Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples
KOM OMBO TEMPLE
Kom Ombo is actually a double temple, two pathways throught the courtyards behind the pylons in front, leading to side-by-side sanctuary rooms. One side was dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god. The other side was dedicated to Horus-the-elder. The temple is right on the riverfront, and the cruise ships dock beside the temple.Our road trip – one day from Aswan to Luxor – included stops at two major temple complexes.
|…and on to Edfu.|
THE TEMPLE AT EDFU
The temple at Edfu was over the Nile on the west bank, through the city of Edfu. It is the legendary site of the final battle of the god Horus against the god Seth. The temple is dedicated to the god Horus.
Along on wall of the compound is a “cartoon” sequence of carvings illustrating the sequential stages of the battle, as Horus bests Seth and he becomes a progressively smaller indeterminate hippopotamus or pig creature.
When Alexander and then his general Ptolemy conquered Egypt, the Ptolemy dynasty appropriated the title of Pharoah. To justify their claim, this temple like many others has a “Birth House”, a small chapel decordated with the history of how Alexander (nad hence Ptolemy) are descendants of the gods just like the Egyptian pharoahs.
Of course, like many old temples, when the Christians used these for churches or other uses, they not only blackened the ceiling with soot from torches. They also took the time to chip away at the “graven images” of the old gods, particluarly faces and hands. Based on the results, occasionally they got tired of the work half-way through.