Cave of Artemis, Beni Hasan Speos Artemidos
Some 1.25mi/2km south of the Beni Hasan necropolis is the rock temple of the cat headed goddess Pakhet, constructed during the joint reign of Queen Hatshepsut and King Tuthmosis III (18th Dynasty), known to the Greeks as the Speos Artemidos ("Cave of Artemis") and to the Arabs as Istabl-Antar ("Antar's Stable"), after an ancient hero. The names and representations of Hatshepsut were erased by Tuthmosis, and Sethos I (19th Dynasty) later replaced them by his own.
The Temple consists of a vestibule and an inner chamber connected with it by a short corridor. Above the entrance is a long inscription glorifying the reign of Hatshepsut and inveighing against the misdeeds of the Hyksos. The vestibule originally had eight pillars, of which three remain, bearing on their sides the names of Tuthmosis III and Sethos I; the fronts were to be decorated with sistra, but these were left unfinished. On the rear wall, to the left of the door, is Sethos I between Amun-Re (enthroned) and the cat headed Pakhet, with Thoth addressing the nine great gods of Karnak and the gods of Upper and Lower Egypt. To the right of the door are three reliefs: Sethos sacrificing to Pakhet, Sethos receiving from Pakhet the hieroglyphs for "life", hanging from two scepters, and Sethos being blessed by Thoth. In the corridor, on the left, is a long inscription in the name of Sethos I and a representation of the King; on the right, the King presenting a baboon to Pakhet. In the rear wall of the inner chamber is a niche for the goddess's statue.
From the landing place the road to the temple begins by running upstream, and then strikes off to the right towards the desert on an embankment running through fields. In the vicinity is the Cats' Cemetery in which the cats sacred to Pakhet, protective goddess of this region, were buried. Continuing southeast, we come to a dry desert valley, from the mouth of which a cemetery of the 22nd-25th Dynasties extends towards the plain. In the valley itself are many ancient quarries. On the right hand (south) side of the ravine, some 660yd/600m from its mouth, stands the rock temple.
Cave of Alexander II
To the west (right) of the Speos Artemidos is another cave, on the outside of which, at the entrance, are the names of Alexander II, son of Alexander the Great and Roxana; below are six small scenes depicting the King in the presence of various gods. The interior, which was supported by pillars, was never completed and is now in a state of ruin. Near by are several rock tombs of the New Kingdom (rectangular chambers with deep shafts).
Some 1mi/1.6km east of Speos Artemidos, at the end of the wall (north side), is a cult niche dedicated to Pakhet, also dating from the reign of Hatshepsut, with rich relief and painted decoration.