In ancient times this was the capital of the Illrd nome or province of Upper Egypt. It was called « Latopolis» by the Greeks because of the worship of a sacred fish, Lato, which was the object of a special cult and of which numerous mummified examples have been found.
The present village only contains a temple dedicated to the god Khnum which is a Ptolemaic restoration of a pre-existing XVIIIth dynasty temple. The hypostyle hall, which is 33 metres by 18 and contains twenty four columns 13.5 metres high, is more or less intact. The capitals of the columns are the most interesting feature thanks to the various sculpted floral motifs.