Kom Ombo

Kom Ombo was the last stop of our first day on the Nile as we cruised from Luxor to Aswan in January 2003. On this site sits the temples of Haroeris and Sobek created during the last few hundredyears before Christ. The temples were built on a bend in the Nile which caused both their protection and destruction. The sand from the Nile built up in the temples, covering them and protecting them from exposure. However, the Nile also washed away a good portion of the forecourt.  The front of the temple is now the Hypostle Hall (pictured above, right).  There is little of the ceiling remaining, but a portion of it (above, left) shows the detail it was afforded.
ceiling kom obmo small
temple columns kom ombo
Inside the front walls is a relief of Neos Dionysos’s appearance before several deities (photo left with our tour guide Mohamed’s head). We noticed that the carvings of this period are much more realistic than those of the earlier periods. The art of the Old Kingdom tended to be quite stiff and flat while the carvings of this period had more obvious contours (see the knees and chests especially).
coronation kom ombo
surgical equip kom ombo 2
In the back of the temple in the outer corridor, carvings attest to sophisticated surgury nearly 2000 years ago, depicted in instruments such as scalpels, suction cups, dental tools and bone saws (photo, below left). On the right side of this carving are recipes for various potions.Above left is a carving of a birthing chair presumedly used a the time.
birthing chair kom ombo
kom ombo temple
Another attraction at this site are the 3 mummified crocodiles found during recent road construction. They are housed in a small room to the right of the temple. While interesting to see, the hoard of people trying to enter and exit this small space a the same time make the effort pointless.

As we were leaving, the sun was setting upon the temple, providing a rather ethereal look to the already imposing site (above right).


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