Upper Egypt, temple at Dendara, 1989
- Carole Reeves
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Upper Egypt, temple at Dendara Shows the mud-brick sanatorium where visitors were annointed with water from a sacred lake which had first been poured over healing statues. They could also spend the night here in the hope that Hathor would appear to them in a healing dream (incubation). This tradition mirrored that practiced in the Greek and Roman world at this time where local healing cults (as well as the major cult of Asclepius) flourished and where temple complexes served as healing shrines and sanctuaries for the sick as well as religious houses. To the north of the sanatorium (top right) is the birth house (mammisi), built during the Roman period, where Hathor ritually gave birth to the young lhy who represented the youthful phase of creator gods in general. Dendara was the capital of the 6th nome of Upper egypt and a town of some importance. The temple complexx dates from the period between Dynasty XXX (380-343 BC) and the roman Period (CE 30-395). It was a major cult centre for Hathor, the co godess represented in human form wearing on her head the sun-disc flanked by a cow's horns. Dendara was one of the oldest centres of worship of Hathor; a temple was first built on the site during the reign of the pharaoh Khaefre (reigned 2558-2504 BCE, Dynasty IV).
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