Dramatically perched on the limestone rock of Aghurmi, the Temple of the Oracle looks over a carpet of palms that stretches to the mountains of Dakrur. Though battered by the elements and the carelessness of treasure seekers, it remains isolated in a location that has hardly changed since Alexander the Great braved a 300 km journey through the desert to visit the Oracle in 331 B.C.E. Moving through a unique blend of Pharaonic, Ptolemaic and Roman architecture, one finds the inner sanctum.
In this once holy chamber, the great military commander heard the words of Amon, words that propelled his campaign eastward as Egypt’s rightful ruler, the son of Amon, changing the course of history. While vandals have damaged the inner walls, one can still view depictions on the east wall of the inner sanctum of Ahmose II,the temple’s founder and 26th Dynasty pharaoh, presenting jars of wine in honor of the eight gods standing before him. On the west wall, the king Sutekhirdes, described as the “chief of the desert-dwellers,” also makes offerings to the gods. Some have interpreted his position, which seems equal to the pharaoh’s, as evidence of his kingdom’s autonomy.