Edfu Temple


The Edfu temple was gorgeous and very interesting. This temple is dedicated to the god Horus. Horus is the son of Isis and Osiris. He is also the god of the sky and war and depicted as a falcon. He protects the people from the evil god Set. Horus was so important that Pharaohs represented themselves as him in life and represented themselves as Osiris in death. The Edfu temple was built between 237 BC and 57 BC (in the Greco-Roman time), and of all the temple remains in Egypt, the Edfu temple is the most complete. The first part of the temple we saw was the Mumeze room. This is the room of holy birth; the place where the Pharaohs were to be born. On the entrance to the room, there was a carving of the god Bes. He is the protector of pregnant woman. Unlike most carvings of gods and goddesses, Bes is facing forward and is not in profile. This is so he can guard those behind him. The Mumeze room is usually only found in Greek temples; this shows that the Edfu temple had a Greek influence. The front of the Edfu temple has two towers with a balcony between them. This balcony is called the Aberrance balcony and only the high priest was allowed on it. On the balcony there is a carving of a winged solar disk. The god Osiris (the father of Horus) is getting old and cannot fight his evil brother, Set, anymore. So, this image represents Horus taking his father’s place in the fight and fighting his evil uncle Set. The winged disk is also known as the symbol of protection. There were also carvings of Horus and his wife, Hathor (the goddess of love), on the inside walls. The crown of Horus is also very interesting. It represents the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. Set was known as the patron of Upper Egypt and Horus the patron of Lower Egypt. It was said that they battled constantly over the two halves. In the end, the gods sided with Horus and he united Upper and Lower Egypt around 3000 BC. The ceilings were also interesting. They were blackened from burning fires. In the past, the temple had been used by Christians. Their candles and other fires ruined the ceilings. It is so sad that the ceilings were destroyed. There could have been beautiful carvings on the ceilings. I hate to sound anti-Christian, but the Christians ruined so many places because of their disregard and hatred of others and their religions. Many of the sacred places we saw had a lot of damage and many carvings defaced because of Christians. It is just so sad that such wonders were purposely ruined. One of the most interesting parts of the temple (at least for me since I am a pre-medicine major) was the room that contained hieroglyphics of medicines used by ancient Egyptians. There were symbols showing all of the ingredients, showing specific measurements, and showing specific directions on preparation (there was a symbol that showed that heat was applied and one that showed the ingredients were crushed together). Some of the ingredients they used were sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, different incenses, and oils from sandwood, olives, lotus flowers. The hieroglyphics were like lab reports. It was extremely exciting to see, especially since all of the walls were perfectly preserved. On some of the other walls we could see shrines with Horus, his wife, and his son. Fortunately, in one of the rooms the ceiling had not been blackened. We could see a carved and painted figure of Nut, the goddess of the sky. The colors were gorgeous; we could see different colors of blue and even some of the stars. In general, the Edfu temple was amazing due to its preservation and scientific findings. I found it hard to believe that I was standing in a temple that is thousands of years old. It was so well preserved that it could have been built last week. It was definitely one of my favorites out of all the temples we saw.

Posted at 10:25 AM by Gina Osburn