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Alternative namePer-Wadjet
Tell El Fara'in
Location Kafr El Sheikh, Egypt
Region Lower Egypt
Coordinates 31°11′47″N30°44′41″E / 31.19639°N 30.74472°E / 31.19639; 30.74472 Coordinates: 31°11′47″N30°44′41″E / 31.19639°N 30.74472°E / 31.19639; 30.74472
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins

Buto (Greek : Βουτώ, Arabic : بوتو, Butu), [1] Butus (Greek : Βοῦτος, Boutos), [2] or Butosus, now Tell El Fara'in ("Hill of the Pharaohs"), near the villages of Ibtu (or Abtu) and Kom Butu and the city of Desouk (Arabic : دسوق), [3] are names later given to an ancient city located 95 km east of Alexandria in the Nile Delta of Egypt. What in Classical times the Greeks called, Buto, stood about midway between the Taly (Bolbitine) and Thermuthiac (Sebennytic) branches of the Nile, a few kilometers north of the east-west Butic River and on the southern shore of the Butic Lake (Greek : Βουτικὴ λίμνη, Boutikē limnē). [4]

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Desouk Place in Kafr El Sheikh, Egypt

Desouk is a city in northern Egypt. Located 80 km east of Alexandria, in the Kafr El Sheikh Governorate and had a population of 137,660 inhabitants as of 2011. It is bordered to the west by the Beheira Governorate.

Alexandria Metropolis in Egypt

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.


Originally, Buto was two cities, Pe and Dep, [5] which merged into one city that the Ancient Egyptians named, Per-Wadjet . [6] The goddess Wadjet, often represented as a cobra, was the patron deity of Lower Egypt. Her oracle was located in her renowned temple that was nearby. An annual festival was held there that celebrated Wadjet. The area also contained sanctuaries of Horus, Bastet, and much later, it became associated with Isis.

Pr is the hieroglyph for 'house', the floor-plan of a walled building with an open doorway.

Wadjet lion-headed Egyptian goddess, symbolizing the potentially destructive power of the sun, angry avatar of the gentle Bastet

Wadjet, known to the Greek world as Uto or Buto among other names including Wedjat, Uadjet, and Udjo, was originally the ancient local goddess of the city of Dep. It became part of the city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet "House of Wadjet" and the Greeks called Buto, which was an important site in prehistoric Egypt and the cultural developments of the Paleolithic.

Cobra index of animals with the same common name

Cobra is the common name of various elapid snakes, most of which belonging to the genus Naja.

This delta region was an important site during prehistoric Egypt that includes the cultural developments of ten thousand years, from the Paleolithic to 3100 BC. Archaeological evidence shows that Upper Egyptian culture replaced this Buto culture at the delta when Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt were unified, and the replacement is considered important evidence for the unification of the two portions of Ancient Egypt into one entity. At that time the patron deity of Lower Egypt, Wadjet, who was represented as a cobra, was joined in a unified pantheon of deities by the patron deity of Upper Egypt, Nekhbet, who was represented as a white vulture. Each being such an important deity that they never were merged, as were so many deities with similar roles or natures from religious practices of the two regions, when they unified into one culture. Together the two goddesses became known as the Two Ladies ,[4] who remained the patrons of unified Egypt throughout the remainder of its ancient history. The image of Nekhbet joined Wadjet on the Uraeus that would encircle the crown of the kings who ruled Ancient Egypt thereafter.

Prehistoric Egypt period of earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt

The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes also possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC and ends in the Naqada III period c. 3000 BC.

Paleolithic Hominin events for the last 10 million years

The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic, also called the Old Stone Age, is a period in human prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone tools that covers c. 99% of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene c. 11,650 cal BP.

Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. Today, it contains two major channels that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

During foreign occupation under the Ptolemaic Kingdom, a dynasty that ruled from 305 to 30 BC, the Greeks coined the toponym, Buto, for the city. It served as the capital, or according to Herodian, merely the principal village of the Nile Delta. Herodotus (l. c.) styled it the Chemmite nome, Ptolemy knew it as the Phthenothite nome (Φθενότης, iv. 5. § 48), and Pliny the Elder as Ptenetha. [7]

Ptolemaic Kingdom Hellenistic kingdom in ancient Egypt from 305 to 30 BC

The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom based in ancient Egypt. It was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty, which started with Ptolemy I Soter's accession after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and which ended with the death of Cleopatra and the Roman conquest in 30 BC.

Ptolemy 2nd-century Greco-Egyptian writer and astronomer

Claudius Ptolemy was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer and astrologer. He lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, under the rule of the Roman Empire, had a Latin name, which several historians have taken to imply he was also a Roman citizen, cited Greek philosophers, and used Babylonian observations and Babylonian lunar theory. The 14th-century astronomer Theodore Meliteniotes gave his birthplace as the prominent Greek city Ptolemais Hermiou in the Thebaid. This attestation is quite late, however, and there is no other evidence to confirm or contradict it. He died in Alexandria around AD 168.

A nome was a territorial division in ancient Egypt.

Greek historians recorded that Buto was celebrated for its monolithite temple and the oracle of the goddess Wadjet (Buto), [8] [9] whom the Greeks identified with Leto or Latona, and that a yearly feast was held there in honour of the goddess. They noted that at Buto there also was a sanctuary of Horus (associated by the ancient Greeks with Apollo) and a sanctuary of Bastet (associated by them with Artemis). [10]

Ancient Egyptian deities gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian deities are the gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding these gods formed the core of ancient Egyptian religion, which emerged sometime in prehistory. Deities represented natural forces and phenomena, and the Egyptians supported and appeased them through offerings and rituals so that these forces would continue to function according to maat, or divine order. After the founding of the Egyptian state around 3100 BC, the authority to perform these tasks was controlled by the pharaoh, who claimed to be the gods' representative and managed the temples where the rituals were carried out.

Leto Greek mythological figure and mother of Apollo and Artemis

In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria.

Horus Egyptian war deity

Horus or Her, Heru, Hor in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities who served many functions, most notably god of kingship and the sky. He was worshipped from at least the late prehistoric Egypt until the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Roman Egypt. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists. These various forms may possibly be different manifestations of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner falcon or peregrine falcon, or as a man with a falcon head.

In the Graeco-Roman period, Plutarch reports that Isis had entrusted the baby Horus to Leto to raise at Buto while she searched for the body of her murdered husband Osiris. [11] According to these same late sources, the shrew (sometimes associated with Horus) was worshiped at Buto as well. [12]

Plutarch Ancient Greek historian and philosopher

Plutarch, later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers.

Osiris God of the afterlife in Egyptian mythology

Osiris is the god of fertility, alcohol, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned deity with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive atef crown, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. He was one of the first to be associated with the mummy wrap. When his brother, Set, cut him up into pieces after killing him, Isis, his wife, found all the pieces and wrapped his body up. Osiris was at times considered the eldest son of the god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, meaning "Foremost of the Westerners", a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. As ruler of the dead, Osiris was also sometimes called "king of the living" as he is the first god-king of Earth in ancient Egypt, therefore considered the blessed dead "the living ones". Through syncretism with Iah, he is also the god of the Moon.

Shrew Family of mammals

The shrew is a small mole-like mammal classified in the order Eulipotyphla. True shrews are not to be confused with treeshrews, otter shrews, elephant shrews, or the West Indies shrews, which belong to different families or orders.

Excavations were undertaken at Buto by the Egypt Exploration Society from 1964-1969, under the direction of Veronica Seton-Williams [13] and then Dorothy Charlesworth. [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

In Egyptian history, the Upper and Lower Egypt period was the final stage of prehistoric Egypt and directly preceded the nation's unification. The conception of Egypt as the Two Lands was an example of the dualism in ancient Egyptian culture and appeared frequently in texts and imagery, including in the titles of Egyptian pharaohs.

Zagazig Place in Sharqia, Egypt

Zagazig is a city in Lower Egypt. Situated in the eastern part of the Nile delta, it is the capital of the governorate of Sharqia.

Sekhmet Egyptian deity

In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet, also spelled Sakhmet, Sekhet, or Sakhet, among other spellings, is a warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath formed the desert. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. Upon death, Sekhmet continued to protect them, bearing them to the afterlife.

Bastet Egyptian deity

Bastet or Bast was a goddess of ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped as early as the Second Dynasty. Her name also is rendered as B'sst, Baast, Ubaste, and Baset. In ancient Greek religion, she was known as Ailuros.

Nekhbet Egyptian deity

Nekhbet was an early predynastic local goddess in Egyptian mythology, who was the patron of the city of Nekheb. Ultimately, she became the patron of Upper Egypt and one of the two patron deities for all of Ancient Egypt when it was unified.

Mendes Place in Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt

Mendes, the Greek name of the Ancient Egyptian city of Djedet, also known in Ancient Egypt as Per-Banebdjedet and Anpet, is known today as Tell El-Ruba.

Bubastis Archaeological site in Egypt

Bubastis, also known in Arabic as Tell-Basta or in Egyptian as Per-Bast, was an Ancient Egyptian city. Bubastis is often identified with the biblical Pi-Beseth. It was the capital of its own nome, located along the River Nile in the Delta region of Lower Egypt, and notable as a center of worship for the feline goddess Bastet, and therefore the principal depository in Egypt of mummies of cats.

Index of Egyptian mythology articles Wikimedia list article

This is an index of Egyptian mythology articles.

Uraeus stylized, upright form of an Egyptian cobra used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity and divine authority in Ancient Egypt

The Uraeus is the stylized, upright form of an Egyptian cobra, used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity and divine authority in ancient Egypt.

In Egyptian mythology, Pakhet, Egyptian Pḫ.t, meaning she who scratches is a lioness goddess of war.

Iusaaset or Iusaas is a primordial goddess in Ancient Egyptian religion. In Egyptian texts, she is described as "the grandmother of all of the deities". This allusion is without any reference to a grandfather, so there might have been a very early, but now lost, myth with parthenogenesis as the means of the birth of the deities from the region where her cult arose near the delta of the Nile. There are many alternative spellings of her name, including Iusaaset, Iusaas, Juesaes, Ausaas, and Jusas, as well as in Greek Saosis.

Pschent Ancient Egyptian crown

The pschent was the double crown worn by rulers in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians generally referred to it as sekhemty(sḫm.ty), the Two Powerful Ones. It combined the White Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt and the Red Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt.

The royal titulary or royal protocol is the standard naming convention taken by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It symbolises worldly power and holy might and also acts as a sort of mission statement for the reign of a monarch.

Two Ladies

In Ancient Egyptian texts, the "Two Ladies" was a religious euphemism for the goddesses Wadjet and Nekhbet, two deities who were patrons of the Ancient Egyptians and worshiped by all after the unification of its two parts, Lower Egypt, and Upper Egypt. When the two parts of Egypt were joined together, there was no merger of these deities as often occurred with similar deities from various regions and cities. Both goddesses were retained because of the importance of their roles and they became known as the Two Ladies, who were the protectors of unified Egypt.

Khaset (nome)

Khaset was one of 42 nomes in Ancient Egypt.

Tell Nebesha Archaeological site in Egypt

Tell Nebesha or Nebesheh is an archaeological site in Egypt, and the location of the ancient city of Imet. It is found around 10km south of Tanis in the Eastern Nile Delta. This was the ancient capital of the 19th Nome of Lower Egypt. By the Assyrian period, it was succeeded by Tanis.

The Diocese of Buto is a former Christian diocese and titular see of both the Roman Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Churches, with see in the Ancient City of Buto in the Nile Delta of Egypt.


  1. Steph. B.
  2. Herod. ii. 59, 63, 155.
  3. Wilkinson, R. H. The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson 2000, p. 104.
  4. Strabo xvii. p. 802. John A. Wilson, Buto and Hierakonpolis in the Geography of Egypt, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct., 1955), pp. 209-236, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1955).)
  5. Strabo, XVII., i., 18
  6. Webpage for Buto Archived 2011-02-15 at the Wayback Machine , modern Tell El Fara'in at the website of the DAI.
  7. v. 9. s. 11
  8. Herod. ii. 155
  9. Aelian. V. Hist. ii. 41
  10. Champollion, l'Egypte, vol. ii. p. 227.
  11. Plut. Is. et Osir. 18, 38.
  12. Herod. ii. 67.
  13. Seton-Williams, M.V. (1988). The Road to El-Aguzein.
  14. "1969 Tell el-Fara'in | Artefacts of Excavation". egyptartefacts.griffith.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-21.