Temple of Kom Ombo, Egypt

Kom Ombo is an agricultural town in Egypt famous for the Temple of Kom Ombo. It was originally an Egyptian city called Nubt, meaning City of Gold. It became a Greek settlement during the Greco-Roman Period. The town’s location on the Nile 50 km north of Aswan gave it some control over trade routes from Nubia to the Nile Valley, but its main rise to prominence came with the erection of the temple in the 2nd century BC.

Case (mansion) in Kom Ombo Town.

Case (mansion) in Kom Ombo Town.

Outskirts of the town Kom Ombo

Outskirts of the town Kom Ombo

Rural child of Kom Ombo

Rural child of Kom Ombo

A child of this village is pretty with innocence. This child was talking with an innocent smile. Unfortunately I did not understand his words.

Kom Ombo Temple (Temple of Sobek and Haroeris) dates from about 180 BC during the Ptolemaic era, with additions made into Roman times. It stands right on the bank of the Nile between Edfu and Aswan, making it a convenient stop for river cruises.

Temple of Sobek and Haroeris, Kom Ombo

Temple of Sobek and Haroeris, Kom Ombo

The building is unique because its ‘double’ design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along “with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).” The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.   

Sobek and in Greek, Suchos was the deification of crocodiles, as crocodiles were deeply feared in the nation that was so dependent on the Nile River. Egyptians who worked or traveled on the Nile hoped that if they prayed to Sobek, the crocodile and Nile god, he would protect them from being attacked by the crocodiles who lived in the river.

The god Sobek, which was depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile, was a powerful and frightening deity; in some Egyptian creation myths, it was Sobek who first came out of the waters of chaos to create the world. As a creator god, he was occasionally linked with the sun god Ra.

During the twelfth and thirteenth dynasties (1991 BC – 1650 BC), the cult of Sobek was given particular prominence, and a number of rulers incorporated him in their coronation names. Most of Sobek’s temples were located “in parts of Egypt where crocodiles were common.” Sobek’s cult originally flourished around Al Fayyum where some temples still remain.

Ruins of Kom Ombo Temple.

Ruins of Kom Ombo Temple.

Columns and ceiling in the Hypostyle Hall.

Columns and ceiling in the Hypostyle Hall.

One of the notable features of this temple was the fact that the paintings on the ceiling still retained so much of their original color.

Painting on the ceiling, representing vultures in the sky.

Painting on the ceiling, representing vultures in the sky.

Columns of the Roman-era

Columns of the Roman-era

Relief of gods Khonsu, Horus and Sobek

Relief of Ptolemy and gods Khonsu, Horus and Sobek

Crocodile Museum

Crocodile Museum

Crocodile Museum

The crocodile Museum is adjacent to Kom Ombo Temple.

Mummies of crocodile in the  Crocodile Museum

Mummies of crocodile in the Crocodile Museum

Crocodile Stone

Crocodile Stone in the Crocodile Museum

It was interesting to see the Crocodile God (Sobek) and to see the mummified crocodiles.

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