Wadi El Natrun (Arabic for "Natron Valley"; Coptic: Šihēt "Measure of the Hearts", Greek: Σκῆτις or Σκήτη) is a valley located in Beheira Governorate, Egypt, including a town with the same name. The name refers to the presence of eight different lakes in the region that produce natron salt.
In Christian literature it is usually known as Scetis (or Skete; Σκήτις, Σκέτη in Ancient Greek) and is one of the three early Christian monastic centers located in the desert of the northwestern Nile Delta. The other two monastic centers are Nitria and Kellia. These three centers are often easily confused and sometimes referred to as a single place (such as "Nitria" or "Nitrian Desert"), but the locales are distinct, though geographically close together and with interrelated histories. Scetis, now called Wadi El Natrun, is best known today because its ancient monasteries remain in use, unlike Nitria and Kellia which have only archaeological remains.
The Nitrian Desert is sometimes used to mean the entire region where the monasteries are located. It can also more specifically refer to the immediate area around Nitria and Kellia, with the region around Wadi El Natrun then more specifically called the Scetis Desert. (The word Σκήτη has been adopted in Greek language monastic usage as an isolated monastic cell that is not in a convent, whereas Kellia (Κελλία (sing. Κελλίον from Latin 'cella') is a monastic cell in a convent.)
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