Dush is an archaeological site in El Kharga Oasis, in the Western Desert of Egypt. Dedicated to Serapis, Isis and Harpocrates, the Temple of Dush (known as Kysis) dates back to the Roman Period. Dush was a religious, military and civilian complex that primarily developed due to 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 centre on the route of the slave trade as well as a station for the caravans crossing the desert.
Location of the Temple of Dush
The imposing Roman temple-fortress, Temple of Dush, stands bout 13km to the southeast of Paris, Kharga Oasis, New Valley Governorate.
Dush was a border town strategically placed at the intersection of five desert tracks and was one of the southern gateways to Egypt. It may also have been used to guard the Darb Al Dush, an east-west route to the Esna and Edfu temples in the Nile Valley. As a result, it was solidly built and heavily garrisoned, with four or five more storeys lying underground.
Qasr Ad Dush is an imposing Roman temple-fortress completed around AD 177 on the site of the ancient town of Kysis. A 1st-century sandstone temple abutting the fortress was dedicated to Isis and Serapis. The gold decorations that once covered parts of the temple and earned it renown have long gone, but there is still some decoration on the inner stone walls.
The Mud-brick Temple Of Qasr Dush
The Roman Fortress of Dush, also known as the mud-brick Temple of Qasr Dush, is interesting in that it was much more than just a place of worship when it was built in 177 AD. This temple functioned as a city, complete with a military compound, a religious centre, and a sector for people to live in. Most of the temple is still standing to this day.
It was built in the first century BC during the Trajan rule. Its religious section was dedicated to Isis and Serapis when the temple was built. The mud-brick wall surrounding the temple was added and decorated during the reign of Hadrian, and the temple remained occupied throughout the entire Ptolemaic Period.
Many of the temples, including the walls, are still intact and decorated. The ceilings of several of the temple rooms remain in their vaulted elegance. When you take the tour of Qasr Dush, you will view two adjoining rooms with vaulted ceilings. Additionally, you will be able to visit both of the chapels on the grounds.
Visitors can see the Temple of Qasr Dush between 07:00 to 17:00. Visitors don’t need to pay a fee or admission charge for the visit.