QARARAH, early Christian settlement on the east bank of the Nile, east of the modern railway station of Magharah (about 112 miles or 180 km south of Cairo). Apart from the remains of a few miserable houses (Ranke, 1926, p. 7, pl. 7), only the cemeteries have survived, and these afford information about an occupation extending from the fifth to the eighth century A.D. The graves themselves were oblong earth pits, without any additional casing. The dead were as usual wrapped in shrouds, but had over the head a peculiar triangular headpiece made of wood or palm branch ribs, which served to protect the head and was incorporated into the wrappings. The grave offerings were poor, for the most part fabrics as well as wood and bone carvings. In the ground of the cemetery there are also the remains of a fairly large building, which has been described by the excavators as a monastery (Bilabel, 1924, p. 4).
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