Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back to Egypt for a tad longer

The Temple of Sobek and Haroeris in Kom Ombo (also known simply as Kom
Ombo Temple) dates from about 180 BC during the Ptolemaic era, with additions
made into Roman times. It stands right on the bank of the Nile between Edfu and
Aswan, making it a convenient stop for river cruises.
In ancient times, Kom Ombo stood on an important crossroads between the
caravan route from Nubia and trails from the gold mines in the eastern desert.
During the reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 BC), it became a training
depot for African war elephants, which were used to fight the fierce pachyderms
of the Seleucid empire.
The temple at Kom Ombo was also built at this time, under Ptolemy VI. Since this
bend in the Nile was a favored spot for crocodiles to bask in the sun and threaten
locals, it is natural that the temple would be dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile
god. But it is unusual in having a double dedication: it also honors Haroeris, a
form of the falcon-headed god Horus.
The hypostyle halls were added under Ptolemy XIII (51-47 BC); the Roman
emperor Trajan (53-117 AD) added the forecourt and outer enclosure walls.
Today, Kom Ombo is home to many Nubians who were displaced from their
ancestral homes by the rise of Lake Nasser caused by Aswan Dam. Tourism is not
the only industry in Kom Ombo: sugar cane is harvested on the river banks and
there are felucca-building yards here.

1 comment:

Soosan said...

O to see the places that have been touched by the ancients. Your pics are a WOW. Thanks for showing them.