KARM AL-AKHBARIYYAH, a small settlement from the late Roman period in the Mareotis, about 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Abu Mina. The place contains only a few buildings, among which were also some agricultural structures such as cisterns and a wine press. Excavations so far have been limited to the church and its immediate ancillary buildings, to which also belongs a small court adjacent on the north side. The church is a small, short basilica of the usual form with an apse in the east but no apse side rooms (pastophoria). The north main entrance is adorned with an outer prothyron. On the west there is a later annex like a narthex, which, however, can be entered only from inside the church. North of this lies the baptistery.
The special significance of this church lies in the paintings once contained in it, which reveal a high artistic standard. Unfortunately
these are completely destroyed, and could be recovered only in the form of numerous small, painted-plaster fragments strewn over the
floor of the church. It will take years of work before a reassembling of the fragments can be completed.
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