Africa: Temples, Palaces / Temple of Edfu

PHOTO: Ladunka 2458'40.00" 3252'24.00"

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Temple of Edfu - Of all the temples of ancient Egypt, the one at Edfu is the most complete and best preserved. The reason is that the temple had been totally submerged under the desert except for the very top of the pylon entrance. A small amount of stone had been removed from the exposed part, but when excavated it was found to be in near perfect condition. On the undersurface of the main archway into the temple are six sets of winged images, each with slightly different attributes. The Winged Sun Disc is thought to have originated from the corona effect of a solar eclipse which can give the appearance of wings. As the Sun had such powerful significance to the ancient Egyptians, this apparition would have held great symbolism for them. The temple is dedicated to Horus and was built in the Ptolemaic period. At the entrance to the inner temple stands a magnificent black marble statue of the god. The Hypostyle hall is both imposing and impressive because of its size and condition. An impressive feature of the temple is that nearly every surface is covered by carvings and hieroglyphics, some of which were defaced by Christians as they considered the images to be pagan.