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xThe Temple of Dush

Dush is an archeological site in El Kharga Oasis, in the Western Desert of Egypt. Dush was a religious, military and civilian complex that primarily developed as the result of the slave trade, and was a staging point for caravans that either headed to Assiut or Esna. In addition to being a settlement, it was a religious and a military center, on the route of the slave trade as well as a station for the caravans crossing the desert. Dedicated to Serapis, Isis and Harpocrates, the Temple of Dush (known as Kysis) dates back to the Roman Period. It was entirely enclosed within a Roman mud-brick fortress. It was built during the rule of Domitian and Trajan (1st century BC) and decorated during the rule of Hadrian. The temple was restored in 1967 and its inscriptions are hardly touched by the near 2,000 years which has passed. It comprises a barrel-vaulted sanctuary made up of two rooms. The vaulted ceiling of this sanctuary is highly admired. Flanking the sanctuary is a number of chapels. Also enclosed within the temple’s complex are two hypostyle halls, both with almost intact entrances. Here, traces of bases of columns can still be seen.

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