free trial issue subscribe back issues
Fig.1: Temple Portico at Hermopolis (drawing by Vivant Denon, in Description de l'Egypte 1802).
Hermopolis, the city of the god Hermes (whose older Egyptian counterpart was Thoth) is located in Upper Egypt, 290 km south of Cairo. The city was named Khmun in ancient Egyptian, meaning "8-town", representing a group of eight primeval deities. The city was a cult center for Thoth, god of healing and learning, and patron of scribes. Today the site is called el-Ashmunein.
During the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, the city held a large Greek settlement, with a Greek cemetery at nearby Tuna el-Gebel. A large Roman basilica or hall of justice was found in Hermopolis, the only example of its kind in Egypt (Baines and Malek 1988).
The French expedition visited the ruins of Hermopolis in 1799. Vivant Denon sketched the remains of a Graeco-Eyptian temple portico with sculptured columns and capitals in the form of papyrus plants with unopened umbels or flower clusters (fig.1), a typical Egyptian motif also seen at Philae, Edfu, Luxor, and Kom Ombo, among other sites in Upper Egypt..
Athena Review Image Archive™ | Guide to Archaeology on the Internet | free trial issue | subscribe | back issues
index of Athena Review |
| Research Pages |
Copyright © 1996-2010 Athena Publications, Inc. (All Rights Reserved).