Behbeit el-Hagar, a village just a few kilometres to the north of Samannud (Sebennytos) in the central Delta, marks the site of an important, though now destroyed temple, thought to have been known to the Greeks as The Iseum. The temple was probably linked to the town and temple of Sebennytos, home of the Dynasty XXX kings towards the end of the Late Period, as well as to the nearby Nome capital of Busiris.
The modern village derives its name from the ancient ‘Per-Hebit’, meaning ‘The domain of the Festive Goddess’ and the temple, ‘Hebit’, seems to refer to a festival pavillion dedicated to the goddess Isis and the funerary rites with which she was associated. The site covers an area of about 7.6 hectares and is surrounded by cultivation on all sides. Ruins of a massive mudbrick enclosure wall constructed around the perimeter of the temple can still be…
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