The site, located north of the fort on the acropolis of Nessana, served originally only as a church. According to the excavators, the graffiti naming St. Sergius, a popular soldier-saint, might indicated that it was constructed for the use of the garrison. In its first phase, the church is dated to the mid fifth century CE. It is not clear when the location became a monastery, nor did the excavators identify it as such, but the church was expanded several times and the complex around it was expanded in the sixth century. It may be assumed that this was the time of the establishment of the monastery. Based on Umayyad coins found in the complex it continued to function into the Early Islamic period.
It is noteworthy that the Colt expedition did not at any point regard the complex as a monastery. Its monastic identification can be deduced from the plan but more explicitly from an inscribed, dated tombstone mentioning "Sergius son of Paticius priest and hegumen..." located in the east end of the north aisle of the church, and a second, mentioning Paticius son of Sergius, also a priest and hegumen (Colt 1962: 140; Di Segni 1997, no. 305).
Although there is a long list of small finds from the excavations at Nizzana, the exact provenance of the separate items was not mentioned in the publication (Colt 1962, vol. I).
State of certainty: