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The temple at Ras El-Soda. Is it an Isis temple? Is it greek, roman, egyptian, or neither? And so what?

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Chapter Summary

On the 29th of October 1936, in a commercial sand pit at Ras el-Soda, a spot immediately to the east of the early 20th-century built-up area of Alexandria, between the sea and the road to Abu Qir, diggers came across some columns. What he uncovered were the remains of a small Ionic prostyle tetrastyle temple of 5 by 7.5 meters, oriented towards the south-south-east, sitting on a podium of 1.4meters high, with a wide staircase in front. The temple was dated by Adriani to the second half of the second century A.D., on the basis of his stylistic analysis of the statuary, arguing that “il faut admettre que la date du sanctuaire soit celle des statues”, and not later as one would tend to assume from the architecture and the rough masonry. Ras el-Soda has some architectural features in common with other Isis and Sarapis sanctuaries, inside and outside Egypt.

Keywords: Alexandria; Egypt; Isis; Ras el-Soda



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