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Cairo: History
Roman Cairo

The Coptic Museum

Situated just behind the great western gate of Babylon, the Coptic Museum was founded in 1908 and expanded in 1947.

It was damaged in the 1992 earthquake and one wing is still closed.

The building which houses the collections is itself very attractive, with wooden ceilings, traditional mashrabiyya (turned wood) window lattices and inlaid stone fountain.

The collection includes stone and wood architectural pieces, textiles, frescos, icons, manuscripts, glass, ceramics and metal-work.

Notable items are the earliest complete Coptic psalter (fourth/fifth century), a Roman legion's eagle from Babylon (third/fourth century), seventh-century frescos from the Middle Egyptian Monastery of Bawit and stone-work from the Monastery of St Jeremias at Saqqara (sixth to seventh century).

(Alison Gascoigne)


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