Philae TempleTemple of Philae
... This temple was primarily dedicated to Isis, but her husband Osiris and her son Horus were also venerated there.
Many antique authors mention Philae, among them Strabo,Diodorus Siculus,Ptolemy,Seneca,Pliny the Alder. 8 ] It was, as the name suggests, the name of two small islets in the 24th degree of latitude, just above the First Cataract at Aswan (Egyptian Swenet "Handel"; old Greek: ?????). Groskurd  calculates the approximate 100 km to Aswan.
Although it was the smaller of the two islands, Philae herself, of the many, quaint remains there earlier, was the more interesting of the two. It' s made of syenite: its sides are precipitous and on its peaks a high rampart has been surounded. Philae was regarded as one of the tombs of Osiris, and was highly revered both by the Egyptians in the northern part and by the Nubians (often called" Ethiopians" in Greek) in the southern part.
Residing there was considered a profanity for all except the clergy, and was accordingly separated and described as "the inaccessible" (ancient Greek: ??????). 12 ] These were indeed the customs of a secluded era; for in the Ptolemaic kingdom Philae was used so much, in part by the pilgrims to the grave of Osiris, in part by those on earthly messengers, that the clergy asked Ptolemy VIII Physcon (170-117 B.C.) at least to prevent Ptolemy VIII from going there and to live at his cost.
During the 19th c. William John Bankes took the Philae obelisks on which this Petition was inscribed in England. Comparing his hieroglyphics with those of the Rosetta stone, he cast great luminosity on the Abbot's consonant script. However, the Philae isles were not only sacred places of residence, but also the commercial centers between Meroë and Memphis.
The cataract's canals were unworkable in most periods of the year, and the goods traded between Egypt and Nubia were alternately landfilled and re-embarked in Syene and Philae. One of the most striking features of both isles was their rich architecture. Memorials of different epochs, which extend from the Pharaohs to the Caesars, take up almost their entire area.
However, the main structure was at the southern end of the smaller islet. Its oldest was a temple for Isis, erected during the rule of Nectanebo I in 380-362 B.C. and reached from the riverbank through a dual column. The Nekhtnebef was his old title of king of Egypt and he became the founder pharoah of the thirtieth and last indigenous nepherite family when he removed and murdered Nepherites II.
Most of the other remains are from the Ptolemaic kingdom, especially from the times of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Ptolemy V Epiphanes and Ptolemy VI Philometor (282-145 BC), with many vestiges of work in Philae by the Romans devoted to Ammon-Osiris.
Osiris' history is depicted all over the temple and two of its inner rooms are particularly full of symbolism. On the two large propyles are written Greeks, which have been crossed and partly ruined by ancient Egyptis. In fact, the memorials on both isles, beyond all others in the Nile Valley, testify to the surviving of purely Egytian arts, hundreds of years after the last pharaohs had stopped reigning.
A great effort was made to maim the temple's statues. With the exception of Horus and his wing-wings sun disc, all figures and hieroglyphics were painstakingly scraped out by the early Christians in some of the murals. Philae's ground had been thoroughly paved for its building - it was levelled where it was bumpy and braced by brickwork where it was crumbled or unsafe.
As an example, the west walls of the Great Temple and the corresponding walls of the Dymo were carried by very thick bases erected below the pre-flood and resting on the rocky ground that constitutes the Nile beds in this area. Stairs were carved out of the walls here and there to ease communications between the temple and the flow.
On the south end of the Great Temple was a smaller temple, apparently devoted to Hathor; at least the few pillars left of it are dominated by the deity. This is the old name of the smaller Egyptians and means "border". The Egyptians held a powerful military base there as their south border, and it was also a barrack for them.
Hathor's first temple was erected by indigenous pharaos of the thirtyth cynasty. This temple was formally shut down in the 6th c. by the byzantic Kaiser Justinian I. (527-565). Later Philae was a Christian town. Philae became a very popular place in the nineteenth c..
During the 1820' s Joseph Bonomi the Younger, a famous English Egyptian scholar and exhibition trustee, came to the Isle. Soon it became usual to go to Philae. As a result, many old symbols, such as the temple of Philae, were underwater. From 1907-1912 and 1929-1934, the level of the embankment was increased twice, and the isle of Philae was almost always inundated.
Indeed, the only time the building was not under water was when the locks of the reservoir were open from July to October. Proposals were made to move the temple bit by bit to near situated isles like Bigeh or Elephantine. Instead, however, the temple bases and other architectonic load-bearing constructions were reinforced.
Even though the building was secured by physical means, the beautiful flora of the islands and the colours of the temple relief were flushed away. The tiles of the Philae Temple were also soon incrusted with mud and other rubble that had been taken from the Nile. Since antiquity the temple was virtually untouched, but with every flood the building deteriorated and in the 60s up to a third of the islands were under water all year round.
Afterwards, the memorials were purified and surveyed with the help of the photogrammetric technique, a technique that allows an accurate re-construction of the initial sizes of the bricks used by the ancestors. Then, each of the buildings was disassembled into approximately 40,000 pieces and shipped to the island of Agilkia, which is located at an altitude of approximately 500 meters.
Before the flood there was a bigger islet a little bit westward of Philae, formerly known as Snem or Senmut, but now Bigeh. It' s very precipitous and offers a beautiful panoramic sight of the Nile from its highest point, from its flat southern side of the isles to its fall over the rocks that make up the First Cataract.
Philae, Bigeh and another smaller islet split the stream into four main currents, and northward of them it took a quick turn westward and then northward, where the cataracts begin. Bigeh was, like Philae, a sacred isle; its remains and cliffs are marked with the name and title of Amenhotep III, Ramses II, Psamtik II, Apries and Amasis II, together with monuments of the later macedonian and romaine emperors of Egypt.
The main ruin of the temple was made up of the propyles and two pillars of a temple that was apparently small but of elegance and proportion. Maps of Philae with ground plans of the Temple of Isis. Tempelhieroglyphs on stones in Philae. "Philae". The Rescue of Nubian Monuments and Sites, UNESCO website for the Nubia campaign.
Leap to the top ^ "Report on the Protection of Philae Monuments" (PDF). "Philae". Greek and Roman geography dictionary. Temple of the last Pharaohs. and the end of the ancient Egypt faith. "Architectural story of Philae". "Philae". Ptolemaean Philae. "Philae". The Wikimedia Commons has got press on Philae.