Aswan Isis Temple - Pompeii
The Intact Isis Temple
The Nile River’s east bank has a tiny Ptolemaic Temple. Currently, it is below ground level just like the Esna Temple. It looks like it was constructed inside of a pit, with local restaurants and housing hovering above it. A joint mission involving the Egyptians and Swiss is underway to restore the temple. For so many years beforehand, the SCA used the temple to store magazines. High metal railings have now fenced off the area.
The Isis Temple was constructed sometime between Ptolemy III’s reign and Ptolemy IV’s reign. It has been preserved wonderfully, especially when you consider that its four walls are mostly still erect. They manage to continue giving support to the roof’s granite slabs. Sandstone blocks were used to build the eastern walls and northern walls. However, the construction of the walls was never finished.
On the western side, the courtyard that used to face the direction of the River Nile is no longer there. The western still has two entrances that remain with gorgeous carvings on the lintels and door jambs. You can see one facing the south and in the middle of the wall. The exterior of the southern wall features water spouts with lion heads. They look like the ones you’d find at the Philae and other Ptolemaic temples.
When you go into the temple, there is hardly any light at all. In the central hall, the back wall contains scenes which depict the King offering to various common deities of that time period, including Osiris, Horus, Isis, Khnum, Anubis, and Satis.
The temple precincts have brick debris from Islamic dwellings and Roman dwellings, which signifies how the site was regularly reused throughout the many centuries. There is an archaeological team that is attempting a temple restoration project. During their work, they discovered Coptic graffiti and the ancient architectural plans of a temple extension project that were sketched out.
Aswan town has many smaller temples in it, including the Isis Temple. There is also a temple in which Roman Emperor Domitian had built there too. Unfortunately, the remains of the temple are almost all gone now.
Updated on April 26 2020