Dating back to the 4th century BC, Athribis was founded relatively late in comparison to many other ancient Egyptian sites. Its temple is located to the west of the settlement with mud brick houses, which has yet to be excavated.
The Ptolemaic and Roman Period tombs of the city’s residents, dating up to the 4th century AD, are located in the hill nearby. Above the tombs are the limestone quarries from which the temple’s stone blocks were sourced.
Major excavations of the archeological site of Athribis were undertaken by William Flinders Petrie in 1906–1907, by the Egyptian Antiquities Authority in 1981–1997, and by the Egyptian-German mission in 2003–2012.
The temple of Ptolemy XII is one of the most important temples in the site. Completed by the Roman emperors Tiberius until Hadrian, the temple suffered from an earthquake that caused its demolition.
The inner walls of the temple are surrounded by the 26 columns;it is a unique design in Egyptian architecture. The walls of the Holy of holies, the sanctuary, are depicted with distinct scenes of procession of daily gods, representing a day of the Egyptian calendar. Each god carries a vase in the form of a hawk's head topped by a sun disk.
The Temple of Ptolemy IX is located to the west of the Temple of Ptolemy XII. The first temple was dedicated to the worship of the Min-Ra. and the temple is still buried under the sand and its gate found in 1983, linking the two temples to a floor of stone tiles.
The archaeological site includes the rock temple of Ascalpius, which consists of a court, a stone façade, and two halls carved into the rock, the temple dated the end of the Ptolemaic period based on its decoration.
The excavations of the temple also revealed the remains of a Coptic Basilica Church in the south side, three longitudinal corridors divided by two rows of columns that could be dated by breaking the pottery found to the 5th and 6th centuries AD.
Finally, there is an open museum that can be visited: it includes some stone blocks of the temple's facade, the remains of the entrance, the corniche and the doorsteps held on the columns of crowns in the Hathor goddess form.