Excavation at a Roman settlement at Ismant el-Kharab (Kellis)
The site of Ismant el-Kharab is located in the centre of Dakhleh and covers an area of about ¾ km²; it was occupied from at least the first century until the end of the fourth century CE and was primarily an agricultural community. A large temple complex located at the western end of the site houses the remains of a stone temple dedicated to Tutu (Tithoes), and is the only such known in Egypt; he was venerated here along with the goddesses Neith and Tapshay. It was developed throughout the first to third centuries and remained operational until the mid-fourth century. Within the main temenos are four mud-brick shrines, one of which has been identified as a mammisi and is decorated with elaborate paintings in both pharaonic and classical styles. Contemporary with the development of the temple are two residential areas, one with large and elaborately –decorated elite residences, one of which has evidence of industrial activity, and four cemeteries, three having built mausolea and one with rock-cut tombs. There is also the remains o a bath house. In the late third to fourth centuries another residential sector developed where houses are preserved to roof-top and in which vast quantities of artefacts have been preserved, including large numbers of texts written mainly in Greek and Coptic. During this timespan the village was converted to Christianity; three churches were constructed and the inhabitants buried their dead in a separate cemetery that has several thousand graves.
The Monash University Ancient Cultures website contains descriptions of the site and reports on the excavations.