Abydos & Dendara,
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Abydos Winter09 #3
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The Temple of Seti I at Abydos is a 3 hour drive from Luxor, but well worth the visit. Abydos was an important cult centre from Old Kingdom times.

The temple was begun by Seti I and finished by his son, Rameses II, and contains marvels of Egyptian art.

By the Middle Kingdom, Abydos was described as the burial place of the god Osiris.

It was one of the most important religious centres in Egypt, with pilgrims coming to make offerings, erect statues and stelae and even building tombs here.

Here we see the pharaoh Rameses II and his eldest son lassoing a bull - a sign of strength and power

The 2nd Hypostyle hall contains some of the most wonderful carved reliefs. Created under Seti I, they were usurped by Rameses II.

Seti I burns incense before Osiris & Horus, while purifying water falls into 3 heart-shaped vessels.

The king makes offerings before the shrine of Osiris

Osiris sits with the goddesses Maat & Renpet before him and Isis & Imenty behind.

The detail of their clothing and hair is meticulously carved, as are the hieroglyphs

The king offers Maat (truth) to Osiris, Isis & Horus

7 chapels open off at the back of the Hypostyle Hall, all with carved and painted scenes at their entrances & inside. The detail in them is remarkable

The pharoah is greeted by Anubis

The king being suckled

The king with Ra-Horakty

A detail of the carving on the kings kilt.

The multiple levels of relief are clearly visible here, especially with the cobra heads coming out towards us

This chapel is particularly well painted inside

A close up showing the detail of the carving

The Temple of Rameses II at Abydos is about 300 metres from that of Seti I.

Sadly only the bottom stones remain, but the colour on these is marvelously intact, and quite a wonder to see!

What a pity so little still remains - it must have been awe-inspiring!

And isn't this about the fattest bull you ever did see?

On the way back from Abydos we stopped at the Ptolemaic Temple of Hathor at Dendara

It is one of the best preserved monuments in Egypt, still having its original ceiling intact

A view of the newly restored Vestibule, with 18 sistra-like columns topped with the head of Hathor

The intact ceiling is elaborately decorated with astronomical scenes ... this is the part they have just restored

... and here you have a 'before and after' photo, as they've only cleaned up half of these ceiling blocks!

On the roof is a small Kiosk with 12 Hathor-headed columns, built later by Ptolemy XII.

The roof itself is on several levels, reflecting the height of the chambers below

Unusually there is a 'crypt' at Dendara, an underground storeroom, lavishly decorated

This is Ra-Horakty

and this an adornment with Hathor heads

Sunset at Dendara

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