A rose at 4 AM and then stayed awake to watch the dawn of the day. Went top deck just as dawn was breaking and met the Australian solo traveler, Phil, that I have been eating with at my assigned dining room table.
After several hours of cruising down the Nile we stopped at Kom Umbo to tour the temple there. It is not Egyptian as much Greco- Roman. This is the temple where on the way upriver several days ago the ship arrived late and I was unable to purchase an entrance ticket.
Skirted a few touts, bearable touting, as I walked around the temple which had been protected for centuries by silt deposited by the flooding of the Nile. The temple is unique in that it honors and worships two separate gods – one a crocodile god, the other a falcon god. Crocodiles were very prevalent in this stretch of the Nile prior to the building of the Aswan High Dam.
Departed 10:00 AM
The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple in the town of Kom Ombo in Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt. It was constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty, 180–47 BC. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The building is unique because its ‘double’ design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along “with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor or Tefnet/Tefnut) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).” The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.
The temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor (180–145 BC) at the beginning of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys, most notably Ptolemy XIII (51–47 BC), who built the inner and outer hypostyle halls. The scene on the inner face of the rear wall of the temple is of particular interest, and “probably represents a set of surgical instruments.”
Much of the temple has been destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes, and later builders who used its stones for other projects. Some of the reliefs inside were defaced by Copts who once used the temple as a church. All the temples buildings in the southern part of the plateau were cleared of debris and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893.
A few of the three hundred crocodile mummies discovered in the vicinity are displayed in The Crocodile Museum.
Took some good pics at the temple. Now nearing 1500 photos taken. Having problems uploading pics to WordPress for inclusion in blog for two reasons : poor cell reception in remote stretches of the river, away from population centers and (2) the photos are not decompressed. Need jpeg conversion app to reduce a large pixel photo to a less dense resolution. Burning up data allotment uploading to WordPress server.
Onward, downriver. Next stop – where the girl in the blue dress that lost the pencil will be touting. We will see if she is there.