182 Route 16. KASR KARUN.
In the desert, to the E. from the E. bank of the lake and to the N.W.
from Tamiyeh, rises the mound of K6m Ushim, covering the ruins of Ka-
ranis, a Greek town frequently mentioned in local history, with a temple
of Pnepheros and Petesuchos. — The mound Umm el-All, 7 M. to the E.
ofKaranis, marks the site of Bacchias, with a ruined Greek temple. Both
mounds were explored in 1896 by Messrs. Hogarth and Grenfell, at the
expense of the Egypt Exploration Fund.
The ruins marking the site of Kasr Karun lie at the S.W. end of
the Birket Karun. We land on the promontory of Khashm Khalil,
which is overgrown with tamarisks and reeds. Ascending thence
across the desert for about an hour, we reach the temple, which is
now 2'/4 M. from the lake, though it originally stood on its bank.
The fishermen object to pass the night here, being afraid ofthe
Beduins and the 'Afrit' (evil spirits).
Kasr Karun is a fairly well preserved temple, of the late Pto¬
lemaic period. The numerous traces of an ancient town that sur¬
round it are probably those of Dionysias, which was situated on the
extreme W. verge of the Roman province of Egypt, at the beginning
of the caravan route to the 'Small Oasis' (Bahrlyeh, p. 195). A cir¬
cular foundation-wall indicates the site of an ancient cistern. The
walls of the temple consist of carefully hewn blocks of hard lime¬
stone. This temple, like almost all the shrines in the oases, was
dedicated to the ram-headed Ammon-Khnum, as is proved by two
figures of this deity standing at the highest part of the posterior wall
of the upper story of the open roof. The winged sun-disk occurs over
each gateway in the building. There are no ancient inscriptions.
The temple is 20 yds. in width across the facade, and 29 yds. in length.
The entrance, facing the E., is approached by a lofty and carefully con¬
structed platform, 14 yds. in length, forming a fore-court. On the facade
of the temple, to the right fN.) of the entrance-door, is a massive, semi¬
circular projection, resembling the half of a huge column. On the lower
floor are the apartments of the temple which were dedicated to worship.
In the first three Anterooms the ground slopes down towards the Sanctuary,
which was divided into three small rooms at the back. The sanctuary is
flanked by two narrow passages, each of which is adjoined by three rooms.
The anterooms also have adjacent chambers from which we may enter the
cellars, or ascend hy two flights of step' to the upper floor with its different
apartments, and thence to the roof, whence we obtain an extensive view
of the remains of the ancient city, of the lake, and the desert. Over the
doors leading into the second and third anterooms and into the sanctuary,
instead of the ordinary concave cornice, there is a series of Uraeus snakes.
To the E. of the large temple are situated two smaller Roman temples,
in tolerable preservation, the larger of which, situated 300 paces from
the smaller, is not without interest. Its walls (18 ft. by 19 ft.) consist of
good burnt bricks, and its substructures of solid stone. The cella ter¬
minates in a niche resembling an apse; on each of the side-walls are two
half-columns, which, as the fragments lying on the ground show, belong
to the Ionic order.
About 8V2 M. to the E. of Kasr Karun are the ruins of Kasr el-Benat,
the ancient Euhemeria, including the remains of a temple of Sukhos and
Isis. — Beside the village of Harit, 13/4 M. to the S.E. of this point, lie
the ruins and the necropolis of the ancient Theadelphia; and 5 M. to the
N.W. of Harit, almost due W. from Kasr Karun, are the ruins of the an¬
cient Philoteris, now known as Wadfa. All these places, which were founded
under the early Ptolemies in the reclaimed bed of Lake Moeris, have been
recently explored by the English travellers Grenfell and Hunt.