Temple of Ain el-Muftella may have once served as the city
center of El Qasr which is today the modern town of Bawiti in the Bahariya Oasis.
It was most likely built around the time of the 26th Dynasty,
though some sections of the temple may date from earlier in the
New Kingdom. The temple was probably added to by both the
Greeks, and later the Romans.
We know that parts of the temple were built by a high priest
named Zed-Khonsu-efankh who's brother, Sheben-Khonsu was
governor of the district during the reign of
Ahmose II. After the death of Sheben-Khonsu,
Zed-Khonsu-efankh also took on his brother's role as governor.
Fakhry investigated the site in 1939 leading to his mistaken
opinion that the structures were four separate chapels.
However, when the site was again examined in 1977, it was
determined that the these structures were in fact one temple.
The temple center does in fact consist of four chapels that
are decorated with painted, sunk relief and are of a style
similar to what might be found in other Egyptian temples of this
period. The first chapel, which has two large halls, once had
vaulted ceilings painted with geometrical designs. Each of the
halls were adjoined by small storage rooms.
temples such as this one in Egypt may have been required to be
serve as a general purpose place of worship for a number of
different gods. Scenes in the first hall depict
Zed-Khonsu-efankh, and sometimes his brother Sheben-Khonsu,
along with Ahmose II, who wears the double crown of Upper and
Lower Egypt, standing side by side making offerings to thirteen
gods, who include Mahesa, Bastet,
Amun, Mut, Khonsu,
Harsaphis (Herishef or Arshaphes), Hathor, Thoth,
Nehem-awa (the consort of Thoth), Amun (ram headed), Anubis
Occasionally, the god Ha (a god of the Western Desert) is also
included in the procession.
Another set of reliefs in the side entrance depict Ahmose II
standing with an ankh in his right hand along side the
and the cow goddess, Hathor. Behind them is another scene
depicting a child, several unrecognizable gods and goddesses,
and the goddess Ma'at
with her feather, who are all facing the gods
Montu, Horus and Sekhmet.
In the second chapel, which was also probably built by
Zed-Khonsu-efankh, we find a scene portraying the high priest
with a shaved head worshipping Osiris.
Another scene shows Zed-Khonsu-efankh, Sheben-Khonsu And Ahmose
II before a similar procession of gods as
in the first chapel, but with the addition of
Seshat, the goddess of writing. Other scenes in this chapel
show the sisters of Osiris mourning his death, along with a list
of the names of various deities.
The wall to the right of the entrance to the second chapel
displays a scene depicting an unknown priest making offerings to
Osiris, and then the king standing before Thoth. On the west
wall we find a mummified Osiris.
The third chapel was probably dedicated almost exclusively to
Bes. It has two entrances at either end of the chapel that
are built of dolerite and sandstone, and one wall within this
chapel id devoted exclusively to a large figure of that deity,
though only the bottom half remains.
The fourth chapel, probably also built by Zed-Khonsu-efankh,
is perhaps more simple, made of brick and stone, but probably
never painted. The only notable scene in this chapel depicts
Ahmose II in the presence of Khnum
A number of artifacts have been recovered from this temple
over the years. Discoveries in the first chapel consist of a
statue of the goddess Bastet, a stone emblem of a head of
Hathor, a statuette of an unknown king, another statuette of
Thoth, and fragments of a bronze vase.
More recent discoveries include a three inch high faience
statuettes of Isis holding Horus in her lap and Sekhmet with the
sun disk behind her for protection. Several small scarabs were
also unearthed, including one with a small depiction of a man
holding a stick on the bottom. Other artifacts include a
statuette of Seth with a donkey's head and a Wedjat-eye amulet