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The Temple of Horus
Silver gelatin on glass
23.5 x 29.5 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
The Temple of Horus at Edfu.
This view shows the outer hypostyle hall of the temple of Horus at Edfu. The hall was called in Egyptian the "hall in front of the sanctuary," the equivalent of the Greek pronaos. Massive columns, their capitals decorated in florid composite styles that represent the lush growth of the swamps, hold up the colossal roof slabs. On one side of this hall is a small room, a symbolic representation of the purgatorium, where the king was ritually purified before entering the temple proper. On the opposite side of the hall, pendant to the purgatorium, there is a small room representing the temple library. Visible on the column in the right foreground is a figure of the king with his arms raised in the tw3-p.t pose, in which he is depicted reenacting the instant of creation when the god Shu lifted the heavens up from the earth, bringing into being the ordered world and thrusting aside unformed chaos.

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