Speos Artemidos

Northern Nile Valley

If the guardian allows, you can follow a cliffside track that leads southeast for about 2.5km and then some 500m into a wadi to the rock-cut temple called the Speos Artemidos, and referred to locally as Istabl Antar (Stable of Antar, an Arab warrior-poet and folk hero), but actually dedicated to the ancient Egyptian lion-goddess Pasht.

Dating back to the 18th dynasty, the small temple was started by Hatshepsut (1473–1458 BC) and completed by Tuthmosis III (1479–1425 BC). There is a small hall with roughly hewn Hathor-headed columns and an unfinished sanctuary. On the walls are scenes of Hatshepsut making offerings and, on its upper facade, an inscription describing how she restored order after the rule of the Hyksos, even though she reigned long after.

Expect to be accompanied by a police escort and a guard (who will want baksheesh).

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