Deir el-Hagar, the ‘Monastery of Stone’, is a sandstone temple on the western edge of Dakhla Oasis, about 10km from el-Qasr in the desert to the south of the cultivation. In ancient times it was known as the ‘Place of Coming Home’, or ‘Set-whe’. After being buried in debris and sand for many centuries by the huge dune that can still be seen to the south, the temple has been uncovered, restored and partially reconstructed during the 1990s by the Dakhla Oasis Project with the Supreme Council of Antiquities and is now open to visitors.
The temple of Deir el-Hagar represents one of the most complete Roman monuments in Dakhla Oasis. Olaf Kaper of the Dakhla Oasis Project suggests that this isolated site was a festival temple rather than a cult temple, which are more usually found in the centre of a community. Dedicated mainly to the Theban Triad and to Thoth, construction of the temple began during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero (AD 54-68), whose cartouche can be seen in the sanctuary. It was built to encourage farmers to settle in the area, along with irrigation works, villages and the mudbrick Roman farmsteads that can still be seen in the area surrounding the temple.
Read more on Egyptian Monuments