The Persian Presence at Qasr el-Ghuieta
by Eugene Cruz-Uribe
Northern Arizona University
In studying the spatial relationships amongst the different temples in Kharga Oasis, it becomes clear that there was a clear pattern in the placement of those structures that does not seem to have anything to do with religious motives. Hibis temple is by far the largest of the temple structures in the oasis and the area around the temple clearly was a prominent part of the oasis culture.
Morkot’s discussion (R. Morkot, "The Darb el-Arbain, the Kharga Oasis and its forts, and other desert routes," in D. Bailey, ed., Archaeological Research in Roman Egypt, Ann Arbor, 1996 [JRA Supplemental Series 19], pp. 82-94, esp. p. 84) reiterates the belief that the temple within the fortress at Qasr el-Ghuieta dates to the reign of Darius I and not to an earlier period. He compares it to the same dating often given for the temple at Hibis.
The purpose of this short page is to discuss possible dating issues and view the remains of Ghueita from a new view point. This discussion follows with a series of jpeg images. It is hoped that these images depict the environment of the site and perhaps explains a bit more on the dating of portions of the temple structure. The one thing we must keep in mind is that for the most part the fortress of Ghuieta is unexcavated. Fakhry cleared the temple proper interior and a few buildings in front of the temple around 1972. These buildings show extensive damage from fire and the destruction probably dates to the time of the Blemmyes in the 5th century AD (so noted by E. Cruz-Uribe, "Kharga Oasis, Late period and Graeco-Roman sites," in K. Bard, ed., Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 1999, p. 407). In more recent years the Kharga Inspectorate has conducted a series of excavations inside the walls of the temple and outside. The work outside has focused in two areas. The first has been around the south east corner of the fort (mostly Roman period remains). A variety of houses and related structures were unearthed with a few Greek ostraca, a Demotic ostrakon (receipt), and pottery. The second area outside the walls was the "quay" structure directly east of the gate. None of these excavations have been published
para seguir leyendo