July 30, 2012

Temple of Osiris, Opet and Mut

Temple of Osiris and Opet: Plan 9
The Temple of Osiris and Opet adjoins that of Khonsu to the southwest. It comprises a rectangular hall which has a well-preserved ceiling resting on two Hathor-decorated columns, a second small hall which is flanked by two rooms, and a sanctuary. The sanctuary has representations of King Euergetes II before various deities.

Temple of Osiris and Opet
A flight of steps from the sanctuary leads to the lower chambers of the basement and the exit door, which once connected this temple with that of Khonsu.

Temple of Mut
Now completely in ruins, the Temple of Mut was surrounded on three sides by a horseshoe-shaped lake. It was dedicated to the consort of Amon and comprised a pair of open courts, one following the other, and a sanctuary surrounded by ante-chambers. The construction extended through many generations from Amenhotep III to Ptolemaic times.

Temple of Mut
Among its many statues and murals is a grotesque figure of the god Bes, and at least 600 statues of the war-goddess Sekhmet in black granite. These surrounded the entire court, in places packed closely in double rows. We know very little about the beginning of the adoration of the goddess in whose honour this temple was built, and the site is covered with centuries of rubble. It is being excavated by a team from the Brooklyn Museum in New York. (See Work in Progress No. 2).

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