A Coptic Monk at prayer in the Coptic Monastery in Jerusalem (1935) The Coptic Period The “Coptic period” is an informal designation for Late Antiquity in Egypt, an era defined by the religious shifts in Egyptian culture to Coptic Christianity from paganism until the Muslim conquest of Egypt. It began in about the 3rd century, and depending on sources and usage, lasted until either around the noticeable decline of Christianity in Egypt, in the 9th century, or to the arrival of Islam in the 7th century. Although the term is widely utilized in popular discourse, its use in academia is generally avoided due to its imprecise nature, whereas “Late Antiquity” or “Byzantine Egypt” can be defined on chronological grounds. A remarkable number of Coptic textiles survive today, due to the Coptic custom of burying them with the dead, and to the aridity of Egyptian graves. The textiles are commonly linen or wool and use the colors red, blue, yellow, green, purple, black and brown.