• Mai Khder

Deir el-Shelwit Temple

Updated: Apr 1

About Deir el-Shelwit Temple

This ancient Egyptian temple dedicated to Isis, Deir el-Shelwit, is located on the west bank in Luxor and dates from the Greco-Roman period. You can visit it through our Luxor excursions

as we are professional in Egypt Day Tours and Egypt travel packages, that cover the incredible Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, Hatshepsut Temple, Colossi of Memnon as well as Luxor sightseeing tours to the Valley of the King's.

The Fascinating Architecture

The modest main temple building, the ruins of its brick enclosure, and a well are all that exist today, although it is believed that many emperors have enlarged it. Although it is considered to have been built on an area of 74 by 51 meters, the main temple, facing east, measures a mere 13 by 16 meters. It contains a central chamber, called the "naos", which is decorated with intricate paintings and inscriptions showing Roman rulers making offerings to Egyptian gods. The exterior is unremarkable, but the interior is breathtaking. Around the outside of the building is a corridor with four chapels and a bathroom. From there, a stairwell provides access to the roof. Its southern exterior wall appears to have been built from stones salvaged from other structures in Medinet Habu.

Paintings, inscriptions & significance of Deir el-Shelwit

The original entrance was 60 meters east of the temple, and it depicted the Roman emperors Galba, Otho, and Vespasian, as well as sacrifices to other gods in finely painted images. The construction of the temple of Isis began in the early 1st century AD and was completed in the Greco-Roman period, according to the inscriptions. It is remarkable because it is dedicated to Isis and not to the Theban triad.

The temple was first inspected in the mid-nineteenth century, but it was not until 1992 that a full examination of the inscriptions was published. The interior of the temple displays a number of inscriptions similar to those found in the temple of Philae and the temple at Dandara Paswan, as well as 32 pieces of pottery dating from the Roman and Greek eras, which is not surprising given that Julius Caesar is said to have contributed to the decoration of the temple.

Symbols of Remarkable Egyptian History

However, one of the most compelling reasons to visit this temple is the strange event involving the rays of the sun, which demonstrates both the inventiveness and wisdom of the Egyptians in action. Each year on October 23 and February 20, the sun's rays form a straight line and fall directly on the faces of the gods Amun and Monto Ra.

This shows how well the temple has been preserved, and many paintings give insight into the devotional mechanisms of the sanctuary, as well as a "mystery corridor" surrounding the naos through which visitors brought offerings. There is also a purification area, although its use is unknown. Overall, the temple illustrates a turning point in history, when the earlier religion of the Egyptians underwent significant changes through contact with different civilizations, each of which added their own interpretations and elements.

So for anyone who wants to see where history has turned, this temple is the place to go, as it brings together so many different religions and places.

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