Archaeologists Discover Monastery Foundations in UAE

Archaeologists discover the foundations of a Christian monastery on an island in the United Arab Emirates. 

Newsroom(06/11/2022 12:45 PM, Gaudium Press) United Arab Emirates archaeologists officially announced on Thursday, November 3, the discovery of the ruins of a Christian monastery on Siniyah Island.

The ancient Christian monastery was probably built even before the expansion of the Muslim religion in the Arabian peninsula.

The newly discovered ruins reveal a little more of the history of Christianity in the Persian Gulf. In all, there are two monasteries in the territory of the United Arab Emirates that date back more than 1400 years.

It is believed that Christian buildings were forgotten in history with the development of Islam. Today, Christians are a religious minority throughout the Middle East.

Timothy Power, assistant professor of archaeology at UAE University, called the discovery a remarkable achievement and revealed a story that “deserves to be told.”

The ruins of the monastery were discovered on Siniyah Island, about 50 kilometers northeast of Dubai.

Carbon tests were done on some stone samples and the results reveal that the ruins date back to between the years 534 and 656 of the Christian era.

The ruins reveal that the monastery consisted of a single nave church. Traces of a baptismal font, an altar, a cellar and an oven were also found.

A small building is found a little further away from the monastery. The building could have been the residence of an abbot or a bishop, according to the archaeologists.

The area of the discovery will be enclosed and protected as indicated by Professor Timothy Power.

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According to historians, the first churches and monasteries expanded along the Persian Gulf in the first centuries of the Christian era.

In fact, traces of similar buildings have been found in Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The first Christian monastery in the UAE was discovered in 1990 by archaeologists on the island of Sir Bani Yas. Today the region is known for its luxury hotels. (FM)

Compiled by Teresa Joseph

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