Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Dendera in 1823

As Marco from the Travellers In Egypt website promised, the site has been updated with a new item. This is from Scenes and Impressions in Egypt and Italy by Moyle Sherer, 1824: "On the 22d [March, 1823] we brought-to near Dendera. This temple is in a most perfect state; has a magnificent, portico, a noble cornice, and twenty-four large Isis-headed columns, a strange sort of capital: there are four faces on each; and they are marked as those of Isis, by the ears of the cow. On the roof of this portico you fancy, and delight to fancy, that you trace the zodiac. The signs Leo, Sagittarius, and Taurus, struck me as finely and boldly executed. There is a staircase to the roof of this temple, or rather leading to apartments near it, remarkably commodious. The steps are so very low that the priests might carry up and down the weighty paraphernalia of sacrifice, and even animals might easily be led up. On either side, the wall is quite covered with figures of priests in relief, carrying banners, sacred arks, and vessels for the offerings. In one of the small dark chambers above, I remarked a sphinx, that is, in head and attitude, but having the limbs behind also human." See the full article for lots more of the same - terrific stuff.

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