In 1907, eleven necropolises ranging from the prehistoric era to modern times were excavated by George Reisner in the first cataract region. Among the most important of these was Cemetery 3 at el-Hesa, which was used as a burial ground for the priests who carried the statue of Isis from Philae to Biga to offer milk libations to Osiris. However, despite their importance, archaeological materials related to the fate of this priestly community have been insufficiently explored within the context of the history of Philae. Based on numismatic evidence found around the island, at el-Hesa and Shellal in particular, the present paper demonstrates the challenging context faced by the priests of Isis at Philae in the middle of the 4th century CE.
Shellal; el-Hesa; priests of Isis at Philae; last hieroglyphic inscription; Blemmyes
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