Cell

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This article is about Monk’s cells (living quarters).

A Cell in the Christian context is the living quarters for monastics, both male and female. Usually, a monk’s cell is small and contains a minimum of furnishings.

The term cell applies to living space in a building, usually within a cenobitic monastery, that consists of rooms for each monk or nun as well as to primitive solitary living spaces that may be a cave or hut in the desert or deep forests isolated from monasteries. In a cenobitic setting the building of "cells” also contains communal rooms for eating.

In 2005, the oldest physical example of living quarters for Christian monks was found by renovators who were repairing paintings in a fifteenth century church at the site of the ancient Monastery of St. Anthony in Egypt, near the Red Sea. The monastery was founded in mid-fourth century and is located about 100 miles south west of Cairo, Egypt. These cells date from the fourth and fifth centuries. This archeological find is the first physical evidence that monks lived on the monastery site before the sixth century.

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