TemplesOn the trip we saw seven temple complexes. Most included several temples plus chapels.
The Temple of Hatshepsut on the west bank from Luxor.
Karnak Temples at Luxor.
The Temple of Horus at Edfu.
The Temples of Haoeris and Sobek at Kom Ombo.
Temple of Isis on Philae near Aswan.
The GreatTemple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor at Abu Simbel.
Temple of Hatshepsut
The Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Medina backs onto the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of Luxor (Thebes).
Queen Hatshepsut ruled from 1473-1458BCE. She was not popular and after her rule many of her temples and images were defaced. She claimed the right of rule not as the daughter of the pharaoh Tutmosis I - but rather as the son of god Ra.
|Temple of Hatshepsut.
Comprising three terraces. On the left is the Chapel of Hathor. On the right the chapel of Anubis.
To the far left (at ground level) is the ruins of the Temple of Mentuhotep
|Detail inside the Chapel of Hathor.||Detail inside the Chapel of Anubis. These colours are over 3400 years old.|
The Karnak Temples at Luxor are made up of three large enclosed areas -
the center one (which itself is over 27ha) contains the Amun enclosure,
the santuray of Montu is only 2.5ha and that of Mut is about 9.5ha. The photos only cover the
Amun Temple enclosure which itself is 1500m x 800m.
We entered through the avenue of sphinxes to the first pylon which is the newest part of the complex - built by Nectanebo I (378-311BCE). And is unfinished. Behind the pylon there is the remains of a mud-brick ramp used to work on the pylon which is still to be smoothed and decorated. Between the first and second pylons can be found colannades, the 15m high statue of Pinudjem, the slightly smaller statues of Ramses II, several shines, kiosks, chapels and a whole temple built by Ramses III.
|Avenue of the Ram headed sphinxes. This originally flanked a canal that lead to the Nile. The gods were taken by boat to the Luxor temple.||Osiride pillars within
the Temple of Ramses III
|Statues of Ramses II
in front of second pylon (to right).
Behind the second pylon is the Great Hypostyle Hall with its papyrus bud columns
like a forest. Behind the third pylon is the court of Amenophis II and the
obelisks of Thutmosis I. Then the fourth pylon and the obelisks of Hatshepsut.
Temples and more pylons (five and six continue back into the enclosure,
seven, eight and nine head south towards the sanctuary of Mut).
The sanctauries and temples behind the fifth and sixth pylons are much older and have a more human scale. Behind it all is The Great Festival Hall of Tuthmosis III which reverses the flow of time.
|Great Hypostyle Hall built by Seti I (1294-1279BCE)
The 134 pillars cover an area of 6000 square metres. Many bear the cartouche of Ramses II who had the cartouches of earlier pharaohs erased and his put in their place.
|The obelisk in the foreground is Thutmosis I's. That in the background his daughter Hatshepsut. The obelisk of Hatshepsut at 30m is the tallest found in Egypt. This one is in particualrly good condition because it was bricked in after Hatshepsut's death. This protected it from floods and sand storms.||The Great Festival Hall
of Tuthmosis III (1479-1425BCE)
Built by Amenhotep III (1390-1352BCE) on the site of Hatshepsut's sanctuary and later added to by Ramses II. This temple was connected to the Karnak site by an avenue of sphinxes.
1: This entrance was an addition by Ramses II (who the group
thought of as history's first tagger). The statues are of Ramses II. The angle
of the pylons is such that the "ordinary people" would never see Amenhotep's
part of the temple.
2: Idealised head of Ramses II. (His mummy suggests this is not a good likeness. He was neither good looking nor tall. Perhaps this explained his mania for being every where).
3: The court of Amenhotep III. These pillars were better quality stone
than those used by Ramses II.
4: Additions by Ramses II
The Temple of Horus was started by Ptolemy III in 237BCE on the site of an older temple that itself was built on the site of a still older temple. The Holy of Holies from the middle temple was used in the 237 temple. The temple was completed by Ptolomy XII in 57BCE.
|Temple of Horus.
The carvings on the pylon are of Ptolemy as pharaoh destroying his enemies
(cf Ramses II at Abu Simbel)
|Horus the falcon headed god.||Detail inside the temple. This damage may have been caused by the temple being used as a stable for many years.|
|Within the Temple of Horus||Mammisi outside the temple proper. This was dedicated to Horus as the child of Hathor.||Returning to the Carnival by taxi.|
The Kom Ombo Temple is a dual temple dedicated to Haroeris (an aspect of
Horus) and Sobek the crocodile god. Although what remains was built by the Ptolemies
it is on the site of a temple founded by Amenophis I a thousand years earlier.
The two halves of the temple were quite independent and even had its own separate priesthood. The only thing that was shared was the speaking tube which amplified the voices of the priests. This could be accessed from both sides.
|Kom Ombo Temple entrance. Note, Greek styled capitals.||Kom Ombo Temple||To the left is a woman on a birthing chair. To the right a collection of surgical instruments.|
|Haroeris and Sobek. Both the falcon headed god and the crocodile headed god were fighters of evil. Further, the floods would follow the appearance of the crocodiles so it was logical that the crocodile brought the life giving floods.||Crocodile Sarcophagi.
Deciding not to leave things to chance, crocodiles were kept in the temple, honoured, and hopefully brought the inundation. When they died they were mumified and buried.
Philae Island had a number of recent temples (such as the
The Temple of Isis built 380BCE-305CE). With the building of the dam
at Aswan the island became partly submerged. Temple tours were by row boat.
With the High Dam it would be completely under water. So they rebuilt it. It took eight years from 1972-1980. The nearby island of Agilkia was reshaped and a temporary dam built around Philae. 20 kT of rock was cut up, moved, and reassembled.
|Pylon of the Temple of Isis.
Although built by Greeks they took on the local customs. The pylon shows Ptolemy XII as a pharaoh.
|Temple of Isis - Hypostyle hall
In the Greek style each column is a different fantastic combination of plants.
|Gate showing winged sun disk - symbol of Horus|
|God Bes spotted in the Temple of Hathor||View from "Philae" Island.||Kiosk of Trajan|
Return to www.raqs.co.nz