Wannina

Wannina is a town-site on the west bank of the Nile about 10km south-west of Sohag. In ancient times the town was called Hwt-Repyt and renamed Athribis by the Greeks when it began to grow in importance. The site was excavated by Petrie in 1900.

Entrance to the Temple of Repyt at Wannina
The main monument at Wannina is a temple dedicated to the lion goddess Repyt who was called Triphis during Greek and Roman times. A processional way leads to remains of a massive gateway built by Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II, who also began the construction of a temple against the slope of a hill, but there are few remains in situ. An older granite temple dated to King Haaibre (Apries) of Dynasty XXVI stands behind this. The temple of Apries was enclosed by a construction of Ptolemy IX Soter II (Physcon), with a pylon and an enclosure wall.

A Roman birth-house lies to the north-west, at right-angles to the axis of the main temple and this building was begun by Ptolemy XII Auletes (also called Neos Dionysos) and finished during the Roman Period by the Emperor Hadrian. The large birth-house, dedicated to Triphis, measures 45m by 75m and is fronted by a pronaos with two rows of six pillars, which is still in a good state of preservation. Behind the pronaos is an open court which may have been surrounded by a colonnade. Several Roman emperors had their names carved on these buildings, which were later quarried for use in the construction of the nearby ‘White Monastery’.

On the side of the hill there is also a Graeco-Roman rock-cut temple dedicated to Asklepios. Its façade contained columns with palm-capitals and some remains of these are still in situ. A forecourt, two rock-cut chambers and a cult statue niche lay behind the façade.

In the nearby cemetery site there is a Ptolemaic tomb called the ‘Zodiac Tomb’. Belonging to the brothers Ibpemeny ‘the younger’ and Pemehyt, this important tomb has two zodiacs on its ceiling and dates to the late 2nd century AD.

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~ by Su on February 12, 2009.