File -some of the uncovered coins.
CAIRO –3 January 2019: 370 ancient coins were uncovered in the monastery of Saint Fana in Minya governorate.
Head of Islamic, Coptic and Jewish antiquities sector Gamal Mostafa announced that 341 coins are dating back to the Islamic era and 29 coins are dating back to the Roman era.
The Monastery of Saint Fana is a Coptic Orthodox monastery, located in Minya Governorate about 300 km south of Cairo, northwest of Hermopolis around 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the village of Qasr Hur and east of the village of Beni Khaled.
It is named after Saint Fana, also known as Bane (c. 354–395), Coptic Christian hermit. The monastery is sometimes called the Monastery of Abu Fanah and is also known as the Monastery of the Cross, due to the presence of many beautifully decorated crosses inside its church.
The monastery was most likely built around the burial site of Saint Fana. His tomb was found during excavations of an international team representing seven European academic institutions and led by Austrian scholar Prof. Dr. Helmut Buschhausen in 1992.
The 12th-century historian Abu al-Makarim mentions the church of Saint Fana, which was restored by al-Rashid Abu Fadl.
Egyptian historian of the 14th–15th century al-Maqrizi wrote about the monastery's fine architecture.
The history of the Patriarchs of Alexandria mentions the monastery of Saint Fana twice, first in relation to the election of Pope Theodosius III of Alexandria of the Coptic Orthodox Church, 1294–1300 and second to the childhood of Pope Matthew I of Alexandria, 1378–1408.
In pre-Islamic times, the monastery reportedly numbered some 1000 monks. The monastery's numbers had drastically dwindled before the arrival of Islam in the seventh century.
Al-Maqrizi reports that during his day, the monastery held only two monks.
The French Jesuit priest Father Michel Marie Jullien (1827–1911) reported that the priest of the neighboring village Qasr Hur had cleared the church of debris and used the church for the Divine Liturgy.