Monday, September 2, 2013

The Village of Dendera

The Village of Dendera

The village of Dendera is located 60km north of Luxor on the west bank of the Nile , opposite the city of Qena province , where the Nile Valley road branches off the Red Sea city of Hurghada . Its ancient name was Iunet and was known in antiquity as Tentyris . The temple of Hathor is largely a Ptolemaic structure , but the site extends over several periods of dynastic early through Christian .The temple of Hathor
Oriented Nile Temple of Hathor follows the fairly typical in terms of other temples of the Greco- Roman era. It is among the largest and best preserved of the remaining temples because of its construction delay even if there are texts that refer to the holy places prior to the site of the Old Empire. It is dedicated to the goddess Hathor and mythology about her husband Horus of Edfu. The current building of the temple was started before the reign of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II whose name is in the crypts , pursued by the Ptolemaic kings and was completed in Roman times .

The temple of Hathor at Dendera

The main temple has an imposing facade built as a low screen wall divided by six massive columns Hathor head and a large curved cornice with a winged sun disk at the entrance. This leads directly into the hypostyle hall containing a forest of 18 columns Hathor similar to the facade. The ceiling of the first pillared hall is of particular interest , divided into seven bands well preserved astronomical figures featuring the goddess Nut, vultures and winged sun disk and Roman zodiac signs . The walls are decorated with scenes of Roman emperors as pharaohs involving Hathor.

hypostyle ceiling
The rear wall of the first hypostyle was the original facade of the temple and a door leads to a small known as the " hall of appearances" where the statue of the goddess first appear on his annual trip pillared temple . Six columns support the roof Hathor small admitting light through square openings . The walls here are scenes of the king involved in ritual ceremonies of the foundation, where the cartridges are empty because of the uncertain time period . On each side of this room are three rooms which were the places where the chapels connected with the daily rituals and also on each side , there is access to the stairs leading to the roof .Beyond the second hypostyle is a "hall of offerings" where the daily rituals were performed by priests and priestesses of Hathor. Opposite this room is the "Hall of ennead " or " living cycle of the gods" where the statues of deities were associated assembled holidays. A sanctuary of central boat once contained the shrine where the cult statue Hathor was housed. either side of the door, the king is shown offering a copper mirror , one of the sacred symbols of Hathor, the goddess .

The temple of Hathor
Passage around the sanctuary contains 11 chapels dedicated to various deities and religious symbols. The most important of them is the room directly behind the sanctuary took place a shrine with images and symbols of Hathor. High up in the wall of this room is a niche containing a relief of Hathor and this is a sanctuary of the " ear " on the outside of the temple, where prayers to the goddess was offered.Under the floors of the rooms of worship, there were 14 crypts that stores the treasures of the temple. 11 of them were decorated and painted and it is assumed that some of the most secret rites of the goddess have been associated with these small rooms. The purpose of the largest recorded in the crypts was a cult icon of the ba of Hathor who was taken in the sanctuary of the temple roof at the festival each year. One of the crypts is currently available and it is worth seeing and in quiet time visitors may be allowed to go inside. Beware of bats , though!

The Pure Place
To the right of the sanctuary is a small open courtyard where sacrifices were made ​​during the celebration of the new year. A flight of steps at the end of the courtyard leads to a condition known as " clean place " which has a beautiful ceiling depicting a huge figure of the sky goddess Nut , showing the cycle of birth of the sun whose rays are kiosk shines on Hathor.The western staircase up to the roof in the company of a procession of priests carrying standards and symbols of the goddess, and also illustrates various aspects of the festival of the new year. Note that the priests who ride on the right and down on the left of the staircase that wraps around to cover rooms at different levels. The staircase is dark, lit only by small openings in walls and at the top is a result of known Osiris suite ' rooms . In the interior of the two chambers Isis and Nephthys are shown mourning the death of Osiris, who is on his funeral beir waiting to be resurrected by magical rituals. Again, Isis is magically imbued with the seed of her son Horus as the myth unfolds. Astronomical figures can be seen on the ceiling.A corresponding result on the eastern coast of the roof represents the lunar festival Khoiakh in which a " Osiris bed ' was filled with soil and seeds of grain in an important fertility rite . The walls of the first showroom scenes burial goods of Osiris, including his canopic jars and nut ceiling are again shown with other astronomical figures . On the other half of the ceiling is a plaster copy of the famous Zodiac of Dendera ", the original is in the Louvre in Paris . The inner hall depicts scenes from the myth of Osiris, similar to the western suite, as well as reliefs of cosmic importance . These two bedroom suites are dedicated to the death and resurrection myth of Osiris , which reflect the mysteries of the divine birth of own son of Hathor, Ihy .

Chapel of the disk
In the southwest corner of the roof is a gazebo or chapel with 12 columns Hathor - head known as the " Chapel of the disc. Here, the statue of the goddess was revealed on New Year's morning to meet with the first rays of the sun, the solar disk .The festive procession had left the roof of the east staircase leads down to the lower floor, with his priests descending file .The City TempleA huge wall of mud bricks survives to encircle the temple complex with lots of debris from many years of excavation and clearance scattered around. Originally a stone wall surrounding the temple on three sides with an entrance through a gateway built by Domitian, the rest forming the entrance to the modern temple. If you look inside the lintel of the door a rare sculpture of a beetle can be seen on the underside.On the right, two birthing . The Roman mamissi was built by Augustus with reliefs later by Trajan and Hadrian. The bas-reliefs on the exterior walls are superbly preserved, and portray the divine birth and childhood of the child Horus, celebrated rites legitimize the divine descent of the king. The god Bes , protector of women during childbirth is depicted on the columns of a colonnade. The grotesque appearance of the dwarf god was thought to ward off evil spirits at the time of birth.

Roman Mammisi
A previous mamissi south was built by Nectanebo I and celebrated the birth of the young god Ihy , the son of Hathor and Horus of Edfu. The walls of the wide hall represent the Ptolemaic kings offering to Hathor. A scene on the north wall shows the creator god Khnum shaping the child Hekat the goddess of childbirth seen in the image of a frog.Between the two houses of birth are the remains of a Coptic basilica dating from the 5th century AD . This is currently being excavated with a lot of restoration work.

Beside the ruined church are the remains of a mud brick sanatorium , thought to be the only extant . There were benches along the sides, where the patients sat waiting for cures affected by the priests. An inscription on a statue base found here suggests that water was poured over magical texts on the statues, causing it to become holy and to cure all kinds of diseases and illnesses . Basins used to collect holy water can still be seen at the west end .A rectangular sacred lake in the southwest corner of the temple . It is now empty apart from large trees that grow inside its walls. A flight of steps lead to a terrace on each corner and one flight hidden in the walls would have access to water when it was at a lower level. Beside the lake is a well with steps cut into the rock leading to access to water for daily use in the temple.

sacred lake
Behind the temple of Hathor is a Iseum a small temple dedicated to the goddess Isis from the time of the Roman emperor Augustus. It contains a sanctuary and two side rooms and the rear wall of a niche that once contained a statue of Osiris and a figure in high relief of the god Bes . The walls of the small temple depict scenes of Hathor suckling the child Horus , with representations of Hathor as a cow- goddess of the east and west walls .Finally, the outer rear wall of Hathor temple is noted . Reliefs represent royal figures of Cleopatra with her son Caesarion , who was his co-regent before Roman times . A huge false door at the back of the sanctuary central Hathor inside the temple was placed for pilgrims to submit prayers to the goddess , and you can see how it became worn countless hands rubbing stone . Up on the wall is a scene depicting the festival of " Raising the Sky ' . Water jets lion head that drained water from the roof of the temple can be seen around the tops of the exterior walls.

Hathor and Bes
Back to the front of the temple there are many interesting pieces or blocks and the architecture of the temple buildings , including several heads beautiful Hathor 's and a nice relief for small Bes God instead so important in the complex.nearby monumentsThe site of the Temple of Dendera has a long history and there are many remains of ancient tombs in the United scattered in the desert behind the walls of mud bricks .A temple dating from King Mentuhotep Nebhepetre the Eleventh Dynasty , who had the west side of the temple , was removed from the Cairo Museum .How to get thereA few years ago Dendera Temple was closed to visitors, a cafeteria and a souvenir shop almost abandoned. It is now once again a thriving tourist attraction that is often incorporated into the itinerary of a cruise on the Nile. Alternatively, it can be reached by taxi or bus tour of Luxor. Tickets cost 35 EGP grid .

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