Discover Qena

Unveiling Qena's Hidden Treasure: The Magic Lake

In the heart of historic Qeft, where modern-day Qeft in Qena governorate, Upper Egypt, now stands, a captivating secret lay hidden for centuries—the Magic Lake. As we embark on a journey through the annals of this enchanting town, we unearth the mystique that has surrounded this extraordinary body of water for generations.

A Bird's Enchanted Demise

Imagine a lake so beguiling that it beckoned birds from the skies, enticing them to descend into its depths, where they met an enigmatic and magical end. The 15th-century historian El-Maqrizi paints this vivid picture of the lake’s allure.

A Treasure Trove Beneath the Surface

The very land that once cradled this mystical lake now serves as an excavation site for the French archaeological team, who embarked on their quest 15 years ago. Under the stewardship of Laura Bantalshi, the head of the current French antiquity expedition in Qena, the town of Qeft reveals itself as one of the most significant antiquity sites in Upper Egypt.

A Town Caught in the Tides of History

Qeft’s illustrious history was not without its trials, as it found itself ensnared in the conflicts between the Ptolemies and the Romans, resulting in the devastation of many of its magnificent monuments.

Gateway to Prosperity: Qeft's Economic Role

In its heyday, Qeft stood as a vital economic hub for Egyptians. Positioned as the closest Nile marina to the Red Sea, it served as a beacon of prosperity for the people of ancient Egypt.

Echoes of the Divine: Min's Temple and Goddess Isis

The excavation efforts led by Laura Bantalshi have uncovered a treasure trove of historical relics. Among these finds are the ruins of the pre-dynastic fertility god Min’s temple, dating back to the era of Ptolemy IV. Moreover, a labor room akin to Hathor Temple in Dandara, Qena, has been revealed, along with numerous inscriptions paying homage to the revered Goddess Isis.

The Enigmatic Guardian: King Qaftim's Legacy

Delving deeper into the lore, we find that it was King Qaftim, a descendant of Qabtim, whose lineage traces back to the Prophet Noah, who orchestrated the creation of the mesmerizing lake, said to possess the power to paralyze birds.

King Qaftii, following in the footsteps of his forebear, erected the Min Temple in close proximity to this captivating lake. Local legend whispers of a dark-haired woman who stands sentinel over the temple, cradling her infant beneath the moonlit skies.

Myth and Reality: The Legend of Isis and Horus

However, as Moharam Kamal’s book “Athar El-Faraana Fi Hayatna” suggests, Qeft, also known as Qebtus, was once the epicenter of worship for the holy trio: Min, the god of fertility, and the divine Isis along with her son, Horus. It is plausible that the enigmatic guardian of the temple is intertwined with folklore associated with the veneration of Isis and her beloved son, Horus.

The Vanishing Act: The Demise of the Magic Lake

Regrettably, the once-magical lake has faded into history, leaving behind only an expansive space. Today, it is framed by a school and a quaint marketplace, nestled in Ibn Abi-Talis alley. Yet, the magic of Qeft endures in its tales and its rich history, a testament to a town that continues to enchant across the ages.

Created On March 25, 2020

Updated On January 26, 2024

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