The laura was founded ca. 345 CE by Chariton, named originally SUOKA. The name OLD LAURA may have come about in the sixth century to distinguish it from the NEW LAURA founded south of Thecoa. The first mention of the name MONASTERY OF CHARITON is by Epiphanius Monachus in the early eighth century. The "Hanging Cave" of Chariton, located about 800 m south of the laura's core, became a memorial to Chariton and a pilgrimage site. The monk Cyriac lived in it for a while around the end of the fifth century (Cyril,V. Cyr.). From the sources it is known that the core of the laura, in addition to the church, had a bakery, an infirmary, a guesthouse and storerooms.
In the ninth century, for security reasons, the core area was enclosed in walls and the cells were abandoned. The monastery continued to function into the Crusader period. It was still active during the visit of the Russian abbot Daniel in 1106 and was described by Joanes Phocas in 1185. After that it was abandoned, the monks' cells and the cisterns becoming dwellings in the Mameluk period.
State of certainty:
Archaeologically and Literarily definitive