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THE FATE OF THE TEMPLES IN LATE ANTIQUE EGYPT

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As elsewhere the fate of the temples in late antique Egypt has often been perceived through the lens of the (Christian) literary works, which tell dramatic stories of the destruction of temples and their conversion into churches. When one looks at the other types of sources available from Egypt—inscriptions, papyri and archaeological remains—however, it becomes abundantly clear that the story of what happened to the temples was usually much less dramatic. This article argues that, in order to get a more reliable and complex picture of the fate of the temples, it is best to study them within a local or regional context and from a variety of sources, especially material remains since they can provide the most detailed picture of a whole range of methods of reuse, if the building was reused at all. A case study (of the First Cataract region, Southern Egypt) confirms that violence against temples and their reuse as churches were indeed exceptional and but two aspects in the complex process of the changing sacred landscape of Late Antiquity.

10.1163/22134522-90000163
/content/journals/10.1163/22134522-90000163
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/content/journals/10.1163/22134522-90000163
2011-01-01
2016-12-11

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