Temple Of Dakka – An Ancient Nubian Monument Built For Thoth

The fascinating Temple of Dakka at Wadi El Seboua is believed to be more than 2,000 years old, and historians believe it was originally built for Thoth.

Temple of Dakka in Nubia, Upper Egypt

Temple of Dakka in Nubia, Upper Egypt – Lake Nasser, Egypt.

Visitors to Aswan, and particularly those who spend some time sailing around on Lake Nasser, will soon discover that there are many historical attractions in the area which have been moved from their original locations. When the Egyptian government gave the all clear for the construction of the Aswan High Dam, they knew that a vast lake would be formed, and that the water would end up covering many of the local attractions.

Because of this, the decision was made to relocate the area’s most significant attractions. Of all the sites that were relocated, the Temples of Abu Simbel probably are the most famous and most impressive, but that certainly doesn’t mean the others aren’t worth visiting. One very good would be the Temple of Dakka.

A Brief History Of Dakka Temple

The Temple of Dakka was originally built by a Meroitic or Nubian King in honor of Thoth at around 22o BC. It was originally known to the Ancient Egyptians as Pselqet, while the Greeks called it Pselchis. The temple is today located at Wadi El Seboua after being relocated to save it from the waters of Lake Nasser.

The date of construction mentioned above is also only an educated guess. Scholars cannot accurately calculate a more precise date because the construction was a combined effort between the Nubian king and the line of Ptolemaic pharaohs from that time. Furthermore, the temple was also expanded during the era of Roman rule as well.

Relocation During The 1960s

As already mentioned, the Temple of Dakka was relocated to Wadi El Seboua during the 1960s, along with a number of other ancient buildings. During the relocation another mystery about the origins of the temple arose when it was discovered that some of the foundation stones had actually been reused from an earlier structure. Scholars believe this earlier structure was likely to have been built by Queen Hatshepsut.

Additionally, unlike many of the other Nubian structures that were often built more as a display of Egyptian power, the Temple of Dakka is known to have been in a very busy temple which was put to use quite often. This may be precisely why so many different individuals participated in its construction and expansion.

The Pylon Of The Temple Of Dakka

Dakka Temple by Alberto G Rovi

This temple is popular with travelers because it has its pylon intact, and in fact, it still forms the entrance to the temple. The entire building is oriented in a north to south direction in alignment with the Nile, which also makes it unusual.

The pylon is however no longer physically connected to the structure because the surrounding walls are gone, but the general outline of the structure is easy to see.

Records also indicate that during the years of Roman rule, the Temple was actually converted into a fortress and enclosed by a surrounding wall that had its main entrance on the banks of the Nile. The relocation of the temple did not include any part of this wall, but it is interesting to note that this building has endured such a tremendous amount of use.

Most travelers taking a Lake Nasser cruise are likely to spend a few hours at the Wadi El Seboua site. There they can see the Temple of Dakka and its much smaller neighbor, the Temple of Maharraqua. There are also two large “New Kingdom” temples on the site and the famous “Valley of Lions” which is a sphinx lined path into the complex.

Tour Egypt Your Way

If you are considering a trip to Egypt and would like to visit Aswan and all its many ancient attractions, please be sure to check out our Egypt package tours. We offer a fantastic variety of Egypt tour packages, including amazing Nile cruise holidays. We also offer custom Egypt tours which can be tailored to include any and all destinations you are longing to see. Remember, the Temple of Dakka is just one of many fascinating attractions.