Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Sunday, November 22: After our amazing balloon ride over the monuments of the west bank, we drove north to Dendera. Dendera was a very important site throughout Egyptian history, but the majority of what still stands at Dendera dates to the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods. The temple complex is surrounded by a large enclosure wall inside of which is a series of buildings: 2 birth houses (mammisi), temple of Isis, sacred lake, and the remains of a Coptic church. Particularly special is the survival of the roof of the temple, supported by Hathor-headed columns in the outer hypostyle hall. The famous "zodiac" ceiling from one of the Osiris chapels now resides in the Louvre, but a copy rests in its place. At the back of the temple, a large relief shows an offering scene of Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XV Caesarean. In addition, the face of Hathor which once decorated the rear of her sanctuary has been carved away by pilgrims who collected the sacred stone dust.

Roman Mammisi

Ihy, the sistrum player

Isis Temple

Isis Temple, Ceiling

Rear of the Temple Sanctuary

Face of Hathor on the Rear of the Sanctuary

Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XV Caesarean

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