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Temple

(5,554 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia The Sumerian term é and the Akkadian term bītu, meaning 'temple' or 'house (of the deity)', were not restricted to 'dwellings' of deities of a particular size or importance. They applied to sanctuaries from small neighbourhood shrines in residential areas to large, freestanding, tall buildings, from one-room cult sites to temple complexes with extensive auxiliary buildings, and they could be used for temples where one or many deities were worshipped. Prehistoric structures are often classified as temples only because apparently they nei…

Heracleopolis magna

(113 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Pilgrimage (Egyptian Nn-njswt, modern Ihnāsiyat al-madīna). Town on the western bank of the Nile near the entrance of the  Faiyum; metropolis of the 20th Upper Egyptian nome; cult site of the ram god Harsaphes who was equated with  Heracles, and place of origin of the Heracleopolitan 9th/10th Dynasties in the First Intermediate Period. The archaeological remains (grave fields and temples) extend back to the First Intermediate Period or the Middle Kingdom (1st half of the 2nd millennium BC). Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (…

Dodekaschoinos

(113 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] ‘Twelve mile land’, term in the Graeco-Roman period (Ptol. 4,5,74 and Hdt. 2,29) for the c. 135 km long northern sector of Nubia between  Syene and Takompso ( Tqmps)/Hierosycaminus (al-Maharraqa) [1] that was transferred by the rulers to the temple of  Isis at  Philae mainly for the levy of taxes on the transport of goods. In a stone stele at Seḥel claiming to date back to the Old Kingdom, but in fact probably from the time of Ptolemy V, the priesthood of the Chnum temple at  Elephantine claims older rights to this region [2]. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) Bibliogra…

Nile

(1,387 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] River of Egypt, Egyptian ḥpj (actually the N. flood) or jtrw ( ­) ‘the (large)river’; therefore Coptic joor and Hebrew jeōr; Greek Neĩlos (Νεῖλος), since Hesiod (Hes. Theog. 338); Homer (Hom. Od. 4,447) calls the river and the country Aígyptos (Αἰγυπτος). With 6,695 km it is the longest river in the world. The source rivers, the Blue and White Nile, originate in Lake Tana (Ethiopia) and Lake Victoria (Uganda) respectively to unite near Khartum (Sudan). After the inflow of the Atbara river, the N. flows without addi…

Sephres

(110 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Σεφρής/ Sephrḗs, Manetho (Sync. 107); Egyptian S­ḥw-R/ Sahure). Second king of the 5th dynasty ( c. 2496-2483 BC), probably the brother of Userkaf and a son of Queen Khentkaus. His pyramid temples near Abū Ṣīr are preserved relatively well, esp. their relief decoration; they are representatives of the canonical type (pyramid).The sun-temple of S. is known from written sources, but has not yet been found. Finds of isolated groups of statues probably originate from there. Several expeditions to Sinai and Nubia are documented in annals and expedition inscriptions. Se…

Mastaba

(395 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Arabic: ‘bench’). Basic form for ancient Egyptian non-royal graves in the Old Kingdom. The emergence of the mastaba form can be traced to the beginning of the first dynasty (3000-2870 BC) in the region of Memphis. It consists of long, rectangular, north-south oriented, high and solidly filled-in structures with sloping side walls, which reproduce the basic shape of a house in an elementary stylised manner. Originally, the structure covered the grave chamber, which was situated in…

Apotropaic texts

(342 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] In Egyptian magic for warding off enemies, a figure made of clay, wax, wood or stone that resembled the fettered enemy was inscribed with the name of the person against whom the  spell was meant to work. Spell 37 from the coffin texts describes this process and instructs the person casting the spell to bury the figure in a graveyard after reciting a magic spell. These so-called apotropaic figures, whose inscriptions were aimed against individual persons (sometimes grouped with fam…

Saqqara

(325 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Necropolis area with a length of c. 7.5 km at the edge of the Libyan desert south of Cairo. The heartland (S. north) was laid out in the 1st Dynasty (around 3000 BC) as a necropolis of Memphis on a hill above the newly founded city with a cemetery for the highest officials and members of the royal house. From the 2nd Dynasty (and right through to the 1st Intermediate Period), royal tomb complexes were repeatedly built in S., for example the pyramid complex of Djoser whose proximity was …

Pyramid

(2,023 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(Egyptian mr, Greek πυραμίς/ pyramís, Lat. pyramis). Monumental funerary structure, originally of the Egyptian kings, on a square layout, with, in the ideal case, planar triangular sides. The term in archaeology for the apex of the pyramid, formed from a single block of stone and often especially decorated, is pyramidion (Egyptian bnbn.t). [German version] I. Origin and interpretation The two oldest phases of the first pyramid, the step-pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara ( c. 2700 BC), still display the simple mastaba form on a confined rectangular plan, whi…

Abydus

(516 words)

Author(s): Schwertheim, Elmar (Münster) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(Ἄβυδος; Ábydos). [German version] [1] City at the narrowest part of the Dardanelles This item can be found on the following maps: Colonization | Peloponnesian War | Pergamum | Persian Wars | Delian League | Education / Culture  Miletus founded A. as a polis in the 1st half of the 7th cent. BC, by permission of the Lydian king  Gyges (Str. 13,1,22). It is situated at the narrowest part of the Dardanelles, on the Asian shore, 5 km east of Çanakkale on the promontory of Cape Nagara and already known to Homer (Il.…

Elephantine

(358 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | India, trade with | Egypt (Egypt. bw, ‘elephant’ or ‘ivory island’). Island at the northern end of the first cataract of the Nile; the settlement on its southern tip [1] dates back to late prehistoric times. During the 1st dynasty, a fortress was built in this border region between Egypt and Nubia; at the time of the Old Kingdom, it was extended into a fortified town. From then on, E. was the capital of the first Upper Egyptian nome and its so…

Edfu

(108 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egypt. Ḏb; Greek Ἀπολλωνόσπολις μεγάλη; Apollōnóspolis megálē). City on the western shore of the Nile in the south of Upper Egypt, at the end of important caravan routes to the red Sea and to the gold mines of the Eastern desert. Capital of the second Upper Egyptian district. The temple of Horus from the Ptolemaic period (built by Ptolemy III-XII) is excellently preserved, and its rich decorations with images and writing are an important source for the religion of late Egypt [1; 2]. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 Le temple d'Edfou I-XV, 1897-1985 2…

Nubia

(1,560 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Berger, Albrecht (Berlin)
[German version] A. Name A country on the middle reaches of the Nile; more precisely, the area today settled by a Nubian-speaking population: Lower Nubia from the 1st to the 2nd Nile cataract (Aswān to Wadi Halfa, Republic of Egypt) and Upper Nubia from the 2nd to the 4th cataract (Wadi Halfa to Meroe, northern Sudan). In a culturally and historically understood sense, Nubia also includes the land as far as the 6th cataract and around Khartoum (central Sudan). Besides the general term t-stj for the country, recorded from the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3000 BC), the Egyptian la…

Cheops

(167 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Nmw-ḫwj.f-wj; Hdt. Χέοψ ( Chéops), Manetho Σοῦφις ( Soûphis), Ps.-Eratosth. fr. 17 Σαῶφις ( Saôphis); in Diod. Sic. 1,63 also  Chemmis/Χέμμις). Second ruler of the 4th dynasty; according to the Turin Papyrus of Kings reigned 23 years ( c. 2550 BC). Nothing is known of political events during his reign. C. inaugurated the necropolis at  Giza, where with the construction of his pyramid (the largest) and establishment of a cemetery for members of the elite he realized the concept of a unified royal residence nec…

Imuthes

(205 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] see Petobastis IV see  Petobastis IV Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) [German version] [2] Official of Heliopolis (Imhotep; Egyptian Jj-m-Ḥtp; Greek Ἰμούθης/ Imoúthēs). Documented in contemporary inscriptions and papyri at the beginning of the 3rd Dynasty (around 2650 BC) under  Djoser and Sechemchet as the highest ranking official, senior demesne administrator and high priest of  Heliopolis, perhaps also in the (cult?) role of senior sculptor and site manager. In light of later tradition, he …

Funerary architecture

(5,482 words)

Author(s): Kammerer-Grothaus, Helke (Bremen) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Hauser, Stefan R. (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Et al.
[German version] I. Definition Funerary architecture (FA) refers to architectonically designed structures built above the contemporary ground level for the purpose of  burial, as opposed to underground hypogea, which have rooms for the cult of the dead and hero cult. Columbaria can combine both types. Hypogea with a ground level cult room influenced the early Christian martyria above the graves. Regarding further aspects of FA, cf.  Hypogaeum;  Maussolleum;  Necropoleis. Kammerer-Grothaus, Helke (Bremen) II. Egypt and the Near East [German version] A. Egypt The Egyptian buria…

Amenophis

(491 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Krauss, Rolf (Berlin)
(Jmn-ḥtp ‘Amun is satisfied’). Name of four Egyptian kings of the 18th Dynasty. [German version] [1] 1525-1504 BC 1525-1504 BC. Continuing the policy of his father Ahmose, A. pursued the re-conquering of Nubia and prepared the final blow to the empire of Kush. Recorded in many places in Egypt as the instigator of works of construction. In the time of Rameses, he was worshipped together with his mother Ahmes-Nefertari as the tutelary god of the Theban necropolis. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) [German version] [2] 1428-1402 BC 1428-1402 BC. During the course of several camp…

Hyksos

(373 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Ḥq.w-ḫs.wt, ‘Rulers of foreign lands’; Greek Ὑκσώς/ Hyksṓs) Rulers of foreign peoples are sporadically named H. from the late Old Kingdom onwards: the Turin Royal Canon assigns this term to a dynasty of six kings of foreign origin (15th Dynasty, c. 1650-1540 BC) in the 2nd intermediate period, whose first representatives bore this title themselves before fully adopting the Egyptian royal titulature later on. Josephus (Ap. 1,14,82ff.), based on  Manetho, incorrectly applies the term, and with an inexact etymol…

Heliopolis, Heliupolis

(219 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] City on the edge of the Nile delta This item can be found on the following maps: Aegean Koine Egyptian Jwnw, Hebrew ʾôn, modern Matarije. City on the eastern edge of the southern tip of the Nile delta axis (today a suburb of Cairo), metropolis of the 13th Lower Egyptian district and from the Old Kingdom the most important cult centre of the sun god in his forms  Aton and Re-Harachte ( Re). H. was of central theological significance in a myth of creation which in the generational model of the ‘Ennead…

Harmachis

(225 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Ameling, Walter (Jena)
(Egyptian Ḥrw-m-ḫ.t, ‘Horus in the horizon’). [German version] [1] Name of the great Sphinx Name under which the great  Sphinx of  Gizeh was venerated as the embodiment of the sun god since the beginning of the New Kingdom ( c. 1500 BC). Many votive steles document the popularity of the cult amongst private people as well as kings. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography J. Assmann, s.v. H., LÄ2, 992-996. [German version] [2] Priest of Ptah of Memphis, about 200 BC Son of Anemhor, father of Nesysti III; high priest of Ptah of Memphis ( c. 260 ─ after 194-193 BC); sometimes i…
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