BAYT AL-‘AJIN (Arabic, House of Dough), the bakehouse for the preparation of the EUCHARISTIC BREAD. From the early Middle Ages Bayt al-‘Ajin has formed an important element of every church complex in Egypt. Occasionally the room is also described as "Bethlehem" (Burmester, 1967, p. 81f.). In accordance with its importance, the Bayt al-‘Ajin usually lies close to the entrance to the church, but is only rarely actually connected with the church buildings. As a rule it is a small smoke-blackened room containing a small baking oven, some storage space for wood for the fire, and the equipment necessary for the baking process.
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