Town on the west bank of the Nile, roughly 60 kilometers south of Luxor. It was inhabited as early as the Prehistoric period, as evidenced by the finds of tools and objects related to hunting. The most important building in Esna, although it is partly covered by the modern houses, is a temple from the Graeco-Roman Period (construction began under Ptolemy VI and was completed by Claudius). It is built on top of an earlier temple that must have existed from at least the time of Tuthmosis III. The temple is dedicated to the creator god, here in the dual form of the god Khnum and the goddess Neith; the creator was regarded as the father and mother of everything, and some texts therefore turn the two gods into one androgynous god.