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The front o the Temple o Edfu
The front o the Temple o Edfu
Edfu is located in Egypt
Location in Egyp
Coordinates: 24°58′40″N 32°52′24″E / 24.97778°N 32.87333°E / 24.97778; 32.87333
Kintra Egyp
GovrenorateAswan Govrenorate
Time zoneUTC+2 (EST)

Edfu (an aa spelt Idfu, or in modren French as Edfou, an kent in antiquity as Behdet) is an Egyptian ceety, locatit on the wast bank o the Nile River atween Esna an Aswan, wi a population o approximately saxty thoosan fowk. For the auncient history o the ceety, see belaw. Edfu is the steid o the Ptolemaic Temple o Horus an an auncient dounset, Tell Edfu (describit belaw). Aboot 5 km (3.1 mi) north o Edfu are remains o auncient pyramids.

Edfu Temple o Horus[eedit | eedit soorce]

The toun is kent for the major Ptolemaic temple, biggit atween 237 BCE an 57 BCE, intae the reign o Cleopatra VII. O aw the temple remains in Egyp, the Temple o Horus at Edfu is the maist completely preservit. Built frae sandstane blocks, the huge Ptolemaic temple wis constructit ower the steid o a smawer New Kinrick temple, orientit east tae wast, facin towards the river. The later structur faces north tae sooth an leaves the ruined remains o the aulder temple pylon tae be seen on the east side o the first court.

Auncient Tell Edfu[eedit | eedit soorce]

The remains o the auncient dounset o Edfu are situatit aboot 50 m tae the wast o the Ptolemaic temple - tae the left o the oaulder temple pylon. This dounset is kent as Wetjeset-hor an the Laitin name wis Apollinopolis Magna (Auncient Greek: Apollinòpolis, Απολλινόπολις). Accordin tae Notitia Dignitatum, pairt o Legio II Traiana Fortis wis campit in Apollo superior, which wis the Roman name for the toun.

Statue o Horus, Edfu Temple.
The first pylon at Edfu Temple.

Awtho unassumin an unglamorous tae the visitin tourists, Tell Edfu is a monument that contains evidence o mair Egyptian history an is o mair airchaeological interest than the Ptolemaic temple. Awtho major pairts o the dounset shaw severe signs o erosion, cut awa or hae been exposed durin sebakh-diggin, enough is preservit tae gain information frae as far back as the Predynastic Period. The remains o the dounset (tell) provides an insicht intae the development o Edfu as a provincial toun frae the end o the Auld Kinrick till the Byzantine period. The dounset at Edfu wis the caipital o the Seicont Upper Egyp nome, an played an important role athin the region. The auldest pairt o the toun which can be datit tae the late Auld Kinrick lees on the eastren pairt o the tell, no far frae the Ptolemaic temple. Thare is evidence that the toun flourisht durin the First Intermediate Period whan it expandit extensively tae the wast. Interestingly, it is ane o few dounsets in soothren Egyp that thrivit whan it seems that the north, especially aroond the delta, wis in economic decline.

The day, the auncient moond o Tell Edfu is preservit in some auries up tae 20 m heich an contains complete airchaeological sequences o occupation datin tae the Auld Kinrick till the Graeco-Roman period, mair nor 3000 years o history, tharefore providin ideal condeetions tae study the development o a provincial toun. A central pairt o the steid wis splorit bi Henri Henne frae the Institute for Egyptology in Lille in 1921 an 1922. His team identifeed the remains o a sma sanctuar frae the Late or Ptolemaic period, possibly the Osiris chapel biggit bi Psamtek I. Henne wis follaeed bi Octave Guéraud in 1928 then bi Maurice Alliot in 1931 who each splorit an excavatit different aspects o the dounset remains. The tap layers o the dounset containin the Byzantine, Roman an Ptolemaic remains an the Auld an Middle Kinrick cemetery at the soothren wastren corner wur recordit bi a Franco-Pols mission in 1937-39, directit bi B. Bruyère, J. Manteuffel an Kazimierz Michałowski, an three elaborate reports on the airchaeologie o Tell Edfu wur publisht. Unfortunately, syne the mid 1939's nae new detailed discoveries or thorou research haes been completit at the tell except for recent wirk done bi Barry Kemp, frae the Varsity o Cambridge. Syne 2001, the Tell Edfu project is directit bi Nadine Moeller (Oriental Institute, Varsity o Chicago). The current wirk focuses on the eastren pairt o the steid. Sae far the admeenistrative centre o the auncient toun haes been discovered wi remains o a columned haw datin tae the late Middle Kinrick as well as a lairge granar courtyard that functioned as a grain reserve for this provincial caipital. Latter dates tae the Seicont Intermediate Period (17t Dynasty). At least seiven lairge roond silos hae been excavatit here wi a diametre atween 5.5 an 6.5 metres which maks them the lairgest anes sae far discovered athin an auncient Egyptian urban centre.

Nae lairger remains datin earlier than the 5t Dynasty hae been foond at Edfu. The auncient cemetery comprised mastabas o the Auld Kinrick as well as later tombs. Afore the beginnin o the New Kinrick, the necropolis wis transferred tae Hager Edfu, tae the wast an then in the Late period tae the sooth at Nag’ el-Hassaya. The entire aurie wis cried Behedet. The god Horus wis herein worshippit as Horus Behedet.

Ane o thir mastabas belangit tae Isi, a local admeenistrator, who, it wis quotit wis the "great chief o the Nome o Edfu" in the Saxt Dynasty. Isi lived durin the reign o King Djedkare Isesi o the Fift an intae the reign o Pepi I o the Saxt Dynasties. He wis a admeenistrator, judge, chief o the ryal archives an a "Great Ane amang the Tens o the Sooth" [ref?]. Isi later became a livin god an wis sae worshippit durin the Middle Kinrick. As the Saxt Dynasty an the Auld Kinrick drew tae a close, local regional govrenors an admeenistrative nobles teuk on a lairger pouer in thair auries, awa frae the ryal central authority.

Edfu pyramid ruins[eedit | eedit soorce]

The remains o ane o seiven sma provincial step pyramids biggit alang the Nile Valley, is situatit aboot 5 km sooth o Edfu near the wast bank veelage o Naga el-Goneima. The structur wis biggit frae rough reddish sandstane an rises tae a present hicht o 5.5 m. The pyramid haes been loosely attributit tae King Huni o the Third Dynasty. The purpose o thir pyramids is unkent. Further investigations an a detailed survey are carriet oot bi the Oriental Institute, Varsity o Chicago syne 2010.

Apollonopolis Magna[eedit | eedit soorce]

Apollonopolis Magna or Apollinopolis Magna (Greek: πόλις μεγάλη Ἀπόλλωνος, Strabo xvii. p. 817; Agartharch. p. 22; Plin. v. 9. s. 11; Plut. Is. et Osir. 50; Aelian. Hist. An. x. 2; Ptol. iv. 5. § 70; Ἀπολλωνία, Steph. Byzant. s. v.; Ἀπολλωνιάς, Hierocl. p. 732; It. Ant. p. 160, 174; Not. Imp. Orient. c. 143; Laitin: Apollonos Superioris [urbs]). Ptolemy (l. c.) assigns Apollinopolis tae the Hermonthite nome, but it wis mair commonly regardit as the caipital toun o the nome Apollopolites.[1] Unner the Roman emperors it wis the seat o a bishop's see, an the heid-quairters o the Legio II Trajana. Its indwallers wur enemies o the crocodile an its worshippers.

The auncient ceety derivit its principal reputation frae twa temples, which are considered seicont anerlie tae the Temple o Dendera as specimens o the sacred structurs o Egyp. The lairger temple is in guid preservation, an is bein excavatit (see Edfu). The smawer temple, whiles, but improperly, cried a Typhonium, is apparently an appendage o the latter, an its sculpturs represent the birth an eddication o the youthful deity, Horus, whose parents Noum, or Kneph an Athor, wur wirshippit in the lairger edifice. The principal temple is dedicatit tae Noum, whose seembol is the disc o the sun, supportit bi twa asps an the extendit wings o a vultur. Its sculptures represent (Rosellini, Monum. del Culto, p. 240, tav. xxxviii.) the progress o the Sun, Phre-Hor-Hat, Laird o Heiven, muivin in his bark (Bari) throu the cercle o the Oors. The local name o the destrict roond Apollinopolis wis Hat, an Noum wis styled Hor-hat-kah, or Horus, the tutelar genius o the land o Hat. This deity forms at Apollinopolis a triad wi the goddess Athor an Hor-Senet an aw. The members o the triad are youthful gods, pointin thair finger towards thair mooths, an afore the decipherment o the hieroglyphics wur regardit as figurs o Harpocrates.

The entrance intae the lairger temple o Apollinopolis is a gatewey (πυλών) 50 feet heich, flankit bi twa convergin wings (πτερά) in the form o truncatit pyramids, risin tae 107 feet (33 m). The wings contain ten stories, are piercit bi roond loop-holes for the admission o licht, an probably servit as chambers or dormitories for the priests an servitors o the temple. Frae the jambs o the door project twa blocks o stane, which wur intendit, as Ddnon supposes, tae support the heids o twa colossal figurs. This propylaeon leads intae a lairge square, surroondit bi a colonnade rooft wi squared granite, an on the opposite side is a pronaos or portico, 53 feet (16 m) in hicht, an haein a triple row o columns, sax in each row, wi variously an gracefully foliagit caipitals. The temple is 145 feet (44 m) wide, an 424 feet (129 m) lang frae the entrance tae the opposite end. Ivery pairt o the waws is covered wi hieroglyphics, an the main court ascends gradually tae the pronaos bi broad steps. The whole aurie o the biggin wis surroondit bi a waw 20 feet (6.1 m) heich, o great thickness. Lik sae mony o the Egyptian temples, that o Apollinopolis wis capable o bein employed as a fortress. It stuid aboot a third o a mile frae the river. The sculpturs, awtho carefully an indeed bonnily executit, are o the Ptolemaic era, the earliest portion o the temple haein been erectit bi Ptolemy VI Philometor in 181 BC.

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1.  This airticle incorporates text frae a publication nou in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–57). "article name needed". Dictionary o Greek an Roman Geography. London: John Murray. Cite has empty unkent parameter: |HIDE_PARAMETER= (help)

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