Tuesday Photo Challenge: Message

Myth and Message

Hieroglyphics, Temple of Edfu, Egypt

The Temple of Edfu, on the west bank of the Nile, is dedicated to the falcon god Horus. It is one of the best preserved ancient Egyptian temples and the 2nd largest after the Temple of Karnak in Luxor. It was constructed in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BC.  Intricate inscriptions on the walls include information on many aspects of  culture, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt.

An ongoing Edfu project to publish and translate the texts of Edfu is currently (since 2002) run by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Göttingen, Germany.  Their Edfu Project website describes the temple and discusses the importance of the Edfu texts.

“Regarding amount and content, the inscriptions that cover the walls of the Temple of Edfu are among the most important sources on Ptolemaic Egypt. They offer a wealth of information, mainly about religion, but also about political history, administration and other topics. Since some of the Edfu inscriptions transmit ideas that come from the eldest epochs of pharaonic history, they are often consulted as an aid in understanding older sources. Thus, religious concepts of pharaonic Egypt cannot be properly understood without interpreting the texts of Edfu. As a whole, the Edfu inscriptions can be taken as a compendium of Egyptian religious thought.”

Join Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Message

CB&WC: Fences and Gates

Gateway to the Gods

Pylon Gates, Temple at Luxor, Egypt

Founded about 1400 BC, the Luxor Temple complex overlooks the east bank of the Nile River. During the Middle Kingdom, beginning about 1990 BC, Thebes (Luxor) became the capital of Egypt. Luxor Temple is one of several temple and mortuary complexes in the area.  The complex is the work of several New Kingdom pharaohs:  Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC), Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC), Horemheb (1323-1295 BC) and Ramesses II (1279-13 BC). Ramesses (also known as Ramesses the Great) added the pylon gate and the huge statues of himself. One of an original pair of obelisk recording his deeds flanks the left side of the gate. The matching pink granite obelisk is in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. Over time, with the decline of the ancient Egyptian power, capture and ransacking by rival armies, and the growth of population, the temple complex became surround by and finally overtaken by the city of Luxor. Centuries of rubble, buildings, and sand buried three-quarters of the sandstone structures by the time excavations began in 1884. Conservation, excavations, and restoration continue. The middle statue of Ramesses II on the right has only recently been reassembled and placed in its original site.

Luxor Temple had been an active religious site for over 3,000 years. Theories differ on the original function of the temple. Originally it was thought to be  dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut and their son Khonsu. More recently, it has been suggested that the temple was a sanctuary dedicated to divine kingship. The focus may have changed over time. During the period of Roman rule, it was a center for the Roman emperor cult. Following the introduction of Christianity to Egypt in the first century AD, sections were used as a Christian church. Later, a 13th-century mosque was built inside the temple. When excavations and removal of buildings began, the mosque, which is still active, was preserved.

Join Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Fences and Gates 

CFFC: With the Letter “O”


Osiris, Wall Painting, Temple of Amana, now located at New Amana, Nubia, Egypt

Wall painting of the god Osiris in the Temple of Amana. The Temple of Amana, the oldest Egyptian temple in Nubia, was saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser during the construction of the Aswan High Dam.  The temple was saved by France, in an effort by over 50 countries to save the monuments and buildings of ancient Nubia.

CFFC: The Letter “O” Anywhere in the Word

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