May 2015

Egypt Holiday 2014: Dendara Temple

Temple of Hathor at Dendara We visited Dendara after Abydos as it’s on the way back to Luxor. The temple here is dedicated to Hathor and is much more recent than the two at Abydos – it’s Ptolemaic and Roman era, although built on the site of older temples. One of the well known reliefs on the temple is of Cleopatra VII (ie the famous one) and her son Caesarion. We actually saw more of the surroundings of the temple than the inside – going up on the roof, under the floor and around the outside. My photos from this visit are, as always, up on flickr – click here for the full set, or on any photo to go to its flickr page. Plan of Dendara Temple ComplexMade by wikipedia user Sinuhe20 Key: A. Roman Kiosk; B. Domitian and Trajan Gate; C. Roman Birth House; D. Coptic Church; E.… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Dendara Temple

“Egyptian Fortifications in Canaan” Rupert Chapman (EEG Meeting Talk)

On Sunday Rupert Chapman came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about his work on Egyptian fortifications in Canaan. He started by telling us about the different sorts of Egyptian fortification that exist, which have been categorised into four types by an author called Morris. The first two types are never found in the Levant; these are fortresses that control entry points into Egypt proper (for instance at Tell Haboua) and fortress towns such as Kuban in Nubia. The third type are migdol forts – migdol is a Hebrew word that means “tower” and the distinctive feature of these structures is a gate flanked by two towers. An example of this in Egypt is the entrance to Ramesses III’s temple at Medinet Habu. Chapman also compared them to much more modern structures – the early 20th Century AD Tegart Forts built by the British in Palestine (although… Read More »“Egyptian Fortifications in Canaan” Rupert Chapman (EEG Meeting Talk)

Egypt Holiday 2014: Ramesses II Temple at Abydos

Inside the Temple As well as completing his father’s much larger & more famous temple at Abydos Ramesses II also built a temple of his own. It’s much smaller, and there is less of it still standing, but there was still enough for an interesting visit. In fact, we could’ve spent quite a lot longer there – I managed to only see half the inside of it! My photos are, as always, on flickr – click here for the full set or click on any image (except the plan of the temple which isn’t mine) to see it larger on flickr. Plan of the Ramesses II Temple at Abydos, from wikimedia The only plans I found with a license that meant I could use them were labelled in German but I think it’s clear enough what’s what (at least of the bits I’ll talk about) 🙂 We approached the temple… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Ramesses II Temple at Abydos

Egypt Holiday 2014: Seti I Temple at Abydos

Temple Entrance Abydos was an important site for the Ancient Egyptians right from the beginnings of their culture. The first Pharaohs (including Narmer) were buried there, it was the capital of one of the nomes (adminstrative regions) and there were several temples built on the site over the course of the millennia. At first it was sacred to the god Khentiamentiu and during the First Intermediate Period this god began to merge with the god Osiris whose cult was rising in significance. As time went on the association of the site with Osiris grew stronger and eventually the 1st Dynasty cemetery was regarded as the site of the burial place of Osiris (with the tomb of Djer being the focal point of this belief). The best known structure in modern times is the temple begun by Seti I and finished by his son Ramesses II, known by the Egyptians as… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Seti I Temple at Abydos

Cleopatra: A Timewatch Guide

Cleopatra: A Timewatch Guide was on BBC4 back in February as part of a short run of programmes cobbled together from old Timewatch footage interspersed with some narration by a current presenter (and modern footage of talking heads) tying it all together. The presenter in this case was Vanessa Collinridge, who I’d not seen present anything before (which is a shame for her, as I’m judging her based on this …). The other two that we watched were The Mary Rose: A Timewatch Guide (presented by Dan Snow) and Roman Britain: A Timewatch Guide (presented by Alice Roberts). Sadly, as you might’ve guessed from the preceding paragraph, I wasn’t much impressed with this programme on Cleopatra. The idea, I think, was to look back through the Timewatch archives and tell a story about how our ideas about Cleopatra have changed over the last five or six decades. The other two… Read More »Cleopatra: A Timewatch Guide