Medinet Maadi

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The ruins of Medinet Maadi temple
Amenemhat III's cartouche at Medinet Maadi temple

Medinet Maadi is a site in the southwestern Faiyum region of Egypt where a temple of the cobra-goddess Renenutet (a harvest deity) was founded during the reigns of Amenemhat III and Amenemhat IV (1855–1799 BC). It was later expanded and embellished during the Greco-Roman period.

The temple[edit]

The dark sandstone inner part of the temple consists of a small papyrus-columned hall leading to a sanctuary comprising three chapels, each containing statues of deities. The central chapel incorporated a large statue of Renenutet, with Amenemhat III and Amenemhat IV standing on either side of her. The Ptolemaic parts of the temple comprise a paved processional way passing through an eight-columned kiosk leading to a portico and transverse vestibule. It has been suggested that the unusually good preservation of this temple complex, excavated by a team of archaeologists from the University of Milan in the 1930s, may have been due simply to its relative seclusion.

2006 excavations[edit]

Medinet Maadi is "the only intact temple still existing from the Middle Kingdom" according to Zahi Hawass, a former Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).[1] The temple's foundations, administrative buildings, granaries and residences were recently uncovered by an Egyptian archaeological expedition in early 2006.

Coptic texts[edit]

Coptic texts were uncovered near Medinet Maadi in 1928. Among them was the Manichaean Psalm-book that includes the Psalms of Thomas.


Further reading[edit]

  • A.Vogliano, Primo (e secondo) rapporto degli scavi condetti della R. Universita di Milano nella zona di Amdinet Maadi, 1935–6 (Milan, 1936–7).
  • R. Naumann, "Der Tempel des Mittleren Reiches in Medinet Madi", MDAIK 8 (1939), 185–9.
  • Ian Shaw and Paul Nicholson, The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, 178
  • Medinet Madi website:

Coordinates: 29°11′35″N 30°38′32″E / 29.1931°N 30.6421°E / 29.1931; 30.6421