Historical region of Country
The church was always built at a later date and was placed at a central point, though at a great distance from some kellia; some of the more isolated kellia therefore had their own churches. From the 5th c. we know of the construction of a refuge-tower Arabic gausaq, usually in the vicinity of the church, where the monks would flee in the case of attack the oldest example is in complex 57,418 at Kellia; see M. Egloff, Kellia III 1977, pl. 117. This was a tower of several stories, with strong walls; its upper floor was reached directly by a drawbridge, for reasons of security. But this tower could only be used by those anchorites who lived in the immediate vicinity, if they chose not to flee. New York Map Tourist Attractions b. Cenobia. Much more developed were the convents of the cenobite monastic movement initiated by St. Pachomius.
In accordance with rule laid down by this monastic father Monac. graec., 3 ed. Nau, PO IV, 1908, 425ff., the monks lived in large community complexes, in groups usually of three ibid. 426 to a cell. The hours of the day were rigorously distributed between work and prayer. Meals were taken in common in a large refectory ibid. 428. The cenobia were surrounded by a wall, which made a strict separation from the outside world. The entrances, which certainly existed, were strictly watched, and no monk was to leave without the superior’s permission.
As yet, unfortunately, we possess no archaeological evidence of such structures in any Pachomian convent. But two later attestations do exist. An 8th-c. cenobitic convent unpublished discovered by the Egyptian Antiquities Service near Antinopolis has a one-storied building for housing the monks, with a wide corridor in the middle opening onto individual dormitory cells on both sides. Sleeping-places were arranged along the outside wall, each with a small niche in the wall for the occupant’s personal effects. The refectories of cenobia were mostly two-aisled rooms. One could sit with one’s back to the wall or on benches arranged in a circle example at Saqqara; see P. Grossmann – H.G. Severin, Jeremiaskloster: MDAIK 38 1982 162- 163. There was not always a table in the middle of the circle of seats, though one is expressly mentioned in Pachomius’s rule Monac. graec., ed. Nau, PO IV, 1908, 429. In convents of this type, too, the church was usually a later addition.