Ghueita Temple: Central Rear Chamber in Arabic

Figure 1 Upper portion of the cartouche of Darius (I) on the rear (west) wall of the central sanctuary of Ghueita Temple.

Figure 2 Typeset copy of the bandeau text from the north and west walls of the central sanctuary. The north wall is painted plaster, while the west wall is carved raised relief.

Figure 3 (left) Preliminary overhead plan of the central rear sanctuary of Ghueita Temple. The shaded portion represents a later addition, possibly of Darius I. Figure 4 (right) Isometric projection of the central sanctuary of Ghueita Temple. Shaded portion represents later addition to the original structure.

Figure 5 (left) East portion of the ceiling of the central sanctuary of Ghueita Temple. Arrow indicates remaining portion of the original lintel. Figure 6 (right) View of the two sets of door sockets in the ceiling of the central sanctuary. Shaded portion represent the later addition.

Figure 7 (left) Figure of the god Hapi and portion of bandeau text painted over the seam between the original shrine and its form in the reign of Darius I. Figure 8 (right) Ceiling block with remains of winged sun disk and twin uraei from original freestanding stone structure atop Gebel Ghueita.

  1. 1. The following text is a summary of J. C. Darnell, “The Antiquity of Ghueita Temple,” Göttinger Miszellen 212 (2007): 29-40.
  2. 2. Ahmed Fakhry identified the painted cartouche of Darius I in the sanctuary in January 1972, when he began his clearance of the temple (A. Fakhry, ”Charga Oase,” LÄ I, col. 909; W. Helck, “Qasr Gueida,” LÄ V, col. 43). The TDRS has completed the epigraphic recording of the chamber (publication in progress); the imagery, deities, and their epithets, within the Ghueita central sanctuary find their closest parallels within the Inner Gateway of Hibis Temple—PM VII, p. 278.
  3. 3. R. Naumann, “Bauwerke der Oase Khargeh,” MDAIK 8 (1939): 4-7.
  4. 4. E. Cruz-Uribe, “The Persian Presence at Qasr el-Ghueita, Egypt,” at persians_at_qasr_el_Ghieta.htm or
  5. 5. H. Onishi, “A Kushite Temple in a Western Oasis?,” in K. Piquette and S. Love, eds., Current Research in Egyptology 2003 (Oxford, 2005), pp. 121-133. Onishi visited Ghueita after it was part of the TDRS concession, and after preliminary results of our work — concentrating on the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom ceramic material at Ghueita — had already appeared in print.
  6. 6. D. Arnold, The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture (Cairo, 2003), p. 190; idem, Temples of the Last Pharaohs (New York, 1999), pp. 88-89. This suggestion has not received universal acknowledgement — compare G. Hölbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire (London and New York, 2001), p. 87.
  7. 7. That rear section appears to have been conceived as a single unit, and therefore would date to the reign of Darius I, or perhaps earlier. The rear portion may have been constructed, and the hypostyle hall added to the structure, prior to the reign of Darius I, but for this no evidence has yet emerged, and the long period of anepigraphic muteness would be difficult to believe.
  8. 8. Ms. Elisa Lui of Yale University prepared the architectural drawings of the sanctuary. Of all published plans of the temple, curiously only that of A. Edmonstone, A Journey to Two of the Oases of Upper Egypt (London, 1822), plan opposite p. 65, reveals an observation that the rear central chamber is somewhat off center.