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Philae: Temple of Isis, plan and east elevation (Desc. Egy. 1799)


Fig.1: (top)  Temple of Isis at Philae, east elevation. (bottom) Plan of temples on Philae (Description de l'Egypte 1809)

In recording the ancient monuments of Egypt, the French army surveyors and artists went as far south as the Island of Philae, located just beyond Aswan and the first Nile cataract. Here, in 1799, they made the first detailed survey and drawings of this major temple site at the border of Egypt and Nubia. 

Philae had monuments dating from the Nubian-ruled 25th Dynasty, during the reign of Taharqa (690-664 BC), and from the final, 30th Egyptian Dynasty in the reign of Nectenebo I (380-362 BC). Remains have also been found of a temple of the deity Arensnuphis, dedicated jointly by the Meroitic king Arqamanni, and the Hellenistic ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopater (220-200 BC). The main temple complex devoted to the goddess Isis was begun in the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 BC).



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