Al-Ghweita Temple, or Al-Ghouita Palace Temple, is one of the archaeological temples located in the south of the city of Kharga, in the New Valley Governorate. It is located 3 kilometres away on the Kharga-Paris road. As the temple site is high, it is high above the earth’s surface. Mountains, sand and greenery can be seen. The temple has the periods that the oases passed through in ancient times.
Location of the Ghweita Temple
The Temple of Ghweita is a fortress of a small garden located atop a high sandstone hill about 25 kilometres south of the city of Kharga.
This beautiful and picturesque fortress controlled a strategic view of the entire area and was once the centre of an extensive agricultural community. The little remains of the village buildings, which once tumbled down the hillside and onto the plain below, or the vineyards that once supplied wince to the royal court in the Nile Valley. Inscriptions in the tombs at Thebes attest to the excellent quality of the grapes of Ghweita. Thus, it indicates that the ancient Egyptians inhabited the area long before the erection of the present fortress.
It includes contents from the Persian dynasty 27, where he found contents belonging to King Dara I, where cartouches of a king were found in the Holy of Holies.
It includes contents from the Ptolemaic era, contents related to King Ptolemy III (Eorgtes), Ptolemy IV (Pleopater) and Ptolemy IX (Suter II). An unfinished view was found on one of the walls of King Ptolemy X (Alexander I).
The construction of the temple dates back to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. Some information indicates that the temple’s structure dates back to the era of King Ahmose II, the period of the twenty-sixth dynasty.
It is considered an archaeological fortress on a high hill to monitor the Darb al-Arba’een trade road between the Nile River at Assiut and up to Darfur in Sudan. A colossal wall surrounds this castle with wide walls to prevent excavation and sabotage during the enemy’s siege of the castle and a fortress to protect those inside the castle. It was 10 meters high, and it can be seen even Now. At the top of the castle is a walkway for soldiers to secure the castle, and there are remains of the ladder used for the soldiers to climb to the walkway.
History of Ghweita Temple
The temple of Ghweita was built to worship the holy triad (Amun– Mut– Khonsu), the same as the temple of Hibis.
Together with the Temple of Hibis, this temple is the only temple built in Egypt during the Persian or Hyksos occupation. It was also enlarged during the Ptolemaic era between the 3rd and 1st century BC. A well-preserved sandstone temple is within its walls dedicated, like its sister at Hibis, to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. The construction work of this temple started in the reign of Darius I over the top of a hill that was initially the ruins of a Pharaonic settlement that goes back to the Middle Kingdom.
The temple includes three chambres with a courtyard, hypostyle hall, and sanctuary. Within the hypostyle hall, on the lower register circling all four walls, are scenes of Hapi, god of the Nile, holding symbols of the nomes of ancient Egypt. The sanctuary has plenty of decorations.