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Unfortunately, early collections of Christian art were made without recording details of the sites from which they came, making it virtually impossible to trace artistic development through time.There is no way to tell, for example, how long classical and Greek-Egyptian motifs continued after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.All that can be said is that Coptic art is a distinctive art, and that it differed from that of Antioch, Constantinople and Rome.
At Karmuz, there was a semi-circular apse within the antechamber that probably served as the Christian sanctuary, or chapel.
With the creation of Alexandria in 332 BC, Hellenization came to Egypt, together with first the art of the Greeks, and then that of the Romans, which began to overlay that of the more ancient Egyptian styles.
It was in this setting that Christianity arrived in Egypt and it was here that the rich flavor of Coptic (Egyptian Christian) art evolved.
The lowest tier of large panels would include a geometrical or floral motif, while the upper tiers show tall figures of standing monks and saints, or perhaps scenes narrating a story.
This method seems to have looked back upon older methods, for in the pagan necropolises of Tuna al-Gebel and Alexandria, this same artistic device was in use during the third and second centuries BC.
Another building in the region (Bagawat), known as the Chapel of Peace and dating to the fifth century, depicts large, hieratic figures arranged in perfect order.