Hyrcania; Kh. Mird; el Mird - CASTELLION

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Source of knowledge
Archaeological remains
Surveyed site
Conder and Kitchener
Wright and Milik
Excavated site
White Fathers
According to Cyril of Scythopolis, Sabas came to a hill called Castellion for the duration of Lent. The site was located some 3.7 km (20 stadia) from the Great Laura. Later, Sabas brought a group of monks to build the monastery as a coenobium. The church was consecrated in 492 CE.
State of certainty: 
Archaeologically and Literarily definitive
Architectural evolution
General outline: 
The monastery made use of the ruins at the summit of the hill. The northern and western wings of the monastery were built on the remains of the Herodian palace. The northern wing became a chapel. The dwelling cells of the monks were built on the south of the site, at the foot of the retaining wall. Founded by Sabas in 492 CE
Dating material: 


Phase date
5th c.
Within century: 
General outline: 
The monastery continued to function at least into the eighth century.
Dating material: 

Literary. The Vita of S. Stephen the Sabaite reports that his uncle Zacharias was the abbot around the mid eighth century. Papyrus documents dating between the eighth-tenth centuries indicate some presence but it is not known if the monastery continued to function.

Phase date
8th c.
Within century: 
Second half
Iconoclastic evidence
Iconoclastic evidence: 
Iconoclastic evidence comments: 
Iconoclastic damage was noted on the murals but the mosaic pavement of the church did not show signs of such.
Post Arab conquest history: 
Still in use
Post conquest history comments: 
In the excavations, papyri in Aramaic, Arabic and Greek were found, mostly dating to the eighth-tenth centuries. Wall paintings dated by Mader to the medieval period were found in the burial cave. This would indicate some sort of Christian presence at the site throughout the period. The paintings in the burial cave were dated by Meinardus (1965-1966: 355) to the eleventh to twelfth centuries but there is no certainty that at this late period this was an active monastery (Patrich 1995: 144).