Where We Be
|This is the imposing main pylon of Edfu Temple,
considered the best-preserved major temple in Egypt
|We loved the simple lines and fierce expression of this sculpture of falcon-headed Horus
|Approach to the Temple of Edfu. There aren't many places in the world where a temple carved in the 3rd century BC would be considered relatively recent!
|Deeply etched hieroglyphics cover nearly every surface
|A closer look at the scene etched on the main pylon of the temple
|These two boys shyly ask us to take their picture
|Edfu is one of the only Egyptian temples with its ceiling still intact (although it's a bit sooty from old fires). Note the papyrus-shaped columns.
|This is the ceremonial barge on which a gilded statue of Horus was carried during festivals.
It is located in the Sanctuary of Horus, the holiest part of the temple.
Edfu Temple was built in Ptolemaic times in the
3rd century BC. The temple is dedicated to our
favorite god, falcon-headed Horus, and is
considered the best-preserved major temple in
Egypt -- and the most intact temple of its age
anywhere in the world. It was built by Greeks
but in the Egyptian style, using the Egyptian
pantheon of gods to keep the locals happy.
Inside the temple, our guide points out several
blank cartouches on the wall. Cartouches are
oval shapes in which pharaohs' names are
inscribed; the fact that several were left blank
indicates that the people were waiting for a
powerful pharaoh to come along so they could
carve in his name...but he never came. Egypt
was already 1,000 years past its prime by then.
Every square inch of the temple is covered
with drawings and hieroglyphics. The ceilings
are black with smoke from the time when the
Coptic Christians lived there. You can see the
holes they chiseled at the base of the walls for
tethering their animals. Many of the Egyptian
gods' faces and figures were chiseled away by
the Christians, who didn’t like the idea of all
these other gods living amongst them.
|Our guide Michael has us act out the central story of ancient
Egyptian religion -- the story of Isis, Osiris, and Seth