The modern Egyptian village of Esna, which was ancient Iunyt or Ta-senet (from which the Coptic Sne and Arabic Isna derive), was built in the area of ancient Latopolis and is the site of a major temple dedicated to the god Khnum. Under the Greeks and Romans, the city became the capital of the Third Nome of Upper Egypt. Besides Khnum, the temple was dedicated to several other deities, the most prominent of whom were Neith and Heka. This was the ram god that was worshipped through out this area and who fashioned mankind from mud of the Nile on his potter's wheel.
Esna is located about 50 km south of Luxor. The temple now stands in the middle of the modern town at a level about nine meters below that of the surrounding grounds. However, texts mentions that it was built on the site of a temple that may have been constructed as early as the reign of Tuthmosis III. Some blocks of the earlier 18th Dynasty structure are preserved. The present structure dates to the Greek and Roman periods and is one of the latest temples to have been built by the ancient Egyptians.
We visited Egypt in June 2005 and went on a leisurely cruise down the Nile, stopping in many of the important ancient sites. It was certainly one of the most memorable trips and seeing first hand all those magnificent ancient ruins that one learnt about in school was quite amazing.
This post is part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.