Vertical tabsMonastery name, type, categorySite Name: NessanaMonastery name: Northern slope monasteryMonastery type: CenobiumMonastery category: Village LocationCoordinates, ITM system: 145,660.00532,000.00 Coordinates, ICS system: 95,656.0031,998.00 Geographical region: Central NegevProvincial affiliation: Palaestina IIIBishopric: ElusaTopographical location: On the north slope of the northern peak of the upper town.Distance from nearest bishop-seat: 42 km. (Elusa)0Distance from Roman roads: Adjacent to the road leading from Elusa to Sinai. Source of knowledgeHideEpigraphy Text number Summary 1 Building inscription on fragments of a limestone plaque mentioning Justin II, Sophia and Tiberius II Constantine, as well as the bishop Theodore, 574-578. 2 Christian acclamation on a stone lintel, found in secondary use in a wall of the monastery. Archaeological remainsSurveyed siteSurveyors: NameDate Lagrange1897 Musil1907 Woolley and Lawrence1914-1915 Hänsler1916 Wiegand1920 Excavated siteExcavators: NameDate Colt1935-1937 Urman1987-1995 Bibliograpy: Lagrange, M. J., 1897613-15 Musil, A., 190891-95 Huntington, E., 1911122 Woolley, C. L. and Lawrence, T. E., 1914-1915119-21 Hänsler, H., 1916155-64; 198-203 Abel, F. M., 1920111-13 Wiegand, T., 1920100-105 Kraemer, C. J., 1958 Colt, H. D., 1962 Shershevsky, J., 1986 Urman, D. and Harpak, T., 199445-52 Urman, D., 20041-90 ( English 1*-118*) Abbreviation for Journals and SeriesState of certainty: Archaeologicaly definitive General descriptionState of preservation/which parts were uncovered: The entire complex was excavated, most of which remained to a height of a few courses. The mosaic and stone slab floors were mostly well preserved. Illustrative material: Illustrative_material Photos Figures General descriptionEnclosing walls: The monastery is a rectangular structure surrounded by walls (23 x 14.50 m, enclosing an area of 333.50 m2). The structure consists of two wings- eastern and western which were built simultaneously. At a later stage, three more rooms were added outside the enclosing walls. Gate/s: The only entrance to the complex (1.75 m wide) is in the southern wall of the western wing. The door leads to a gate-room with a floor of well dressed stone slabs. A doorway leads from the gate-room to the atrium. Courtyards: A central courtyard (10.03 x 8.85 m) is located between the two wings of the complex. The courtyard is paved with a coarse white mosaic and decorated with medallions featuring geometric motifs. A cistern was found beneath the courtyard in the southeastern corner and a drainage installation with an opening in the western wall of the monastery to allow the flow of water or sewage outwards in the western part of the courtyard. A bench had been constructed along the north side of the courtyard. Churche/s: The chapel (7.60 x 3.30 m, internal measurements) is in the eastern wing of the complex. A vestibule which may have served as a narthex was located in front of the chapel, leading to two more rooms. The threshold and southern jamb of the entrance are well preserved in situ. A lintel stone with a relief of a cross flanked by rosettes was found in the atrium, it probably belonged to the chapel. Only the foundations of the apse were preserved. Dwellings: The dwellings were apparently located in the western wing of the complex where remains of two rooms were found south of the courtyard. Burials: A tomb was found beneath a stone inscribed with three small crosses, in front of the bema. The tomb was carved into the bedrock, its walls plastered (2.13 x 0.83 x 1.43 m). The skeletons of three adult males were found inside the tomb, their feet pointing east and their heads facing upwards to the west. A bed of Pupulus Euphratica (Euphrates Poplar) was found under the remains. Nailed leather sandals were found in a well preserved state on the feet of one skeleton. The deceased were aged between 45-55 at the time of death. A second burial was found under the floor of room 3, located northwest of the chapel. A box grave was found hewn into the bedrock, it contained the skeleton of a woman about 35 years of age lying in an east-west axis with her feet pointing east. Water installations: A cistern was found in the southeastern corner of the atrium. The cistern was hewn into the bedrock and plastered, measuring 3.60 x 1.80x 2.70 deep, with a capacity of 17.5 m3. Small findsSmall finds: CategoryDescription PotteryMostly dated to the late Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. GlassFragments of two glass chalices found near the apse of the chapel, one was entirely restored. LeatherNailed leather sandals in a well preserved state on the feet of one of the skeletons in the church tomb. Bonesskeletons of three adult males inside the church tomb.The skeleton of a woman about 35 years old in the second burial. OtherA bed of Pupulus Euphratica (Euphrates Poplar) under the human remains in the church tomb. Small finds illustrative material: Illustrative_material Photos Detailed descriptionDimensions: Total area (sqm)Size class 334Small StructureMaterials applied (walls): LimestoneMaterials applied (roofing): tiles ComponentsEnclosing wallGate/s: 1Courtyard/sMonastery church: Church typeDiakonikonLink to church sectionChurch location single naveGround floor Dwelling type: cellsNumber of stories: 1Tombs type: Cist tombWater installations: CisternsWater capacity (minimal) (cubic m): 17Inscribed crosses Architectural evolutionPhase 1 Phase 2 Abandonment General outline: The monastery was constructed as one unit including the surrounding walls, chapel, courtyard and auxiliary rooms. Dating material: A lintel with several lines of Greek inscription mentions the Byzantine emperor Tiberius II (578-582). If the fragments of this lintel originally belong to this monastery, its construction can be dated to the last quarter of the sixth century. Phase dateCentury: 6th c.Within century: Second half Iconoclastic evidenceIconoclastic evidence: No General outline: Sometime after the construction of the monastery, three rooms were added to the building along its exterior face. Two rooms were built north of the monastery, the third room, located south of the monastery was attached to its southeastern corner. The function of these rooms has not been determined.Dating material: Based the seam lines. Phase dateCentury: 6th-7th c. General outline: The monastery was abandoned sometime in the late seventh or early eighth century CE.Dating material: The pottery finds, especially "slipper lamps" dated to the late Byzantine/Early Islamic periods indicate that the monastery complex was occupied during the seventh century and perhaps even in the early eighth century CE. Phase dateCentury: 7th-8th c. Post Arab conquest history: Still in usePost conquest history comments: Sometime after the destruction of the monastery, a family settled among the remains and built four rooms and a cooking area in the courtyard.