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The Temple Of Dekka

 

South Egpyt's Temple of Dekka is about 100 km from the famous Aswan High Dam, which was built to tame the Nile river. Initially, it was constructed in Nubia, but in modern times, it had to be shifted to a place named Es-Sebua, about 40km upstream on a small cliff. The shifting mission of this temple was accomplished from 1962 to 1968 so that the temple would be safe from the flood waters of Lake Nasser and the High Dam. Though now this temple is also famously known to the world as El-Dakka, the local Egyptians call it as Pselqet, while the Greeks refer to it as Pselchis.

 

The temple was built by the Nubian Agher Amon who ruled at the time of King Ptolemy II, although later additions were added during the Greco-Roman times. The temple originally goes back to the 18th dynasty, during the time of Thutmosis III, Hatshepsut, and Seti I and Merneptah. Like most of the other Nubian monuments, it was converted into a church during the Christian era. The temple is decorated with many religion scenes and important reliefs.

 

The Creator of the Temple of Dekka

 

There is a dispute about the true maker of this temple among present scholars. People once thought that it was made by the Nubian king, Agher Amon, whose reign was at the time of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, between 282 and 246 B.C. According to the historians of the time, this temple was thought to have been built around 220 B.C by Ergamenes, the Roman name for Agher Amon. The latest additions of the temple were supposedly built by other Egyptian kings of Greco-Roman era.

 

But now, some present researchers claim that this temple was made much earlier, at the time of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, during the 19th Egyptian dynasty, who dedicated the temple to the god Horus. Several stone blocks, with pictures of Horus, are found in this temple site, which is thought to confirm their theory. Later on, probably Seti I and Merneptah, the rulers of the 19th dynasty, built the newer additions of the temple.

 

The Architectural Wonders of the Temple of Dekka

 

This temple consists of a facade, a pylon, a large courtyard and two sanctuaries (built in two different periods). The uniqueness of this temple is primarily due to its facade, as it is the only one in Egypt that faces towards the north, instead of the east, and it runs in the north-south direction.parallel to the Nile river which flows down in front of it.

 

There was once an enclosed wall that is now demolished. Hence, the pylon or the huge gateway now stands separated from the courtyard, due to the absence of this wall that held the pylon. This pylon is notable due to a sculpture of a solar disk and a uraeus (the sacred Egyptian serpent) extending its wings at the entrance. A smaller entrance to the southern part of the temple leads the way to a staircase, directing towards many rooms, inside the pylon.

 

The courtyard leads to the hall or pronaos, which is decorated with bas-reliefs, showing a Ptolemaic king giving offerings to various Egyptian gods.

 

Among the two sanctuaries of this temple, one was supposedly made by Arkamani, the Nubian king(and the initial maker of this temple) and the other was said to be included by Augustus. These sanctuaries contain many beautiful reliefs depicting the Nubian king giving offerings to various Egyptian deities, including goddess Anqet and the lion-headed goddess, Sekhmet, along with Thoth, Isis, and Tefnut

 

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