previous next


A small Egyptian temple 1500 m SE of Bani Hasan, hewn in the rock and known to the local people as Istabl Antar (the stable of Antar). Champollion (1790-1832), identified this grotto temple with the Greek Speos of Artemis, which appears as Poes Artemidos in the Antonine Itinerary and as Poisarietemidos in the Notitia Dignitatum, where it is mentioned that a Roman military garrison settled there. The temple, which the inscriptions on the walls call Hut Neter Onet, the sacred house of the valley, was dedicated to Pakhit, one of the goddesses whom the Greeks seem to have equated with their Artemis at a later date. The temple was hewn by Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty (1504-1483 B.C.) while Thoutmosis III was the nominal ruler. When she died, her name was erased from the cartouches and replaced by the name of Seti I (1312-1300 B.C.). The portico of the temple has two rows of unfinished and partly destroyed columns, eight in all. A narrow passage (3 m deep) leads to a sanctuary (4 m square) of which the S wall had been prepared to receive the statue of the deity. The goddess, with a lioness' head, is represented on the columns receiving homage from the king. To the right of this Great Speos is a smaller one built during the Roman period. The cornice on the doorway bears the cartouches of Alexander Aigos. On the left-hand lintel the king is represented in three scenes, first before Horus, then before Ammon Re, and finally with a goddess offering an image of Maat to Pakhit. Likewise, on the right-hand lintel, the king is seen, first before Shu, then before a god, and finally with Hathor offering an image of Maat to Pakhit.


E. Brunner-Traut & V. Hell, Aegypten (1966) 508; J. F. Champollion, Monuments de l'Égypte et de la Nubie (1835ff) II.322-34.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: