Temple of Dush


Location :

The temple is located at the Kharga Oasis , it is entirely surrounded by a mud-brick fortress


Who built it:

The temple was built during the rule of Domitian and Trajan (1st century) and decorated during the rule of Hadrian, though apparently the site was occupied from the Ptolemaic period.


Why was it built:
The temple was built as a dedication to goddess Isis and god Serapis.


Explanation :


Dush was a religious, military and civilian complex, that primarily developed as the result of the slave trade, and was a staging point for caravans that either headed to Assiut or Esna.


Entering the temple through any one of several gates, there is a barrel-vaulted sanctuary which is made up of two connecting rooms and has a vaulted ceiling. On either side of the sanctuary are chapels.. The temple is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and has no admission charge.

Though there are actually few decorations, the temple is believed to have been covered with gold. However, all three Roman Emperors are depicted in scenes carved on the temple walls.

A monumental stone gateway fronts the temple and contains a dedicatory inscription by Trajan dated to 116 AD. To the north is a large forecourt containing five columns with a pylon at its northern end. The main part of the temple measures about 7.5 by 15.5 meters and contains a pillared hall with four slender columns, a staircase to the roof, an offering table in an outer chamber and an inner sanctuary with a vaulted roof. Two long side chambers also had barrel-vaulted roofs. A taller pronaos was later added to the front of the main building.

Many artefacts have been discovered in the temple's courtyards, including pottery, coins and Straca including a large collection of demotic ostraca dated from the Persian Period. Some were also written in Greek and appear to date from the early 4th to 5th centuries. They specifically consist largely of receipts and payments for supplies for the Roman army but also include names of individual soldiers and civilians.

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