Tell Timai (Thmuis)

Survey and excavation of the religious complex. Project director: James Bennett, University of Durham.

The winter 2017 season at Tell Timai was kindly supported by the Egypt Exploration Society and allowed the continuation of the excavation of a Late Ptolemaic temple complex in the north west of the site. The remains include a large tripartite limestone temple foundation built on a thin layer of sand, as well as several monumental mud brick architectural temple components. These included two sections of the temples enclosure wall which measured 10 m and 25 m thick. There was also a Late Ptolemaic temple workshop with over 150 Late Ptolemaic bronze coins, as well as ovens and the remnants of metal production. Within the interior of the temple’s enclosure wall were the last remains of the temple’s mud brick foundations, and ancillary buildings which had been reduced to the foundations by sebakhin diggers in the late 19th and early 20th century. Finally, built upon the denuded western enclosure wall was a Late Roman mud brick burial monument with several preserved burials, including child amphora burials. The evidence from the burials would suggest they were Coptic. Future excavation seasons will continue the work in the Late Roman cemetery which extends beyond the limits of the 2017 excavations to further refine the dating and cultural context of the burials, and to uncover more of the Late Ptolemaic temple to reconstruct the development of the religious complex at Tell Timai from the Late Ptolemaic period until the Late Roman Period.

A view across the archaeological remains at Tell Timai

View of the Ptolemaic stone temple foundation


An overhead shot of the late Ptolemaic workshop


The late Roman burials