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Temples versus Mortuary Temples

Thebes - The Places

What is a Temple?

The Mansion Home of the Gods and Goddess


On average a stone, purpose-built building; erected and maintained with an enormous budget on the instructions of the Pharaoh who remained the link between the Pharaoh and the Deity. To be used for the official worship of the Egyptian Deities, also, at times, in remembrance of the Pharaoh where offerings were made to sustain their spirits in the afterlife, often linked with or located near their tombs.

The larger Temples would own land which often was gifted to them by benefactors and would employ 1,000s for its daily needs. Temples quickly became key economic centres and the Priests held unlimited influence with the Pharaoh and the populace.

What is a Mortuary Temple?

The Pharaoh’s Mansion of Millions of Years

A stone, purpose-built building; erected and maintained on the instructions of the Pharaoh during Pharaoh’s lifetime. After Pharaoh’s death, the Mortuary Temple became the place to venerate the deceased Pharaoh and ensure that their name was remembered for, “Millions of Years”.

The Cult of the Pharaoh would be established here before the death of the Pharaoh and usually all the Priests would be picked by Pharaoh directly.

The Priests dedicated to the Cult would be responsible for the well being of the Pharaoh’s Soul which was represented within the Temple by his Ka Statue or a Statue which represented his Soul.

This would include the waking, bathing, dressing, feeding, praying for and singing to the Statue which represented Pharaoh’s Soul during the day, and the putting to bed of the “Pharaoh” at night.

All this was completed to appease and venerate Pharaoh’s Soul and asking for Pharaoh to intervene on behalf of Egypt with the Deities.

Image is of Karnak Temple, Thebes

Click on the Image to visit the Temples in Thebes

Image is of Pharaoh Hatshepsut's Mortuary Temple, Thebes

Click on the Image to visit the Mortuary Temples in Thebes


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