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Kom Ombo: Reliefs of the gods Horus and Bes (French Exped. 1799)

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Reliefs of deities from the Temple of Horus.  (Top:) Horus. (Bot:) Bes (Desc de l'Egypte 1809).


Kom Ombo, located on the east bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt, 160 km south of Luxor and 50 km north of Aswan and the first Nile cataract, contained twin sanctuaries to the falcon god Horus, and to the crocodile god Sobek. The temple complex dates from the mid-Ptolemaic period at about 150 BC. It was added to throughout the Roman period, from the time of Augustus and Tiberius (12 BC- AD 37) through the reign of Macrinus (AD 271).

Two details are shown here of the Roman-era reliefs in the Temple of Horus, drawn by artists in the 1799 French expedition. At the top are figures of the falcon god Horus, a major deity in Egypt since the time of the Old Kingdom, and principal deity of the shrine. Below are repeated figures of the god Bes, a somewhat beast-like popular deity related to the fertility cult of Priapus, widespread in Roman times.


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