Hathor Temple & its Complex at DenderaTemples - The Buildings - Builders & Buildings
“Castle of the Sistrum”
“Pr Hathor” the House of Hathor
Why: Dedicated to the Goddess Hathor whose animalistic form is a cow with horns with a sun disk placed in between them and whose special gift to the Egyptians was to heal them with her power as a deity
Who: The original Temple: Pharaoh Khufu
The current Temple of Hathor: Pharaoh Ptolemy XII
The last parts of the Temple’s Complex: Roman Emperor Tiberius
What: A 40,000 square meter Temple Complex site, as with so many other Temples in Egypt this has been added to through different ages and is full of different sites that make up the whole Temple Complex. This included a hospital, equipped with dormitories for their use, that was run by the Priesthood on site to care for the sick who travelled to the Temple for a cure to their ailments
Ancient Iunet which later became known as Tentyra, the Temple became known as Dendera during the Ottoman Empire. The main draw to this Temple is its stunning ceiling and hieroglyphs which have recently been cleaned to reveal their stunning colours
Where: On the West Bank of the River Nile, 5km south of modern Qena and 60km north of Luxor
When: The original Temple on site was commissioned by Pharaoh Khufu of the 4th Ancient Egyptian Dynasty. The current Temple of Hathor was commissioned by Pharaoh Ptolemy XII and took approx. 54 years to be built, from 54BC to 20BC approx. Pharaoh Ptolemy XII died 4 years after commissioning the project and therefore never got to view any of the Temple in its finished state. His Successor, Queen Cleopatra VII continued with the work and the erection of the Temple was finished in her reign, although the decoration was still being completed at her death
As already stated, the area was originally home to a Temple commissioned by Pharaoh Khufu which was dedicated to the Goddess Hathor as her Temple home. The Temple Complex was added to and expanded by the Pharaohs Tuthmose III, Amenhotep III, Ramses II and Ramses III. The remains of the Temple can be found in small sections in, under and around the current Temple of Hathor Precinct.
During the First Intermediate Period a bakery was erected on site and used to bake bread that was offered daily to the Goddess Hathor’s earthly Statue which was kept in the Inner Sanctum of the Temple.
In Ancient Egyptian mythology, the area around the now Dendera Temple is known to have been one of the Tombs for the God Osiris. Although this is completely separate from the Goddess Hathor and her deity cult.
The Site has also been used as a Necropolis and include Tombs from the Early Dynastic Period through to the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Periods. On the western side of the Temple Complex, can be found Late Period mud brick catacombs which are vaulted. The burials here include Cows, Birds and Dogs.