God of the Dead, Goddesses of Protection

Few days ago went to the desert and climbed a mountain of
limestone (they call it alabaster) with pervasive chert nodules. On top I found
a wack of old pottery, some shelly fossils, and areas of chrinoidal limestone. That evening, over tea, we watched Amen Ra descend below the western desert horizon and the first stars come out. The ancient Egyptians believed that Amen Ra would then pass through the underworld, Osiris’ domain, only to be born again each day in the east.

Me and Tito (aka “Mr Happy”)

The next day we did a day trip to Abydos to the Temple of
Osiris built by Seti I. We were the only ones there in the morning, and walking
alone through the temple gave me an idea of how sacred it was meant to be.
There were 7 side rooms in the temple dedicated to 7 gods: Horus, Isis, Osiris,
Nut I think, Seti I himself, and can’t remember the others right now (and too lazy to google it).

Temple of Osiris

A Pharaoh giving offerings to Osiris, god of the underworld
Natural lighting
Vulture overhanging doorjamb
Mysteriously flooded portion of the Temple of Osiris home to foot long fish!

Temple of Hathor
On our way back we visited the Temple of Hathor in Danderis.
After Osiris’ Temple, I was feeling a little ruined-out and planned on kind of
skimming this last one. But Hathor’s Temple completely enthralled me and turned out to be my favorite out of all of them. Hathor was the goddess of protection and was often depicted as a cow standing over the protected or suckling them from her udder. Fittingly, her temple was
one of the best preserved of all the ruins I’d seen. Just when I thought I’d enjoyed most of the temple, a “guide” beaconed me down into a subterranean
catacomb accessible only through a very low squeeze-way (~2ft tall). 
Nut stretched out, shielding a doorway
Entrance to the catacomb

Then Hamdy led me through a small side-corridor that square-spiralled up into rooms above and then to the temple’s roof. These rooms were covered and protected by ceilings imbued with depictions of Nut, the sky goddess, bending over with feet and hands planted on the Earth as if to shield everything beneath the sky.

Nut arched across the sky, protecting all beneath
Pillar gallery entrance to Hathor’s Temple

Passageway leading to upper rooms above pillar gallery

The other night, I read that two police were killed at Giza pyramids in a drive-by shooting and Karnak Temple was attacked by three suicide bombers who were shot by the guards before entering the temple but not before one blew himself up. Hamdy said that this is going to be very bad for Egypt’s already suffering tourism industry.
I walked past these coolers 4 times just days before the bombing attempt
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6 thoughts on “God of the Dead, Goddesses of Protection

  1. Cari M says

    Again – amazing photos and videos – to see the centre of the stone stairs worn down and imagine how many human footsteps it took to do that, hearing the echoes as you walked, and the birds chirping. It seems so strange you could just stroll around, almost alone in something so ancient and irreplaceable. The couple who walked in front of where you were viewing gave an idea of the scale. Those pillars are massive!

    Reply
  2. Rick says

    Even just seeing the pictures and videos left me with a sense of reverence–the absolutely monumentally historical significance. Gives the much overused and glib word "awesome" real meaning. To think of the millennia of human existence that has passed since that incredible construction was carried out. AWESOME INDEED!!!

    Reply
  3. lmutch says

    I'm so happy that I can share a little bit of the experience with you guys; I thought and felt the exact thoughts that you expressed in your comments as well. The awesomeness, magnitude, timescale, sounds, and worn steps were some of the main aspects of the temple that mesmerized me and that I wanted to try and capture in the videos. It seems that some of it definitely came through 🙂

    The resort is a dream! I know you guys would absolutely love it and wish so much you could be here with me. Thank you so so much for arranging it for me, I'm completely blissing out here!

    Reply
  4. Lainie Sinclair says

    Thanks so much for video of Hathor's temple. It must have been marvelous to be there without crowds of people. the bird songs and occasional slamming adds a real sense of ghostliness. So happy you are out of Egypt and sounds like just in time! Can hardly wait til you get home to tell more of your adventures.

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  5. Tiara Mutch says

    So coooool!

    Reply
  6. lmutch says

    Yeah I thoroughly enjoyed Egypt, but I am glad to be out now too. Crete is a true holiday!

    Reply

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