Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
- Author(s): Pantalacci, Laure
- et al.
The modern city of Quft is the location of the ancient town of Coptos, which was a major religious and trade center in Upper Egypt, at the crossroad between the Nile Valley and Eastern Desert routes to the Red Sea. The site was settled from Predynastic times (as witnessed by the Coptos colossi) and remained important until Late Antiquity. The principal buildings currently visible at the site are of Ptolemaic and Roman date: the main temple (dedicated to Min and Isis), the middle temple also called “Osiris” temple, and the southern temple belonging to Geb. The last two were enclosed by their own temenos, as was the main temple, and a huge late Pharaonic wall surrounded the whole sacred area. The remains of the Roman domestic buildings are still poorly known. The elaborate Coptic baptistery and the adjacent structures reuse blocks from Pharaonic and late Ptolemaic buildings. The recent campaigns by the French mission have collected new information mainly about the city’s general layout and development.