The Island of Elephantine
It was "Yeb/or Yabu" by the ancient Egyptians, since the beginning of their history,
came to be known as "Elephantine" by the Greeks, so-called because the rocks in the
river resembled the backs of elephants. Elepantine, was Aswan, of the ancient days, in
fact, it was the urban, religious and military center of the first Egyptian nome. It was
strategically important for it commanded the Nile\ route southwards towards lower
Nubia. From here in Elephantine, commercial and military expeditions set out for
Lower and Upper Nubia (Modern Day Northern Sudan).
Description of the Island and its Museum
One the Island we find the remains of various monuments, including, the temple of
goddess "Satis" one of three gods, were worshipped in the Island, discovered and
restored by scholars of the German and Swiss Institutes of Archaeology. The
reconstructed temple situated on top of one of the earliest extant shrines in Egypt. The
temple of the ram-headed, "Khnoum" (the principal deity of the Island, a god
associated with the river' annual flood. The sacred cemetery of the mummified rams
pertaining to the cult of the Island' chief deity "Khonum". The sanctuary of the deified
"Heka-IB" a nobleman and (one of the governors of the region) has been discovered
and reconstructed and covered with a protective roof. Also we see on the island,
exactly at the Southern tip of the Island a Ptolemaic shrine from Kalabsha dedicated
to the Nubian god "Mandolis" and saved from Nubia, has been reconstructed. Nearby,
a statue of an elephant, the ancient official emblem of the area. All A.M objects are on
display in the island's museum, which, originally, built as a resting place for those
officials engaged in the construction of the Aswan Old Dam, to be later altered as a
museum as mentioned before it houses antiquities, excavated from Aswan and its
surroundings, as well as objects from Nubia, among the collections of the museum,
are, objects from the pre-dynastic period, recovered from Nubia (old) before it was
inundated by lake Nasser' waters. Some other objects date back to the old and middle
kingdoms, as well as the new kingdom and Greco-Roman period, of the latter
includes the mummies of a priest and priestess.
The Rock-Cut Tombs of the Nobles
The Rock-Cut Tombs of the Nobles (better to be known as tombs of the Keepers of
the Southern Gate "Aswan") are situated on the West Bank of the Nile, at the area
known as " Kubbet EL-Hawa" meaning (Dome of the Winds), took its name from that
little tomb of a Muslim Sheikh "Saint" on the summit of the hill. Beneath such little
tomb, are the tombs of the Nobles, cut into the rock' front. These includes the tombs
of "SAbni, Mekhu, Herkhuf and Pepi-Nakht, called Heka-Ib, all date back to the 6 th
dynasty 2345-2181 BC" all share in the pattern of little rock-cut tombs, their walls are
covered with autobiographical texts, relate to administrative abilities and show a
pioneering spirit and courage of those Nobles who before Livingstone by some 4000
years, were into the land of Africa, led expeditions into the then unknown Nubian
Region. The Noblemen declare themselves to be men of high moral character, and
recorded how they helped their own people with food during the periods of famine,
and clothed those who in need, and spoke only that which was good.
Tomb of Sabni
Inscriptional-texts of this tomb, relates how "Sabni" traveled to the mysterious land of
"Wawat" in Lower Nubia, and duly punished the tribe responsible for the death of his
father. The entrance of the tomb is divided by a cross beam. The lower section forms
the actual doorway and the upper section a window. In the tomb chamber we find
fourteen square-shaped pillars, has nothing special except for the relief right up the
rear wall, which shows him (Sabni) hunting from a skiff accompanied by his
daughters? Holding the javelin in his right hand while the other catches the slain bird,
to the right he harpoons two fish at a single strike.
Tomb of Mekhu
This tomb was built by Mekhu's son "Sabni" containing a single chamber, lake in
most of decoration, and crude in construction, having eighteen columns, in three rows.
Facing the entrance in between two columns is a shrine unusual in having only three
legs. Of the poor wall representations, we see the deceased receives various offerings,
and another representing a rural scene of ploughing and harvesting and donkeys laden
with such harvest. Finally there is a stele in a recess on the rear wall opposite the
entrance, approached by some steps.
Tomb of Herkhuf
The tomb of that pioneer-explorer contains lengthy descriptions of his expeditions,
made in the reign of king "Meren-Ra" and the reign of his successor king "Pepi II –
yet a child of 8 years". According to the texts inscribed, he called himself (caravan-
leader) and was able to journey further south of the second cataract. The first journey
on backs of donkeys took 7 month, while the second, which seems more adventurous
(that's why he was proud of) took him deep into places, according to him "never had
any companion or caravan-leader… done it before" he recorded too, that he faced
troubles, when two tribes were in conflict, and he was involved in. he continues
describing how he brought everything goo and precious from there, including gold,
ostrich feathers, animal skins, ivory, ebony, incense, but above all he was so proud as
he brought from the land of the god a dancing pygmy for his child Pharaoh of 8 years
Tomb of Pepi-Nakht (known as Heka-IB)
This is the tomb of a Nobleman deified by later generations whose sanctuary was
built on the island of Elephantine, unfortunately his tomb in a very poor condition, but
fortunately his autobiographical texts, on the the two sides of the entrance doorway,
enable us to trace his activities deep into the land of the god.
The texts, narrate that on one occasion down to Lower Nubia he put an end to a
rebellion there and returned back to the capital with captives, including even the
children of the chiefs as hostages (preceding same policy carried out by Thuthmosis
III by some 800 years earlier). Also he recorded that once he had a confrontation on
the Red Sea coast when he and his men force slew large numbers of (AAmou-
HERYU-SHAA) "The Sand Dwellers" (meaning the Bedouins) killed an officer and
his men while they were building a ship on the Red Sea to sail to "PUNT – Modern
day Somalia and/or Present day Yemen. Pepi-Nakht proudly succeeded to bring back
the body of the deceased officer.
Tomb of Sarenput I
During the reign of the 12 th dynasty king "Senuser I", Saremput was prince/governor
of Elephantine. It was he who built the sanctuary of "Heka-ib" following the order of
his sovereign. The façade of his tomb is finely executed, where we see "Sarenput
sitting right on top of the staircase. Directly behind is the six-pillared court, all earing
representations of the owner. On the left-hand side is a relief showing "Sarenput"
followed by his attendant who bears his sandals and we see also two dogs, and above
is a hunting scene, cattle including bulls, are brought to him. To the right-hand side is
a colonnade where we see "Sarenput" also sitting and representations of four women,
they are respectively, his wife, his mother and his two daughters who bear him some
Tomb of Sarenput II
The tomb belongs to "Sarenput II" grandson of Sarenput I, who in turn occupied the
same position of grandfather. This tomb is the most preserved of all tombs in the area
dating back to the middle kingdom. Through a courtyard we enter to a narrow
passage, then an elegant hall which has six undecorated columns, followed by a
corridor of three recesses cut into the rock on each side that containing statutes of the
deceased, one in each.
At the end of the corridor, we enter a four-pillared small hall that has a recess at the
rear (the reliefs showing the scene of his family and the hieroglyphic inscription are in
a very good condition). To the rear we see "Sarenput II" seated at an offering table,
while his son bearing flowers, stands before. On the right-hand side is a representation
of his mother also seated at a table with the deceased to her right. A similar scene on
the left-hand side, but this time represents his wife with their son.
The Mausoleum of the Agha-Khan
This is the Mausoleum of the Leader of the Ismaili community (A Shii community-
group), the late Mohamed Shah Agha-Khan III. The Agha-Khan, like the Fatimids
centuries before him, claimed a direct descent from Lady "Fatima"-"daughter of
Prophet Mohammed P.B.U.H". Before he died, he chose a site on the western bank of
the river Nile to be his final resting place. This Mausoleum is built according to The
Fatimid style with a single dome, which is now a landmark of Aswan. It stands
isolated on an area of some 450 square metres. Constructed of Aswan rose granite,
while the inner walls are of white marble embellished with verses of the Glory Koran.
Half a century later, his beloved wife (known as Oum Habiba to the locals" was
buried next to him in a separate grave.
The Nubian Museum
This museum is one of Egypt's best museums, its construction began in 1979, but not
before the new millennia it was officially opened. The museum is advisable to those
interested in the Nubian culture, ancient and modern. It stands on a rocky slope of
sandstone and granite, just slightly behind the famous Old Cataract hotel. The
museum displays many objects (dating from pre-historic to modern times) saved
during the Nubian salvage operations in the 60's of the last century when building the
Aswan High Dam. Also the museum which document the riches of the Nubian
culture, exhibits some unique black and white photos showing the rescuing of Philae
and Abu Simbel temples, together with some other monuments, unfortunately were
not save and lost forever. Among the collections of the museum,, a statue of king
Ramsess II, another of princess Amon-rdi-s, a beautiful head of the Nubian/Kushite
king "Shibt-ku" and a black granite head of king "Taharqa" both of the 25 th dynasty.
The Monastery of St.Simone
This is one of the largest monasteries, dedicated to the local Saint who lived there in
the fifth century. It is located on the western bank of the Nile, and was founded in the
7 th century with evidence of restoration in the tenth century, but abandoned in the 13 th
century. The surrounding wall is over six meters high; the upper part is sun-dried
brick while the lower is rough-hewn stone sunk in the rock. Along the enclosure wall
are towers. The low face of the cliff divides the monastery into upper and lower level
from north to south. The entrance to the east leads to the lower level, which has a
vaulted corridor, where we find by the eastern wall remains of paintings of Jesus
Christ enthroned in glory, with Angel Michael and six apostles by his side. There are
small chambers on each side were used by the monks as bedrooms. By flight of steps
we reach to the upper level, similarly by the southern side was too used by the monks
lived in cells. At the northern end of the upper level we find the main building, which
itself is double-storied. The church is located to the south-east; the roof was originally
a series of domes supported by square pillars. The most preserved painting is by the
dome apse, representing Jesus Christ enthroned, flanked by angels, two on each side.
The High Dam
Some six kilometers to the south of the first Aswan Dam (built in 1902) is the High
Dam, which is without doubt, one of the greatest engineering projects of the 20 th
century. When the old dam was completed it needed subsequently to be heightened/
dramatically two times the first was between (1907-1912) and the second was
between (1929-1934), a third one was required, but instead, after the 1952 revolution
it was versioned by Nasser a new one to the south would be more suitable, and that to
be and really was the cornerstone of the country's economic development. It was built
between 1960-1971, and was largely financed and supervised by the former Soviet
Union, after the withdrawal of US and British financial aid (through the international
Bank) for the project. The High Dam is a rock-filled dam/ an artificial mountain of
earth and rock over a cement and clay core.
It is 3600 meters long, 114 meters high, and the width at the base is 980 meters. The
diversion tunnels with 16 and half meters of diameters completely are hewn out of
granite to a length of 1950 meters (opened from the western bank). On the eastern
bank are the huge turbines, each of 1200 HP/with an annual hydro-electric capacity of
ten billion KW-Hours.
The construction of the dame created the largest man-made lake Nasser, extends some
500 kilometers, 150 of which are in the Sudanese territory. The storage capacity is
157 billion cubic meters.
The unfinished obelisk
The huge unfinished obelisk, lying in the northern quarry of Aswan, is still attached to
the bedrock after being abandoned by the ancient Egyptian quarry-men after flaws
were found in the stone. Different attempts were made to extract from it, smaller-size
obelisks, but these too failed. There is no inscription or indication to show for whom
it was supposed to cut, some archaeologist believes it would be for queen
Hatschepsut, but no evidence to confirm such words. Had it been completed it would
have weighed some 1200 tons, and have soared to a height of 42 meters, making it the
largest and highest ever cut.
Temple of Kalabsha
Originally, this temple was one of the largest free-standing temples of Nubia,
measuring 76 meters long and 22 meters wide. It was rescued and Saved by a
German archaeological mission from the flooding. Twenty thousand tons of
stone were dismantled, transported and then re-erected some fifteen kilometers
south of Aswan, close to the High Dam. During the operation of dismantling the
temple, some inscribed blocks in the foundations proved to have been reused
and built over an earlier temple. The great gateway was presented to Germany in
recognition of their contribution (now in Berlin Museum).
The temple is entirely built out of Nubian sandstone and was dedicated to the
Nubian god "Mandolis" (which is the Greek form of Merol). The temple's
construction was (probably) began by "Thutmosis III" and then by his son
"Amenophis II". During the Ptolemaic period major repair works took place,
including the building of the columns of the forecourt. But many of the temple's
reliefs and inscriptions date back to the Roman Period.
Temple of Philae
This temple was built on a tiny Island of 450 meters long and 150 meters wide,
famed for its beauty, that it was known as "pearl of Egypt". It had become the
cult-center of the most beloved-goddess in ancient Egypt "Isis" where the main
temple dedicated for her was built, by king Ptolemy II, a temple for her consort
"Osiris" was built on the neighboring island of Bigeh.
The temple of Philae, like many other temples, was rescued and saved from
flooding, but the story of Philae rescuing dating back to the time when the first
Aswan Dam was built in 1902, leaving the temple submerged the whole year
(except for three months) with Nile' waters, threatens increased properly after
the construction of the High Dam putting the temple prisoned by waters
between two dams, it was decided to rescue and transport the temple to the
nearby island of Egilika. An Italian contracting company was chosen to carry
out the work. In 1980 Philae was saved and declared open once again to the
The temple of Philae in fact cover four major periods, the first was the late
Pharaonic period, the second was the Ptolemaic, the third was the Roman, while
the last was the Christian era, when some churches were built on.
From the entrance we delve to the temple court which is flanked by colonnades.
On the right are sixteen columns, only half of them were completed. Also there
are two small shrines/temples dedicated to two Nubian deities (Arsenophis and
Mandolis). To the left of the court are elegant-completed thirty two columns
complete with capitals, no two are alike. From there we pass through the
entrance Pylon which is decorated with scenes representing king Ptolemy XII
(Father of Cleopatra VII). We come now to the great open-court, which has on
the right a colonnade and the priests' quarter. To the left is the Mammisi or
"Divine Birth House". At the rear of the court we go through the second pylon's
gate to the Hypostyle hall, which its eastern section was converted into a church
during the early Christian era. Then we face the sanctuary of the temple which
has two tiny windows for bringing in light and a pedestal on which the sacred
barque bearing the golden small statue of the goddess stood.
Of the main buildings of this great complex are the temple of goddess "Hathor"
of love, beauty and music, and the unfinished Kiosk of the Roman Emperor
Trajan (known as Pharaoh's Bed). Together with many other shrines and little
The Colorful Nubian Village (West-Suhail)
Sail the river Nile Southwards in 45 minutes in a relaxing way, in a motor-boat, it is
enough to take you to a different world a true joyous world in the form of narrow
alleys flanked by colored houses of all colors of the rainbow, little shops for the best
herbs and spices, but above all the most friendly people in Egypt, the Nubians who
are indigenous in this land far before Moses took the children of Israel to the
promised land, before Jesus and His Mother found refuge in Egypt and of course
before Islam arrived to Egypt. Meet the white hearted people in an organized half day
tour to experience one of the oldest cultures on earth which still exist till today. Enjoy
a local drink, Enjoy a Meal you'll never regret to have, dance and entertain yourself
while listening to Nubian Songs and Music. Catch the stunning sunset on the way
back to Aswan. It's an experience mustn't be missed while in Aswan.
The two temples of Abu Simbel
The Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel
Since the time it was opened by the Italian "Giovanni Belzoni" in 1817, through the
20 th century salvage, this temple has fascinated everyone who saw it. Ramses II chose
a site some 280 KM south of present-day Aswan to erect two rock-cut temples, the
great one was dedicated to the worship of the state-god "Amon-Ra" and the falcon-
headed god "Ra-Hor-Akhty" as well as the deified king himself (who bore the Crown
of Upper and Lower Egypt for some 67 years and fathered nearly 170 children). The
greatest builder among all the Pharaohs, as in almost all his temple, he repeated the
news of his victory at the battle of "Kadesh" on the inner temple walls.
The iconic façade of the temple, which is like the entire complex, is hewn into the
rock and is dominated by four colossal of the king wearing the double crown of upper
and lower Egypt, the false beard and on the forehead is the ureaus-cobra. The height
of the equal-size four statues is 20 meters, two on each side of the temple-entrance
which is crowned by a niche containing a sculpted figure of the solar god "Ra-Hor-
Akhty" surmounted by two reliefs of "Ramses offering a statue of the truth-goddes
"Maat" one on each side. The façade is in the form of an Ancient Egyptian Pylon (35
meters wide at the base and 32 at the top), and on its upper part a frieze of 22 baboon
figures. Two historic events of Ramses' reign were publicly inscribed near the
entrance of the temple; the most important is the one commemorating the political
marriage of Ramses to one of the daughters of the Hittite king to cement the peace
treaty which had been concluded in year 21 of Ramses' reign.
Passing from the entrance via a short passage, is the (18 meters long-16 meters wide)
hypostyle hall, which comprises 8 pillared statues of the king in the "Osirian
form/form of god-Osiris" (4 on each side), the wall paintings are vivid and presenting
various scenes (religious & battle scenes). The battle of "Kadesh" is the principal
theme of the scenes covering no less than 18 meters in length and 8 meters in height.
At the rear part is the sanctuary, which contains four seated statues of (Ptah, Amon-
RA- The deified Ramses and RA-Hor-Akhty). Twice a year, on the days of the
solstice, the rays of the morning sun could reach, and touch for brief moment the far
end of the temple. Penetrating all the way from the entrance, the sun-rays briefly gives
its light on three of the four figures in the sanctuary. The accuracy was so strict and
perfect that the fourth figure of the earth-god remain in almost total darkness while
the other three (including the deified king), solar in nature, were strongly lit.
The Small Temple of Queen "Nefertari"at Abu Simbel
Despite its small size, compared to the temple of the king, the temple of queen
"Nefertari" is still attractive and impressive.
The façade of the temple is dominated by six standing statues (four belong to the king
and two to the queen), the hypostyle hall has six pillars decorated on the front with the
"Sistra" (a musical instrument associated with the celebration and worship of goddess
"Hathor"). The scenes are of religious nature, but one scene of a different nature
showing the king accompanied by his wife smiting the enemies of Egypt in the south
and west (the Nubians and the Libyans). The innermost room of this temple is of great
interest because of the lively scenes showing goddess "Hathor" giving protection to
the king, the remainder wall reliefs are also of a cult-character, representing different
famous goddesses, Isis and Anukis. Of all the scenes the most attractive is the scene
showing the two goddesses (Isis & Hathor) standing on either side of Queen
"Nefertari" steadying her crown, in an elegant gesture.
Attractions by Aswan (In Nubia)
Temple of Beit IL-Wali
This temple of Beit IL-Wali is one of the rock-hewn temples built by king "Ramses
II", and was dedicated to the worship of the state-god "Amon-Ra" as well as the gods
of the cataracts in lower Nubia. The original site of the re-located temple was to the
Notrth of Kalabsha (now near the High Dam).
The design of this small temple is relatively simple, comprises an outer courtyard
(later converted into a Church), a hypostyle hall and a sanctuary. The temple presents
some of the well-preserved scenes. Of great interest in the outer courtyard are the
scenes of military campaign in Nubia the scenes showing how life looked like in
Three doorways to the rear of the court lead into the hypostyle hall, which has two
fluted columns supporting its roof. Scenes in the hypostyle hall represent the king in
the relation with Egyptian deities, such as "Amon-Ra". The doorways at the rear part
of the hypostyle hall lead to the sanctuary, which has three niches housing three
badly-damaged statues (probably for the king). Also the scenes of the sanctuary (well-
preserved) show the king in relations with different gods, such as Isis, Horus, Amon-
Ra, Min and Ptah.
Temple of Wadi-IL-Seboua
This is another beautiful temple, also built by king "Ramses II" and dedicated to the
state-god "Amon-Ra" and "Ra-Hor-Akhty". The temple like many in the Nile Valley
and Nubia, in the Christian era was converted into a church. The name of the temple
seboua (means lions in Arabic) was due to the avenue of sphinxes before it. The
temple is one of 24 monuments (temples and shrines) was rescued after the creation of
Lake Naser upon constructing the High Dam, thanks to the joint efforts of the
governments in Egypt, United States, France, Swiss in collaboration with the UN.
Also at the region, of the other temples transported/re-located was an 18 th dynasty
temple (Dakka) which was largely dedicated to the worship of "Amon-Ra" and "Ra-
Hor-Akhty", and was rebuilt during the 25 th dynasty and to be dedicated to the divine
triad of "Osiris", "Isis" and "Horus". Much of the reliefs were covered in stucco in the
Christian era and were repainted with Coptic scenes. Another temples (Amada and
Derr) built by "Ramses were also moved from the original site.
Kasr Ibrim Fortress
On the eastern bank of the river Nile, some 15 KM north of Abu Simbel, is (once) an
impressive fortress crowning the middle of three massive rocks that once rose above
the river. Of the important discoveries conducted by the Egypt Exploration Society in
London, there were various documents in Greek, Coptic and Arabic, proiding a rich
information about the once there Nubian Culture. The fortress (of a Roman Period)
was built on the site of an Egyptian temple (built by the 25 th dynasty' king Taharqa,
and by the 6 th century a Cathedral was built there on its ruins.
The Kiosk of Kertassi
This little structure was originally dedicated to the worship of two Nubian deities, its
delicate columns made it a landmark of the area. A shrine once stood on a rocky-hill
facing north had an entrance flanked by two Hathoric-Columns; also it is one of the
many monuments re-located (now near the High Dam).
Attractions by Aswan
Do and See
Between Luxor and Aswan, is site, firstly was known as Edbu (meaning the place of
piercing-commemorating the victory of "Horus" over his uncle "Seth" hence it came
the modern name Edfu, which in Greek was known as Apollonopolis (City of Apollo)
since Horus in the Greek period was equated with Apollo.
The Horus temple in Edfu, is entirely Ptolemaic (or built under the Ptolemies) texts on
the temple's outer record that it began in 237 BC by King Ptolemy III (Eurgetese) and
was completed in 57 BCM despite the Ptolemaic King mentioned that he built it on
the ruins of an older temple built by "Imhotep- chief Architect who built the step
pyramid of his King Zoser in C 2700 BC". However during some recent restoration-
work there were found some blocks dating back to the Old Kingdom.
Among all temples built during the Ptolemaic Period (305-30 BC), only Edfu and
Philae bear the finest and richest scenes, focusing the light on religious rituals in
Ancient Egypt, but in particular Edfu.
The temple' Architecture is following the standard Ancient Egyptian design of the
Ptolemaic period a Pylon – Open Courtyard- a Pronaos – two Haypostyle Halls – two
ante-chambers – a vestibule – and a sanctuary, around which a narrow corridor opens
on ten small chambers, dedicated to the guest deities. Also around the temple's outer
wall is a corridor runs around. The principal feature of the temple is its fine quality,
well-preserved reliefs, making it unrivaled amongst all ancient monuments.
Before entering the main complex, there are two black-granite statues of the falcon-
god "Horus" crowned with the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, (the left-
hand side one is the more preserved and finest). Facing the entrance Pylon, we admire
the scenes on each tower showing the Ptolemaic king "Ptolemy XII" grasps the hair of
enemies by one hand and about to smite them by the war club in his other hand in the
presence of "Horus" and his Consort "Hathor". Following the entrance-gate is the
open courtyard where offerings were presented by the populace. It is surrounded by a
gallery on three sides, supported by thirty-two columns; its shafts are decorated with
reliefs, while the capitals are in floral form.
The wall-scenes of the open court represent the so called festival of (the Good
Reunion) between "Horus" of Edfu and his Consort "Hathor" of Denderah. Twice a
year was that great Reunion, the first took place in the second month of the Ancient
Egyptian year, when "Hathor" came to visit her spouse "Horus" in his temple, after 14
days of festivity, she returned back home in Denderah, waiting the visit of Horus to
her in Denderah.at the rear of the open court, there is a cntral doorway leads to the
Pronaos, which has a roof supported by columns have various floral capitals.
Unfortunately, the wall reliefs lost much of their colours. On the right and left hand-
sides are two tiny chambers, one (to the left-when-facing the interior) is known as the
Consecration Chamber. While the other came to be known as the library. The
inscription over the doorway states that it contained the religious papyrus-scrolls, and
of great interest is the scene over the doorway, showing the winged sun-disk, just
below it are the representations (unfortunately badly damaged) of the four senses
(identified then) hearing, sight, taste and reason each in the human form.
Leaving behind the Pronaos omn the rear doorway, we enter the Hypostyle hall of
twelve columns arranged in three rows. The scenes on the walls relate to the
foundation of the temple from the delineating of the temple limits by king Ptolemy IV
(Philopater), through the breaking of the ground till the delivering of the Hose (The
temple to its Lord (god-Horus). Following the way in towards the innermost, to the
Sanctuary where the god's-statue hid in the Naos once resided. The Sanctuary housed
the sacred wooden barge of "Horus" (the one there today is a new model of the 19 th
century), and slightly behind is the highly polished granite Naos for the statue of
Just to the outside of the temple, surrounding it from East, North and West, is the
outer Corridor, which on its walls are the most interesting scenes relating the victory
of Good, represented by god-Hiorus over the evil represented by Seth, depicted in the
form of Hippo.
Kom Ombo Temple
To the North of the City of Aswan by 45 KM, on the East Bank of the River Nile was
Ancient Nobyt (meaning gold)- which came to be known as Ombos by the Greeks,
and now is Kom Ombo, one of two cult-centers of the Crocodile-god "Sobek", where
an elegant temple was built for him together with th falcon-headed "Hor-wer" or
Horus the Elder, therefore the temple is the only Double Temple in Egypt, built on
traditional plan but there is an invisible division down the middle, two separate
doorways extend its entire length through the halls to the two Sanctuaries (one
dedicated to Hor-Wer and the Other to Sobek.
The two-entrances of the double-temple face south, the left-hand tower (once a tower)
its remaining scenes relating to the divine triad of Hor-Wer (consisting of him, Isis as
his wife, and Hor-Sema-Tawy "Horus the Uniter of the two lands" as their son), while
the right-hand tower depicting scenes relating to the other divine tride of (Sobek,
Hathor as wife, and Khons as their son).another scene on the same side showing
praises sung in thirty two lines of hieroglyphic inscriptions. At the far right-hand is a
scene depicting the Roman Emperor "Dometian" as a Pharaoh. Passing this there is
the Open Court with eight columns on each side of it, while there is an altar near its
The great hypostyle hall of the double temple, is a really piece of Art and architecture,
it has ten columns supporting its ceiling which is decorated with flying vultures
representing goddess "Nekhbet" along the two main aisles and superb astronomical
figures. The well-preserved wall reliefs represent (Ptolemy VI "Philometor" / Ptolemy
IX "Eurgetes II" / and Ptolemy XII "Neos Dionysos" father of Cleopatra VII) who
were responsible for the decoration of the temple. Of the best reliefs is the one in the
hypostyle hall showing "Ptolemy Neos Dionysos" stands in the presence of Horus,
receiving the symbol of life from Isis in the form of a cat and the sky goddess Nut.
The goddesses place their arm around the king while god-Thoth of wisdom and Horus
the young (son of Isis) behind him.
Unfortunately most of the interior halls are badly damaged but still visible some
interesting scenes showing Ptolemy VI with the two Cleopatras the II and III (a
mother and daughter), another famous scene showing the calendar of offerings of the
temple, while on the outer-corridor wall is the famous scene depicting the surgical
The badly damaged two sanctuaries are in a very poor state that nothing was left
except for the two pedestals of black granite (one for each god) , between the two
sanctuaries is a hidden corridor has been built into the thickness of the wall. While to
the rear of the sanctuaries are tiny chambers.