Ancient Roman Baths Discovered in Egypt’s Temple of Khnum

A ancient Roman bath house was recently uncovered at the archeological dig of the Temple of Khnum, near the Egyptian city of Esna, according to Heritage Daily.

Already rich with archeological history, Esna, which sits in lower Egypt along the Nile River, has been the location of numerous structures from different periods of antiquity, from the New Kingdom, which began in 1550 BCE to the Saite Period, which ended in 525 BCE.

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Today, only the Temple Khnum remains. However, archeologists continue to excavate the site and make discoveries about its historical relevance.

The temple’s inner sanctuary was built by Egypt’s Macedonian king Ptolemy V and subsequently decorated with “astronomical ceiling, religious hymns, and cryptographic texts based on crocodile and ram figures” by his descendants, Ptolemy VI, Cleopatra II, and Ptolemy VII; the outer vestibule, however, was built by the Romans, according to Heritage Daily.

During excavations archeologists uncovered another Ptolemaic structure and a Roman bathhouse behind the main temple building. The baths were fed by a channel system that poured water into the basins. The dig also revealed a hypocaust, a type of central heating developed by the Romans that produces and hot air which is then circulated below the floor of a room.

The excavations were commissioned by the Supreme Council for Archaeology.


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