Speos Artemidos

The best known monument in the Batn al-Baqara is the Speos Artemidos, a New Kingdom temple built into the southern wall of the wadi, approximately 225 m from the wadi’s entrance. This temple was recorded by the early explorers of the area, notably Jean-François Champollion and Richard Lepsius. The adaptive reuse of the temple in late antiquity, most probably as a monastic church, has been the subject of some scholarly discussion, but it is still not understood fully. Therefore, the team's inspection during the 2014 season was conducted with the objective of collecting as much evidence as possible for this reuse. This inspection was guided by Mr. Reda Salah, who generously shared his expertise on the original pharaonic constructions and wall reliefs. 

The evidence for adaptive reuse of the temple by the monks can be seen from the various dipinti and installations in the portico and corridor connecting the portico to the sanctuary.  

Portico

Corridor

Sanctuary

Photo by Einsamer Schütze CC BY-SA 3.0

Click on the various numbered buttons in the plan of the temple below for more information on what the team documented.

Portico looking to the southwest

Corridor leading into sanctuary

 

Photo by Roland Unger CC BY-SA 3.0

                       © 2016 by SCOTT BUCKING

Unless otherwise noted, all photography by SCOTT BUCKING