In ancient times, Esna was known as Latopolis, after the perch that swam in the Nile. Today it is a quiet farming town with an exciting street market filled with fabric and traditional clothing.

The lively market is filled with fabric and clothing.

Temple of Khnum:

Temple of Khnum, 1st century Roman hypostyle hall, has 24 columns with floral capitals. The god Khnum was the guardian of the source of the Nile. The myth is that he fashioned man out of clay from the Nile on a potter’s wheel.

Khnum was the ram-headed god. Notice the series of ram headed animals in procession.

Years of flooding buried the temple until 1860 when excavation began to uncover the temple. The temple sits 33 ft. (10 m) below street level.

Notice the high wall behind our group. The Temple of Khnum was buried for 15 centuries.

Looking down from the top steps at the Temple of Khnum.

Restoration is in progress. The workers use ammonia to clean the soot off the walls. The colors underneath are still brilliant after all these centuries.

Restoration being done to the temple. The workers use ammonia to remove the soot formed on the walls from oil burning lamps.

A wall that has been restored. Notice the brilliant colors which still remain after all these centuries.

The carvings tell stories about the history of the area. Here the pharaoh has been victorious in battle. The first photo shows the people captured in battle before the king. The second photo is a close-up of the hands of the defeated people surrender.

The pharaoh holding arrows. Notice the hands beneath his outstretched arm.

The hands of the captured surrendering to the pharaoh.

There is still a lot to be excavated in this area. One might say…they have only scratched the surface.

Our guide, Walid, walked to a pile of rubble next to the temple and within moments, pulled a piece of an ancient pot.

About the Author:

That evening, back on the ship, the guests celebrated Arabrian Nights. We dressed in the traditional Egyptian clothing called, Galabeya, which we bought earlier in the market. The cost of each outfit was about $5.00 US (100 Egyptian Pound)

In 2010, Annie Coburn created FAB Senior Travel, a blog for mature and adventurous travelers. Her blog features travel articles from contributors as well as her own travels.  Annie has published five travel books targeting the greatest cities on earth: Walk Paris, Walk Beijing, Walk London, Walk NYC, and Ellie’s Grand Adventure. She recently spent seven-months living and traveling in South America.

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