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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

1 - Introduction

Summary

The city of Hibis, located at the junction of the caravan roads passing through the northern part of the oasis, is often depicted as the capital city of the Great Oasis. In fact, little is known about the administrative organization of the district, and especially about the history of Hibis. Because areas now under cultivation have not been excavated, the chronology and the topography of the city, apart from the temple, are far from certain: Was there even a city before and independent of the temple? When did it become the capital city of the Great Oasis and what was the status of the oasis of Kharga within the Great Oasis ? The formation of the city of Hibis is studied in relation to the growing importance of the northern part of Kharga Oasis, from the Middle Kingdom onwards, and through the lens of the shifting relationships with the central powers and the political and religious institutions in the Nile Valley. The role played by other oasis metropoleis such as Mothis and Trimithis during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods is also questioned in order to provide a better understanding of the overall administrative structure of the Great Oasis.