The Temple of Sais, located in ancient Egypt, is a testament to millennia-old traditions. From 3000 to 525 BCE, this sanctuary wasn’t merely a spiritual hub; it also served as a pivotal centre for learning and possibly medicine. Dive into its rich legacy and unearth the stories it holds.

Visualize in a 16:9 aspect ratio, the majestic Temple of Sais, a jewel of ancient Egyptian architecture. The temple stands as a testament to the worship of the goddess Neith, with its soaring limestone columns carved with intricate hieroglyphs that narrate tales of the deity's power and wisdom. The entrance is flanked by two colossal statues of Neith, each holding the symbol of life, the Ankh. The sunlight filters through the papyrus-shaped columns, casting dappled patterns on the polished stone floor. The walls, adorned with vibrant frescoes, depict scenes of pharaohs making offerings to the goddess and priests performing sacred rituals. Nearby, a serene sacred lake reflects the azure sky, with lotus flowers blossoming on its surface. Pilgrims and devotees can be seen approaching the temple, bringing offerings and seeking the goddess's blessings. Capture the grandeur and spiritual aura of this ancient sanctuary. Highlight the artistry of the carvings and the vividness of the frescoes, portraying the deep reverence the ancient Egyptians held for their deities and the architectural wonders they built in their honor. --ar 16:9 --v 5.1 --q 2

Several thousand years ago, nestled in the Western Nile Delta on what was the Canopic branch of the Nile, lay the enigmatic city of Sa, known in Greek as “Sais” (presently within the Gharbiyah governorate). Today, remnants of this ancient city can be found in a village named Sa-el-Hagar. Its name, translating to “Sa of the Stone” in Arabic, hints at a once grand city adorned with majestic stone edifices.

As the dawn of the Pharaonic era approached around 3000 BC, Sais became the spiritual heartland for the worship of the war goddess and creator, Neith. Distinctively, Neith, the patron deity of Sais, wasn’t just a guardian of its people but also a harmonizing force between humans and deities. What’s intriguing is her status as a female creation deity, an uncommon occurrence in Egypt. Symbolizing her prominence in Lower Egypt, she is often illustrated donning the Deshret red crown with the emblematic cobra of Wadjet. From 1000 BC onward, her temple in Sais became a sought-after pilgrimage site.

Visualize in a 16:9 aspect ratio, the divine and powerful figure of the ancient Egyptian goddess, Neith. She emerges as a fusion of strength and grace, embodying both warlike fierceness and maternal protectiveness. Dressed in a red linen dress, her crown is distinguished by the shield and crossed arrows symbol, emblematic of her warrior aspect.

Her ebony eyes are both serene and piercing, gazing intently forward. Feathers of a majestic falcon form a collar around her neck, and she holds a long staff intertwined with a papyrus reed, signifying her dual nature as both a warrior and a weaver. Behind her, a tapestry woven with intricate designs tells the story of creation and her role in it.

The backdrop showcases a twilight sky over the Nile, with stars beginning to shimmer and the silhouette of pyramids and palm trees at a distance. 

Emphasize Neith's aura of mystique and power in your artwork, accentuating the minute details of her regalia, the fine embroidery of her attire, and the solemnity of her expression. Let the ambiance capture the reverence ancient Egyptians felt towards this multifaceted deity. --ar 16:9 --v 5.1 --q 2

Several centuries onward, between 664 and 525 BC, Sais emerged as a prominent Pharaonic capital and a pivotal hub for the regal ceremonies of the 26th Dynasty. Roughly 150 years after this era, the Greek chronicler, Herodotus, painted a vivid picture of Sais: a majestic city dotted with magnificent temples, towering statues, and resplendent royal burial sites. He detailed the Sacred Lake of Sais, central to various rites, its waters deemed sacred for purification in the city’s temple. Notably, Herodotus narrated his experience of the Luminous Lamps Festival on this lake, where lamps – saucers filled with salt and oil with a floating wick – gleamed throughout the night. This ceremony, held on the 13th day of summer’s third month, was a tribute to goddess Neith.

Renowned Greek thinkers, such as Plato, Aristotle, and Diodorus Siculus, drew parallels between Neith and the Greek goddess Athena, hinting at a possible ancient connection to Athens. Diodorus even proposed that Athena might have founded Sais before the cataclysmic deluge that allegedly engulfed Athens and Atlantis. As per his account, while Greek cities perished, Egyptian ones like Sais remained untouched.

Visualize in a 16:9 aspect ratio, an evocative portrait of Pesehet, the renowned female physician from the ancient Temple of Sais. The backdrop is a muted tapestry of hieroglyphs, detailing medical treatments and prayers, subtly hinting at her profound knowledge and contributions.

Pesehet stands in regal poise, her penetrating eyes revealing a depth of wisdom and compassion. Adorned in traditional Egyptian attire, her white linen dress symbolizes purity, while a turquoise pendant bearing the Eye of Horus rests against her collarbone, emphasizing her sacred role as a healer. Her ebony hair, intricately braided, cascades down her shoulders, and she holds a papyrus scroll in one hand, signifying her scholarly pursuits.

The play of light focuses on her face, illuminating the delicate features and bringing out the determination and grace she embodies. Shadows dance around her, emphasizing the mystery and allure of ancient Egypt.

In your artwork, capture the essence of Pesehet, blending her strength, intellect, and nurturing spirit. Pay special attention to the textures of her attire and the gleam in her eyes, reflecting her legacy as one of the pioneering female figures in ancient medicine. --ar 16:9 --v 5.1 --q 2

Sais boasts a legacy of a medical academy tethered to its temple, distinguished for its numerous female attendees and educators, especially in gynaecology and obstetrics. A significant figure linked to this academy is Pesehet. Predated only by Merit-Ptah (circa 2700 BC), she stands as one of history’s earliest known female physicians. Records highlight Pesehet as the mentor to midwives and her title, “Lady Overseer of Female Physicians,” underlines her stature and leadership. Another of her titles, “King’s Associate,” implies she might have been a royal physician. Pesehet’s contributions weren’t just in practising medicine but in shaping it and influencing her society. Considering archaeological findings, it’s evident that Pesehet holds the distinction of being possibly the first woman with a notable professional stature in ancient civilisation.

In the renowned dialogues of Plato, namely “Timaeus” and “Critias”, where he delves into the intricacies of the cosmos and humanity, it’s said that during Solon’s visit to Sais in 590 BC, he was regaled with tales of the fabled Atlantis. This included its military altercations with Greece and Egypt, its downfall, and its eventual obliteration due to divine wrath.

Sais was home to numerous astute rulers. A notable mention is King Nekau, who governed for a decade and a half during the 26th Dynasty. Under his reign, an expedition set sail that remarkably circled Africa. Furthermore, he set the foundations for a canal connecting the Nile to the Red Sea, which saw its completion under the aegis of the Achaemenid sovereign, Darius I.

Another influential figure from Sais was Psamtek (or Psammetichus III). He often found himself at odds with Persia. Soon after his ascent to the throne, the Persians, led by Cambyses, marched into Egypt around 525 BC. It’s documented that the onslaught saw many Egyptian edifices, including various temples in Sais, laid to waste.

Until the mid-1800s, traces of Sais’ glory persisted, with records mentioning a vast brick wall and a fortress. Regrettably, by the century’s close, much of its remnants were pilfered by treasure-seeking Europeans and local constructors, leaving scant vestiges of its grandeur.

Visualize in a 16:9 aspect ratio, the sprawling archaeological site of the ancient Temple of Sais. The scene unfolds under a golden sun, casting a soft glow over the remnants of the once-great temple. A complex network of half-buried foundations and toppled columns emerges from the sands, bearing testament to its past splendor.

The vast site is interspersed with archaeologists, carefully brushing away centuries of sand and documenting their findings. Their tents and tools lie scattered nearby, juxtaposing the modern pursuit of knowledge with the ancient remains. Hieroglyphs, still visible on some standing walls, hint at the temple's sacred purpose and stories waiting to be deciphered.

The distant horizon showcases the timeless beauty of the Egyptian landscape, with date palms swaying gently and the shimmering mirage of the Nile visible in the far distance.

In your artwork, capture the juxtaposition of the ancient and the present, the known and the mysterious. Emphasize the textures - from the grainy sands, the rough-hewn stone, to the delicate brush strokes of the archaeologists. Make the Temple of Sais come alive, a silent sentinel of history waiting to share its secrets. --ar 16:9 --v 5.1 --q 2

A 1993 archaeological dig brought to light Sais’ capital locale and an adjoining industrial sector. Discoveries included Greek trade amphorae, cups, and Syro-Palestinian wine vessels, indicating the city’s vibrant trade networks. Further excavations unveiled artefacts dating back to around 1100 BC, painting a picture of a prosperous agricultural community. Unearthed dwellings showcased ovens, storage spaces, greeting areas, and open squares. Evidence was also found of their reverence for a local serpent deity named Wadjet – interestingly, the same serpent represented on the Deshret crown donned by the goddess Neith.

It’s widely believed that the monarchs of Sais found their final resting place within the city, yet their burial sites remain elusive. Currently, the Egypt Exploration Society is championing a comprehensive examination and archaeological evaluation of the area. Although the site might seem sparse in terms of visible relics, the hints and traces present suggest a trove of hidden treasures and mysteries yearning to be unveiled in the historic royal grounds of Sais.


“The Story of Pesehet.” Think Africa. Accessed [22.10.23].

The Gods of the Egyptians: Vol 2″, E. A. Wallis Budge, p. 220-221, Dover ed 1969, org pub 1904, ISBN: 0-486-22056-7

Medicine in the Days of the Pharaohs, Bruno Halioua, Bernard Ziskin, M.B.DeBevoise. ISBN: 978-0674017023

Penelope Wilson, The Survey of Sais (Sa el-Hagar), 1997-2002 (Excavation Memoir 77, Egypt Exploration Society, London 2006). ISBN: 978-0856981753