along a trade route to India."

Our understanding of these remains has recently undergone some revision, but this post from March given an influential contemporary view.

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