This hollow wooden rectangular altar has four pillars on the long sides and two on the small sides. The pillars are decorated with spiral lines ending with floral crowns, surmounted by lintels. The lintels are surrounded by floral branches and are adorned with shells; one shell on the small sides and three on the long sides. Each shell has a small cross inside.
This altar is perhaps the oldest altar in the world. It has been replaced by a stone altar in the same place inside the cave. It dates back to the fourth or fifth century AD.
It's worth mentioning that this altar differs completely from the altars of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which are usually closed and have one opening toward the East, where there is a door through which one can go inside the altar.
This one resembles some of the altars of the Catholic Church. The altars of the Coptic Orthodox Church are now mostly made of stone or marble.