Saturday, June 11, 2011

Page 22: Old and Middle Kingdom Development of Ancient Egyptian Temples

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characteristics, ultimately they represent dead ends in the long-term development of the temple. The irregularly shaped Archaic and Old Kingdom temple at Medamud, a little to the north of Thebes, provides an excellent example. Although we do not know what deity was worshipped at the site in Old Kingdom times (later it was the falcon-headed god Montu), the unusual twin mounds of this temple are doubtless rooted in ancient mythic traditions similar to those which inspired the mounds of Hierakonpolis and other early ancient Egyptian sites.

Separate from the provincial ancient Egyptian temples, yet in some ways falling alongside them, the cult temple built for the ka or 'life force' of the 6th-dynasty king Pepi I (2289-2255 BC) at Bubastis (Tell Basta) in the eastern Delta and the special chambers built in the temple area at Hierakonpolis - in one of which was found the famous life-sized copper statue of this king along with a statue of his son (or possibly also of Pepi) - are hard to classify. Not physically connected with the pyramids of the king, the ka temple at Bubastis and the chapel - if that is what it was - at Hierakonpolis may represent smaller royally commissioned provincial religious structures of which we still have little knowledge.

Middle Kingdom Developments of the Ancient Egyptian Temples
Although the Middle Kingdom witnessed the widespread building of religious structures - including many more royally commissioned provincial temples that in early times - a great many of these structures were later demolished or substantially rebuilt when they were incorporated into more elaborate structures erected on the same sites (p. 51). The extant evidence for Middle Kingdom temples is thus paradoxically scarcer than for some other periods in which fewer temples were constructed.

One of the earliest examples of Middle Kingdom temple architecture and one of the few not substantially destroyed in later rebuilding is the combined ... Continue reading at page 23>>
The dual mounds of the temple at Medamud are an example of the unusual plans found in Old Kingdom provincial anceint Egyptian temples.
The mortuary complex of nebhepetre Mentuhotep at Deir el-Bahari was a great terraced tomb-temple. It was once thought that it was topped by a pyramid-like structure (above), but is now believed to have been surmounted by a mound or even a flat-topped structure. Its true significance, however, lies in other aspects of its unique design (p. 180).
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