LAPC 99: The Old and the New

Amy of Lens-Artists invites us this week to show old and new with our photos and stories.

On our last trip to Brazil, we spent our first week staying with friends in the southern city of Curitiba, which has well over 1 million inhabitants. The city has grown a lot since I was last there in 1979! In this photo, the juxtaposition between old and new can be seen in the Centro Histórico (historical center), with Portuguese-style buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries dwarfed by modern skyscrapers.

We then spent about a week in São Paulo. Every Sunday, a major avenue, Avenida Paulista, is closed to motorized traffic; pedestrians and bicyclists have the street to themselves on that day. Being a major street, Avenida Paulista is lined with ultra modern architecture, but there are historical monuments there also, which visitors can explore. At the far end of this avenue is the Casa das Rosas, named for its rose gardens, a Victorian mansion that has become part of Brazil’s historic patrimony. Behind this partial view of the house, a glass blue skyscraper rises high.

In São Paulo’s downtown, old and new live side by side, above and below. These 19th century buildings, which can be admired for their colors nd wrought-iron balconies, now house modern stores on their lower levels.

Two years later, we were in Egypt, where we saw many monuments of its 3500 year old civilization. The Egyptians are both proud of their heritage and dependent economically on tourism. This modern apartment building is decorated with motifs of ancient Egypt.

While visiting the ancient pyramids in Giza, just outside the city of Cairo, we also took in a museum housing a restored ancient boat belonging to one of the first pharaohs. These boats were buried in pits next to the king’s tomb because the ancient Egyptians believed he would need his boat to travel to the afterworld. While the pyramids and the boat are ancient, the hexagonal Giza Solar Boat Museum which houses the ancient boat is quite modern looking on the outside, in contrast with the 3,500 year old pyramid behind it!

We visited the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, a woman who ruled as pharaoh for nearly 20 years during Egypt’s 18th dynasty. I took this photo of my silly husband with his Nikon camera hanging down over his chest, posing with two Egyptian guards dressed in traditional garb in one of the temple’s sanctuaries.

Every one of the monuments was swarming with cellphone-toting tourists snapping photos.

South of Aswan is the city and monument of Abu Simbel, which is less touristy, because many people do not want to take the two-plus journey there to see the twin temples built by Ramses II. When the Aswan High Dam was built in the 1960s, it caused a lake to form south of the dam, which flooded previously inhabited areas. Because of its historical value, a huge effort was made, before the dam could be built, to remove the ancient monuments that would otherwise end up underwater. Ramses II’s temple and the smaller temple next to it he had built for his beloved wife Nefertari were divided painstakingly into sections and lifted 200 meters higher where a cliff had been carved out for its placement to look at much like the original location as possible. In the old position, Ramses II’s architects had cleverly created an inner chamber in which there were statues of the pharaoh and two gods, which received direct sunlight for 45 minutes on only two days of the year – his birthday and his coronation date – February 22 and October 22. One of the gods, Ptah, remained always in shadow, for he was the god of darkness. When the monuments were raised up to the higher cliff in the 1960s, the sun’s rays no longer illuminated the statues on those two dates, but close – they now shine upon the statues for fewer minutes on Feb. 21 and Oct. 21, only a day earlier.

Several of Egypt’s ancient monuments, including the temples at Abu Simbel, now have a special light show for tourists, which project colorful images onto the outer face of the monuments starting at twilight. As the images are shown, there is narration to accompany them in several languages that you listen to with an earbud attached to a small transmitter. New technology is juxtaposed with ancient buildings by using them as a “movie screen” for the images. During the projection of the images, it is difficult to make out the shapes and features of the statues behind them.

Beginning of the show, just after twilight
These projected images are from photos of actual Egyptian paintings, used to tell the history of this ancient civilization, as well as from photos telling the story of the project to move the monuments to their current location.

In Israel, where we traveled after our tour of Egypt, there are also many ancient places. Much of the original wall of Jerusalem and its gates still exists; millions of tourists and residents enter those gates on a daily basis. Here are some young Israelis dressed in their military uniforms about to enter this ancient gate.

In Gethsemane, there is a garden with ancient olive trees. One of them is exceptionally old – dating from the time of Jesus and is believed to possibly have been a young tree when he leaned against it to pray on the eve of his crucifixion. In order to protect it, a fence now surrounds it.

Finally, while on a boat tour of the canals and harbor of Amsterdam, I took this photo of Amsterdammers in a boat shaped like a Heineken barrel, about to pass under a medieval bridge.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Steep Drops & Trails

Frank at Dutch Goes the Photo has a Tuesday Photo Challenge and this week’s topic is steep.

Last summer we took a road trip which included a visit to Bryce Canyon National Park. We did want to do a bit of hiking but knew that the steep paths would be too much of a challenge for us due to our age and arthritic knees! So we took the rim trail which afforded many amazing views. And stay away from the edge – it’s a long way down!
20180605_105120
20180605_110921SONY DSC
Then in January of this year, during our trip to Israel, we visited the high plateau of Masada, where in pre-Christian times, a group of zealots who were living up there battled with Roman troops, ultimately ending in a mass suicide when it became clear that the Romans would conquer and either massacre or enslave them. The Romans built a huge berm to be able to scale the high plateau and found all the zealots already dead.

It used to be necessary to take a long, steep trail up to the Masada site, but fortunately one can now go up by cable car. From the cable car, I took these photos of the steep switchbacks of the trail with hardy souls hiking up.
20190112_083236
Another cable car about to pass us on its way down the steep cliff.
20190112_083212
Looking down at the last stretch of the trail from the top.
20190112_083542
Here are some people going back down the trail; this photo was taken from the cable car on the way down.
SONY DSC

CFFC: Blue

The theme of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this month is colors; this week is Blue.

DSC01938.JPG
Ruin of a castle, Wachau Valley, on the Danube in Austria

20190624_100519.jpg
Amsterdam, de Pijp neighborhood

20190624_194001
Across the street from our Airbnb, Amsterdam

DSC02301.JPG
Bench, Poulsbo, WA

20190914_102207
Our niece’s wedding – blue flowers on her dress, blue walls of the church, bridesmaid’s dark blue dress

20190915_140456.jpg
Chihuly glass sculpture, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

Three fire hydrants painted blue, Arlington Heights, IL

20191029_123904.jpg
Sea life exhibit, Brookfield Zoo, IL

A Photo a Week Challenge: Stacked

Nancy Merrill’s photo challenge A Photo a Week this week has the topic stacked.

Stacked crates – Fares Island, Egypt20181231_092102d
Stacked date palm reeds (leaf ribs), Fares Island, Egypt
20181231_092108
Stacked stones on a wall, St. Simeon Monastery, Aswan, Egypt
20190104_092748
Stacked boxes, Hebron Handicrafts, Jericho, Palestine
20190112_142012
Stacked bags of spices, Naschmarkt, Vienna, Austria
20190706_152653
Stacked jeans, Second Time Around Sale at First Congregational Church, Des Plaines, Illinois, USA
20190430_150235

Lens-Artists: My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things is the subject of Lens-Artists’ photo challenge this week.

I love cats, especially my sweet tortie Hazel.
20190531_125417
I love flowers and enjoy taking good photos of them.  There is plenty of this subject matter at Chicago Botanic Gardens! This is their May foxglove display.
20190531_095928
20190531_100037
My favorite thing in the world is traveling, and I always take my camera along! I like to take photos of buildings, especially doors and windows,

20190114_090548
Old Jerusalem church door

20190114_143806
Door at Peter of Gallicantu Church in Jerusalem

20190102_165647
Arched entrance, Eskaleh Ecolodge, Abu Simbel, Egypt

20190114_083031
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

SONY DSC
Stained glass window, Jerusalem

ruins,

20190114_090823
Archaeological site in the heart of Old Jerusalem

SONY DSC
Jewish graveyard, Jerusalem

everyday objects,
20190102_120647people,

SONY DSC
Tanzanians waiting for a bus in Arusha

landscapes, sunsets,

20181228_065323d
Sunset along the Nile, Egypt

SONY DSC
Arches National Park, Utah, USA

wildlife…whatever there is to see!

SONY DSC
Hyena, Tanzania

I also love art, especially folk art. (Below, Nubian folk art objects, Abu Simbel, Egypt)
20190102_165712.jpg
20190102_165720

20180106_140230
Painting by Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral, Art Institute of Chicago

 

 

Journey to Egypt, Part 22: Temples of Abu Simbel

January 2, 2019

We disembarked our vessel, Aida, this morning and boarded a bus for a 2-hour + ride to the town of Abu Simbel, for which the temple was named.  The landscape along this route is mostly desert.
20190102_093930The town of Abu Simbel is a good place to be introduced to Nubian culture. The Nubians who originally lived in this area were displaced in the 1960s by the building of the Aswan High Dam. Now this small town is growing again as people return to the area. I took these photos from the bus as we drove through the town.

20190103_071614d.jpg
Nubian architecture is characterized by domes and arches.

20190102_103815
20190102_103823
20190102_103903
Our destination was Abu Simbel Temple.20190102_105458d.jpg
Ramses II (who reigned c. 1279-1213 BCE) had two massive temples built at Abu Simbel. The pharaoh was a bit of a narcissist and wanted to advertise to the Nubians that he was the god-king and ruler of this land. Nubia had been conquered by the Egyptians, which extended the Egyptian empire southward. Ramses II had his artisans carve the temples out of a rock cliff to display his might, which was an effective deterrent to Nubian rebellion.

Originally the two temples were at the bottom of the cliff into which they were carved. However, due to the building of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, which created Lake Nasser and flooded the surrounding area, they were moved 200 feet above the water level and 1/3 of a mile back from the lake shore. It is quite a walk, often uphill, from the parking lot to the site of the temples.

These two photos were taken from the pathway to the temples, the first a view of Lake Nasser, the second, two large rocks on which people had piled up small rocks. (I had seen these small stone piles before, on the trail from Machu Picchu, but here they were much more numerous and somewhat chaotic.)
20190102_105912d
20190102_110039

In order to move the monuments higher up (because they would otherwise be completely submerged in the lake), a painstaking project funded by UNESCO was undertaken in which the temples were dismantled by cutting them into about 5,000 pieces, raised up using pulleys and reassembled 60 meters (about 200 feet) higher up. To do this, the upper cliff also had to be carved out in order for the temples to retain their original appearance and great effort was made to reconstruct the temples with the same orientation as the originals. All this was accomplished in the years 1964-1968, before the building of the High Dam was completed. (Other monuments that stood on islands in the Nile River were also disassembled and reassembled elsewhere, but Abu Simbel was by far the most enormous and ambitious undertaking.) Below are two photos of this massive project, taken from Google Images.

The first of the two temples, the Great Temple was dedicated to Ramses II as a god-king and to Ra-Harakhte, Amun-Ra and Ptah, major gods in the Egyptian pantheon. The second temple was dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Nefertari, Ramses II’s wife and queen.

In front of the Great Temple are four seated colossi of Ramses II, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, which is most preserved in the far left statue. Around the legs of the statues are smaller figures of the pharaoh’s wives and children. Between the two pairs of statues, above the doorway, is a carved figure of Ra-Harakhte. Ra was portrayed as a falcon and shared characteristics with the sky god Horus. Sometimes these two gods were merged to form Ra-Harakhte: “Ra, who is the Horus of the Two Horizons.” Also, in the New Kingdom, the god Amun rose to prominence, so Ra and Amun were merged to form Amun-Ra.

20190102_110247.jpg
At the top of the temple façade is a row of rampant baboons, praising the sun as it rises.

The Great Temple is 98 feet (30 meters) high and 115 feet (35 meters) wide.
20190102_112942

20190102_113029d
Ra-Harakhte above the door

20190102_113226
Nubian captives

20190102_113237
Another captive – possibly Hittite, since the temple may also have been a commemoration of Ramses II’s victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BCE.

The doorway between the colossi leads to the first hall, which contains columns decorated with figures of Ramses II.

Inside this hall are carvings of events, particularly battle scenes, that happened during Ramses II’s reign. These photos are taken from the photo archive of Mohammed Fahey. (We were not allowed to take photos inside.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
The second hall contains four square columns  and is decorated with more benign scenes – Ramses II and Queen Nefertari making offerings to the gods, including the deified Ramses himself.

Abo Simble (54)

Abo Simble (59)
This is over the the entrance to the sanctuary.

The sanctuary contains four statues of the gods to whom the temple is dedicated: Ptah, Amun-Ra, Ramses II, Ra-Horakhte, in that order from left to right.
Abo Simble (314)
An amazing story about these sanctuary statues is that the sun would enter this inner chamber at certain times of day and certain days of the year. On the left, Ptah, is always in darkness, because he is the god of the underworld. The sunlight would penetrate 180 feet (55 meters) into the inner sanctuary to illuminate the statues of Amun-Ra and Ramses II (the two middle figures) for 45 minutes on two important days of the year: February 22, the king’s birthday and October 22, the date of his coronation. This was further emphasis on his elevated status as a god-king.

When the monument was moved up the cliff in the 1960s, the light illuminating the statues changed – but not by much. It now shines on Ramses II for 25 minutes on February 21 and October 21, only one day off from the original dates!

Ramses II apparently loved his wife, Nefertari, so much that he had the Temple of Queen Nefertari built to honor her and the goddess Hathor.  This marks only the second time in ancient Egypt that a pharaoh built a temple for his wife (the first was Akhenaten for Queen Nefertiti). Furthermore, it is the only time where her statue is the same size as that of the pharaoh, each standing 32 feet (10 meters) tall.
20190102_120422
Like the Great Temple, Nefertari’s temple faces east. It is about 92 feet (28 meters) long and 40 feet (12 meters) high.20190102_120511d
Four of the six statues are of Ramses II and two are of Nefertari. Smaller statues at their feet represent their children.

The temple doorway leads to a hall which contains six pillars with heads of the goddess Hathor.
Abo Simble (40)

The hall is decorated with scenes of the royal couple making offerings to or worshipping the gods. Behind that is the main sanctuary, where there is a niche with a statue of Hathor as a cow, protecting Ramses II and Nefertari.

20190102_121738d
View of the lake on the walk back to the parking lot.

We returned to Abu Simbel in the late afternoon, as the sun was setting, to see the Sound20190102_171344d and Light Show. It is worthwhile seeing at least one of these during a visit to the major Egyptian monuments – there are  also Sound & Light Shows at Karnak, Luxor Temple, Kom Ombo and others.

20190102_173300We were each given an audio translator to watch the show. However, among the English translators that were handed out was one in Spanish, which one of the men in the group,  discovered when he turned his on. By the time he found this out, the show had started so there was no way to exchange it. Instead, I traded with him, since I knew I could understand the narration in Spanish.
20190102_173215dIf you wondered what those little boxes were in front of the temples, they are used to project the sound and light show, which starts after sunset.20190102_173300dThe narration tells the story of how the monument was moved higher up the cliff when the dam was being built and also speculates about the life of the ancient Egyptians who built these temples.

Lights illuminate the statues in front of both temples.

With accompanying music, colorful images are projected onto the front of the temples.

The grand finale…

Sources used in this post:
“Abu Simbel: How the Temples Were Saved” in We, Digital Magazine
“Abu Simbel” by Joshua J. Mark in Ancient History Encyclopedia
“Abu Simbel” in Ancient Egypt Online
Fodor’s Egypt, 
2009

Question Fun: On Adventures, Travel & Explorations

I know I’m late for this one, but I just didn’t have time to do it before now, and then I saw “Bipolar Barb”‘s answers and got inspired. This is one of my favorite topics, so please forgive me!!!

Welcome to Question Fun The Twice Weekly Game!
An easy game, and more so if you love questions! Each game has a topic, and then there are 23 questions relating to the topic – they can be visual, musical, personal, professional, topical, serious, thought provoking, fun, weird and even wacky – the questions will cover all fields and there is no structure to follow, so it could orderly one day and completely random the next time you play!
Today’s topic is ………….. Adventuring, Exploration and Travel/ling

What are five [in your eyes only] top quality Adventure films?
Instellar – In a future where humans are struggling to survive, astronauts venture into space through a wormhole to search for a new home for humankind.
Contact – a young woman takes a spaceship to a planet in another galaxy, not knowing what she will find or if she will even get there.
The Martian – The ultimate adventure that could plausibly take place in the next 100 years! An astronaut is left for dead on Mars by his crew members, who return to Earth. He must learn to survive Mars’ hazards until he can communicate with Earth and be rescued. This was a good movie, but the book was better!
Armegeddon – NASA discovers that an asteroid is going to hit Earth and sends a crew to land on the asteroid and divert it. OK, this film is not “top quality” but it  is actually a real possibility – it is against all odds that Earth has not been impacted by a devastating asteroid since the time of the dinosaurs.
The Lost City of Z – the only one of my five that takes place on Earth and is really true! It’s the story of a writer who traces the route of past explorers into the Amazon jungle to find a “lost city” known as “Z”, a possibly mythical place but whose legend has endured to this day. To get there, he faces many hazards and possibly death, since none of the explorers of the past returned from their expeditions.
In all of these films, characters face the unknown and the probability of not returning home alive. [Please provide links and say why you think they are]
What would be your ideal Adventure [not holiday – Adventure]? 
to be an archaeologist or help a team of archaeologists excavating ancient Egyptian ruins (I mean for real, not like Raiders of the Lost Ark!)
If you were planning your Adventure of a Lifetime which is the best season for you to go? Winter, early spring or late fall in a warm climate or southern hemisphere because I hate the cold.
What kind of activities do you enjoy doing and what would you never do?
I like to explore new places, then write about it, reading, photography and being in nature. I would never go hang gliding, mountain or rock climbing, skydiving or ziplining. (I did go ziplining once, in Costa Rica – never again!)
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year out of the answers below, where would you choose? The forest.
What are three great adventure quotes?
These are the answers “Bipolar Barb” gave, but they are great and I couldn’t come up with anything better. 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt;
“Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.” — Lloyd Alexander
“Until you step into the unknown, you don’t know what you’re made of.”
― Roy T. Bennett
America is named after?
Amerigo Vespucci
Who reached North America first out of the following peoples? Spanish, British, Vikings, Portuguese
Vikings – archaeologists have found evidence of Viking habitation in Canada from back in the 12th century or earlier. They were master sailors and conquerors.
map_viking_voyages.jpg
What was Christopher Columbus’s aim of his second voyage to the New world? Probably to rape & pillage and steal all the gold. Really, I don’t know, but that is what he and his men did. They wanted to find “El Dorado” – a city made of gold.
What happened to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan? It is buried under Mexico City.
What was the most exciting Adventure you have ever been on? Four days hiking/backpacking in the Grand Canyon
Where in the world have you had the most fun exploring as an adult?  I guess I have to say Scotland, because it is one place that we set our own agenda – we weren’t on a tour. It was in 1999, and my mother was with us. She had ancestors in Scotland and we explored some of the places that were part of their history.

dunnottar-castle-june.jpg
I downloaded this image from Bing, but this was a place in Scotland that we just happened to see when we were driving, so we stopped and explored! Well worth the visit!

When in Rome, one does as the Romans do; however, when on a sandy beach, one does ……….. ? Build a sand castle.
Whilst out and about exploring on an adventure, what is the scariest thing that has happened to you? I was almost kidnapped at O’Hare airport when I was 16, and also, in Mexico City, I got into an unmarked car whose driver claimed it was a taxi. If it hadn’t been for the alertness of the friend I was with, God knows what would have happened.
Of the following choices which would you prefer to explore?
Well, a forgotten city is sort of like a ghost town, which can be fun to explore. Ghost towns usually have great photo opps!
A sunken city – I would love it if it is no longer “sunken.” (Tenochtitlan is buried under Mexico City; many Egyptian ruins were buried under sand, but no longer. Do these count?)
A lost city – if it’s lost, how can I explore it?
An uninhabited island – that would be fun to explore also, as long as “uninhabited” includes dangerous animals!
uninhabited island.jpg
Why did you pick your option above, what appealed?
Sunken cities are archaeological goldmines, and I love learning and speculating about life in the distant past.
Would you rather swim with sharks or dolphins? Are you really expecting anyone to answer “sharks”? Dolphins, of course.
What’s the worst piece of travel advice you have ever received? It never really gets cold in Israel. WRONG!!
What is on the top of your bucket list? Going on another safari, perhaps in South Africa; visiting China; a cruise of the Greek Islands. In 2 1/2 weeks we are going to Europe, and while I am in France, I will visit Mont St. Michel, which I can then cross off my bucket list!
Best musical track you can think of for each of the following: exploration, adventuring or travelling? [Please provide links]
City of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie (traveling)
Africa by Toto (adventuring – safari!!)
This Land Is Your Land performed by Pete Seeger (exploring – there is so much variety in this country!)
How many countries [or States/Counties] have you visited – please list. I’ve been to 42 U.S. states, I think: New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho (very limited), Utah, Washington, Oregon (very limited), Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alaska, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina (limited), South Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine (only Acadia NP), District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, West Virginia. (I need to take two trips: Northeast and deep South!) I only counted states that I actually visited, and not states that I’ve driven through while on a road trip. My rule is I at least have to get out of the car and see something.  Oh, I have also been to Puerto Rico which is part of the United States, but it isn’t a state (yet).
Countries: Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia (only Cartagena), Brazil, Peru, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia (St. Petersburg), Finland, Sweden, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Egypt, Tanzania, Israel. In other words, NOT NEARLY ENOUGH! There’s a lot of world left to see!!!
Three items you simply could not travel without? Phone, notebook & pen, water bottle
water bottles.jpg

 

Journey to Egypt, Part 19: Temple at Kom Ombo

December 31, 2018

Kom Ombo Temple is probably my favorite of all the ancient Egyptian sites I saw on this trip. It has several interesting features that make it unique.
20181231_145553dAbout 30 miles north of the city of Aswan, Kom Ombo is located in a region that has a large Nubian community that was resettled here after the construction of the Aswan High Dam, which flooded the area they had come from originally. I will write more about the Nubians in a future post.
20181231_150507.jpgThe town of Kom Ombo has grown considerably in the last 35 years since its founding. It was an important town in ancient times because it was located at a convergence of trade routes to the Nile Valley, the Red Sea, and Nubia.20181231_145713The Temple of Kom Ombo is a double temple, to worship the gods Sobek (the crocodile god) and Horus (the falcon god). Both these gods were depicted, as Egyptian gods often were, as either an animal or a person with the animal’s head.

20181231_150240 (2)
Two images of Horus (with falcon heads) anoint the king (middle) by pouring water on his head; Sobek (with crocodile head) stands behind them on the left.

 

Kom Ombo Temple was built during the Ptolemaic era, between the 2nd century BCE and the 1st century CE. All the remains of the temple date to that period and later, although there has been evidence found of earlier structures, most notably an 18th Dynasty gateway.
20181231_150430d.jpgThe temple is called a “double temple” because it has two of almost everything, which allowed the priests to conduct equal worship rituals for two gods simultaneously. The southern part of the temple is dedicated to Sobek, the northern part to Horus. In addition, there is a small shrine dedicated to the goddess Hathor.
20181231_145656d

20181231_145732
Reliefs on outer walls

Crocodiles, sacred to Sobek, were worshipped here at Kom Ombo and were regarded as semi-divine. They were fed the finest foods, provided with golden earrings, and were even given manicures to gild their nails! Sacred crocodiles, when they were alive, were kept in the northwestern part of the temple. There is now a crocodile museum (included in the entrance ticket) adjacent to the temple where crocodile mummies and other artifacts are on display. We went there after our tour of the temple, but it was quite dark inside and we were not allowed to take photos anyway. However, here is one from a professional photographer.

Kom Ombo  (41)-crocodile museum.jpg
Crocodile mummies in the Crocodile Museum

 

The double entrance opens onto a large courtyard, the only shared space inside the temple’s boundaries. The entrance was oriented toward the river, facing roughly west.
20181231_150215d20181231_160024.jpg
There are two doorways from the courtyard to the outer hypostyle (columned) halls, inner hypostyle halls,

SONY DSCa series of offering halls, and twin sanctuaries, for Horus on the left and Sobek on the right.

Kom Ombo (10)-Sobek on pillar
Sobek with feathered headdress, holding a staff in his left hand and an ankh in his right hand.

20181231_155110
Sanctuary entrance

Mohamed showed us a calendar on the southwest wall of the Offering Hall, the first one we had seen.


20181231_155340

20181231_151138d
The goddess Hathor (with cow horns & a sun disk on her head) and the falcon god Horus (wearing the white crown)

20181231_151129d
Colorful paintings of the winged vulture on the bottom of the lintel over a doorway

DSC_0447
Over an adjacent doorway is the symbol of two cobras on either side of a sun disk, with spread wings, like this one.

 

20181231_151244
Detailed relief of Sobek

20181231_151342
Lovely dual relief, with the pharaoh offering jugs of water and lotus flowers. The confusing thing about this image is that the pharaoh is both female (with a breast) and a male (beard symbolic of the pharaoh). A female monarch perhaps? I don’t know…

20181231_151458.jpgAnother interesting feature is on the back wall of the outer enclosure – carvings of surgical instruments. Surgical tools found at archaeological sites match those in these carvings – quite amazing!
20181231_152026
SONY DSC
Another common theme was food, either being offered to the gods by the pharaoh or depicted upon a table.

20181231_152045
In this relief, water is being poured onto the food, representing the nourishment of food crops by rain and the river.

20181231_154050 (2)
On this column, the pharaoh of all Egypt (he is wearing the double crown) offers food to Horus.

Some of the reliefs show deep carving, especially the largest figures which cover an entire wall. This is the foot of Horus…
20181231_152638
…who is holding a staff and an ankh.
20181231_152652d
Behind him is a carving of Hathor, also holding a staff and an ankh.
20181231_152655d
Some of the feet show  details of the toes, such as this one of Hathor’s foot – she has very long toes!
20181231_152712
This temple was also known for being a place of healing. High up on a wall is a small doorway with a carved ear on either side. These “listening ears” are where people could go to tell the gods about their medical problems in hopes of healing.
20181231_152851
SONY DSC
Throughout the temple were reliefs amazing in their artistry and imagination.
20181231_154043
20181231_154838
20181231_154451.jpg
This bas relief is an interesting one, containing several figures. In the center stands the king, surrounded by familiar gods. To the left are Hathor and Thoth (ibis-headed god); to the right are a lion and two images of Horus. The lion was a symbol of strength and mastery of the natural world when depicted alongside the king. This shows that the lion/pharaoh is the guardian of order, or Ma’at, which was an important concept for the ancient Egyptians. Some gods also assimilated leonine aspects, such as Horus.
20181231_154330
Horus assimilated the god Tjel (a feline god), giving a lion image to a god almost always depicted as a falcon. That seems to be the symbolism of this remarkable image, which shows both the lion’s head and the falcon’s wings in motion. Right underneath the lion with wings is Horus in his true nature as a falcon.
SONY DSC
The lion is often depicted as female, such as in this relief. This female feline goddess was eventually incorporated into a domestic cat goddess, Bastet.
SONY DSC
Enjoy these additional photos of this fascinating and beautiful temple!!
20181231_155018
SONY DSC
Kom Ombo (16)
SONY DSC
SONY DSC20181231_155732
20181231_155215d

Sources: Symbolism of the Lion in Ancient Egypt by Michael Fassbender
The Temple of Kom Ombo on website Ancient Egypt Online.  In this article,
Horus and Sobek are said to be in conflict, which is why the temple had to
separate them. I had not found this idea of conflict in any other source.
Kom Ombo, Wikipedia.
Fodor’s Egypt, 2009 edition
My own notes from information given to us by our guide