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Esna: view from River Nile (1849 photo)

Panoramic view of Esna, viewed from the Nile (photo: du Camp 1852, pl.64). .

Esna (Greek Latopolis) is a town in upper Egypt located on the Nile about 55 km south of Thebes, and 50 km north of Elephantine Island. Esna and Elephantine were centers of the worship of Khnum, the Egyptian god of creation and rebirth who was often portrayed with the head of a ram. His wife Neith, often shown as a lion-headed figure, was assocated by the Greeks with Athena.

emples at Esna dating back to the 11th Dynasty were dedicated to the triad of deities Khnum and Neith, along with their son Heka. Other temple remains date from the time of Thutmose II (18th Dynasty). The most important extant monument at the site, however, is the well-preserved Temple of Khnum dating from the Ptolemaic period, which contains numerous inscriptions and relief carvings portraying the deities.

Du Camp's 1849 calotype shows a distant panorama of the town across the Nile. His caption reads: "General view of Esneh. View of the town, of the mosque of Esneh (Latopolis) and the ruins of docks constructed by the Romans."


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