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Denderah

temple, feet and ceiling

DENDERAH, clen'der-a, Egypt (the Ten tyra of the Greeks and Romans), a village on the left bank of the Nile; lat. 26 10' N.; long. 32 40' E.; celebrated for its temple, one of the most magnificent and best preserved remains of antiquity in Egypt, begun under Ptolemy XI and completed in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. It was dedicated to the goddess Athor or Aphrodite, and is enclosed within a wall built of sun-dried bricks, in some parts 35 feet high and 15 feet thick. The portico of the temple consists of 24 columns, in three rows four deep on either side, each above 22 feet in circumference, and 50 feet high. The in terior consists of a number of apartments, all the walls and ceilings of which are covered with religious and astronomical representations, including the figure of Abhor. The roofs are flat, and are formed of oblong masses of stone resting on the side walls, or on rows of col umns carried down the middle of the building, and whose capitals are richly ornamented with the budding lotus. The only light admitted to

the interior was by small perpendicular holes cut in the ceiling, or by oblique apertures in the sides. The hieroglyphics and ornamentation of the temple belong to the declining period of Egyptian art. The effect of the portico is greatly heightened by the fact of its roof being re tained; and on the ceiling is the famous zodiac, at one time regarded as of great antiquity. Another remarkable object belonging to the temple, and which excited the greatest interest, was a celestial planisphere or zodiac, forming the ceiling of one of the upper chambers. This was carefully removed from its original place in 1822, and conveyed to Paris. Flinders Petrie in 1898 excavated the tombs of the ancient princes of Denderah. Consult Mariette, 'Den derah) (5 vols., 1869.-80) ; Petrie, 'Denderah) (1900).