Christianity and monasticism have flourished along the Nile Valley in the Aswan region of Upper Egypt and in what was once Nubia, from as early as the fourth century until the present day. The contributors to this volume, international specialists in Coptology from around the world, examine various aspects of Coptic civilization in Aswan and Nubia over the past centuries. The complexity of Christian identity in Nubia, as distinct from Egypt, is examined in the context of church ritual and architecture. Many of the studies explore Coptic material culture: inscriptions, art, architecture, and archaeology; and language and literature. The archaeological and artistic heritage of monastic sites in Edfu, Aswan, Makuria, and Kom Ombo are highlighted, attesting to their important legacies in the region.
Gawdat Gabra is the former director of the Coptic Museum and the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books on the history and culture of Egyptian Christianity, including The Treasures of Coptic Art (AUC Press, 2006) and The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo (AUC Press, 2011). He is currently visiting professor of Coptic studies at Claremont Graduate University, California.Hany N. Takla is the founding president of the Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society.