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Temple

Pure Hallway

This Corridor, which is pure and leads around all this, is within the wall, which is connected with the Pylon. It is 113 cubits long and 90 cubits wide, up to the small doors that are located in it on the right and left sides of the Pronaos. There are four doors in it. Details of the places on to which the doors open: one leads eastwards and is used by the Aqi-Priests when they come back from the Sacred Lake to perform their duty; it is used to bring out offerings released (for consumption), in order to hand them out to the overseers of the chapels of He of Dappled Plumage; another one, a miraculous work, leads to the Pure Well, to the Pure Magazine and to the Slaughterhouse of Horus of the choicest cuts of meat, to get fresh pure water for the temple, and for the divine offering to the Falcon at the appropriate time; two more (doors) open right and left, and they are sited in the Pronaos and lead into the Court of Offerings.

The Great Building Inscription of the Edfu Temple Translated by Dieter Kurth

About the Pure Hallway

The Pure Hallway is an open-air hallway located between the Enclosure wall and the original Naos of the Temple. Its walls are decorated with ritual scenes for the offering of the water and with the utterances for the consecration of the libation that occurs within the temple. This purified corridor was used to carry meat offerings and purified water to the individual chapels, as well as the ritual route for the senior w'ab - pure one to complete the daily offerings to Har - Horus. W'abw - Pure ones would carry a jar of qababwt - cold, purified water on sacred route, counterclockwise, from the Pure Well to the Room of the Nile, thus purifying the route within the temple. Carrying the qababwt occurred three times daily. first in the morning, second at midday, and third in the evening. Two w'abw performed the task, with one carrying the purified water, while the other preceded with burning frankincense, censing the water to keep it pure. 
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Temple

Eastern Stairway

On the east and west sides of it (Offering Table Hall) there is a staircase by which it is possible to rise and set: this god will ascend (to the temple roof) via the Eastern Stairway, together with his Uraeus-snake, the Great One, in order to see his sun-disk (in the sky), and with His Divine Ennead following Him in order to unite with His ba’a spirit (the sun) on the day of the New Year Festival, after having descended and entered His temple chamber, by the staircase on the west side, accompanied by his great Uraeus-snake, the Mistress of Dendera, and his Divine Ennead, each one in his place, having returned satisfied and taken his place in his horizon (temple) thus fulfilling his circuit, together with them (his fellow gods), and for eternity. The flight of stairs on the west side measures 60 by 2 cubit. The eastern stairway measures 10 by 8; it has a small door in it. There is a room to the right of it, measuring 10 by 9, into which the flight of stairs on the right leads.

The Great Building Inscription of the Edfu Temple (Dieter Kurth, 2004)

About the Eastern Stairway

This staircase leads from the Offering Table Hall to the roof of the temple, where the rites of the Opening of the Year – Wapat Ranapat were performed. The living statue of the god Horus was carried in procession with the other divine statues of his Ennead at the temple to see the sun at dawn of the opening of the year. Once rites are performed, the divine statues are again carried in procession down the western stairway with Hathor in her form of the uraeus and all are returned to their shrines. The eastern stairway measures 15 feet (5.334 m) by 12 feet (4.267 m). Inscribed on the walls are images of priests and the Pharaoh carrying the divine statues to the roof for the Wapat Ranapat rites.

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Temple

House of Papyrus Rolls

House of Papyrus Rolls of Horus equipped with the ba’a spirits of Horus-Ra

Par Madja’at na Har ‘apar ma ba’w Har-R’a

The Books and the great parchments of pure leather for bringing about the overthrowing of the Evil One, the repelling of the Crocodile Seth, the blessing of the hour, the preservation of a boat, the procession of the great boat

The book for setting the Pharaoh off on procession.

The book for performing the ritual for the protection of the city, of the houses, of the White Crown, of the year.

The book for appeasing the goddess Sekhmet.

The book for hunting the lion, repelling crocodiles, driving away reptiles; knowing the secrets of the Ointment-Workshop knowing all the details about the divine offerings, all the lists of the secret forms of the god and all the aspects of the associated deities, copied for the temple day after day; one after the other, for the souls of the deities which live in this place and never leave this temple.

The book of the temple inventory.

The book of capturing enemies.

The book of combat.

The book of temple regulations.

The roll book of temple guards.

Instructions for the decoration of a wall; the protections of the body.

The book of magical protection of the Pharaoh in his palace.

Formulae for warding off the Evil Eye.

Information about the regular appearance of two stars (sun and moon) and the periodical return of the other stars.

Enumeration of all the sacred places and knowledge about what is in them.

All the rituals concerning the God leaving his temple on festival days.

The Temple of Edfu: A guide by an Ancient Egyptian Priest, Dieter Kurth

About the Par Madja’at

A small library where sacred books used frequently by the Temple were stored. The title Ba’w R’a is frequently found as a name for sacred books. According to the inscriptions on the wall, a reader-priest was on duty for twelve hours of the day. It is most likely that the main temple library called the Par ‘anakh – House of Life was a building outside the main walls of the Temple in the Temple complex, and has since been destroyed. Columned niches carved into the side walls stored the texts, and though the books themselves were never recovered, the niches were labeled with its contents.

   

    

       
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Temple

Pronaos

The Pronaos comes after it, which is higher than the rooms mentioned and wider on the right and left sides: it is 40 cubits by 36, with a total height of 30 cubits, and it is most perfectly carved on its inside with reliefs. The House of the Morning and the House of Papyrus Rolls are on the right and left sides of it. There is a small door in it, facing eastwards. There are 18 perfect columns that support the [horizon (the ceiling)], just as the sky is supported under the Winged Scarab.

The Great Building Inscription of the edfu Temple Translated by Dieter Kurth

About the Pronaos

The Pronaos or Outer Hypostyle Hall is the smaller hall before The Great Hall. It is so-named Hypostyle due to the many columns that support the ceiling. The twelve columns, carved to resemble papyrus, are carved completely with beautiful reliefs, depicting offerings by Pharaohs to the gods, symbols of strength and protection, and many others. The ceiling depicts astronomical motifs beautifully painted, of which a great portion still survives. There are six columns incorporated into the southern screen wall, which stand half the height of the Pronaos. The small door mentioned in the building texts leads to the Pure Corridor. Inside the Pronaos are the doors to the rooms of the House of the Morning and the House of Papyrus . Carved on its walls are reliefs of the Foundation and the Consecration of the Temple.

References

Kurth, D. (2004). The temple of Edfu: a guide by an ancient Egyptian priest. American University in Cairo Press.

McCoy, P. A. (2019). Pictures of the Edfu Temple. Djeba – Reconstruction of the Temple of Horus at Edfu. Kamat – Reconstructing Ancient Egyptian Culture. https://djeba.org/temple.

Watterson, B. (1998). The house of Horus at Edfu: ritual in an ancient Egyptian temple. Tempus.

Djeba hieroglyphs
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Temple

Offerings Forecourt

This perfect place, the Nome of Horus-Ra, is his horizon on earth, is the House of Appearance of His Majesty, is the Great Throne of His Ka, on which he appears and sets, in the Shrine that Protects Khepri of the quickly born child, is the place at which His body has been nourished since the First Beginning, is the Chamber of the Falcon is the Ruler’s House of the ruler, is the Tomb of the Falcon with the Dappled Plumage, is the Great Place of the greatest of the gods, is the House of the Strong One of Horus, the strong bull, is the Palace of the Revenger, who drives the hot-headed from Egypt, is the Place of Stabbing of the one who stabs the Wamamati Snake, is the Horizon of Eternity and Primeval Hill of the horizon god, is the Shrine of the divine Winged Disk.

– The Great Building Inscription of the edfu Temple Translated by Dieter Kurth

About the Offerings Forecourt

The Forecourt, or Offerings Forecourt as it was called among other things, is the place where the general population gathered to attain favors from Horus, as well as where the festivals of the temple were held. There are thirty-two columns in the Forecourt’s colonnades, twelve on each west and east sides and the remaining eight on the south side next to the pylon gateway. Carved on these columns are reliefs of Ptolemaic pharaohs making offerings to local gods. The cartouches inscribed in the court are empty, where future pharaohs would have their names carved inside them. On the walls of the forecourt are carved reliefs of the Pharaoh making offerings to the gods, as well as slaying enemies. Also recorded are significant events and festivals.

Djeba hieroglyphs
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Temple

Connecting Room

Moreover, there is a door of the Connecting Room, south of it, opening on the Corridor just as on the western side. This room has the perfect dimensions of 7 (cubits) by 4 an contains all rituals for the presentation of the food offerings.

– The Great Building Inscription of the edfu Temple Translated by Dieter Kurth

About the Connecting Room

The Connecting Room connects to the passage whereby the Daily Offerings were brought into the temple from the Slaughterhouse, just beyond the Temple wall. On its walls are inscribed with the rituals for presenting the Daily Offerings to the God.

Djeba hieroglyphs
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Temple

Shatjyat – Sanctuary of Sokar

The Shatjyat Sanctuary of Sokar, to the west of it and decorated with the protector gods (see below), is 7 5/6 cubits by 6 2/3 cubits… These are the palaces of Iun (Osiris) in BaHadat (Behdet). His forms have been carved on the walls of the three chambers. The two weeping and mourning women, the two sisters, protect him; they are the two kites, Isis and Nephthys, are the ones who transfigure his Ka’a spirit. The four Asabat goddesses protect the bier. The four Anubis gods, the four door-keepers of the netherworld […], the sharp-eyed protective gods. The gods of the Netherworld, who do not leave their districts, are jointly responsible for his protection. Horus the Protector of his Father protects him. Thoth the Great One reads the festival ritual for him. The gods of BaHadat, the Children of Horakhty, the living Ba’a spirit of Ra in the midst of his children and the netherworld gods, who guard the Nome [and] his [towns], are in their place, and watch over him.

About the Shatjyat

One of three chapels in the north-west of the corridor devoted to the cult of Osiris. This sanctuary dedicated to Sokar as the syncretized Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. Combined with the Mansion of the Prince, these chapels are the Portals of the Pillar-god Osiris. This chapel represented the tomb of Osiris in Man nafar (Memphis). Reliefs show Isis reassembling Osiris after being dismembered by Seth in the Ptolemaic mythos of the Contendings of Horus and Seth.

Chapel Shatyat relief
Relief in the chapel (Image: Kurth, 2004)
Djaba'a Hieroglyphs
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Temple

BaHadat – Throne Room

The chamber BaHadat is to the left of it (Masanat) and contains the image of the goddess MaHayat (Mehyt) and the Great Ennead, who watch over Osiris. The god Shw is there as north wind, in order to unite himself with Osiris’ nostrils, as it is his duty in the Horizon of Eternity (the tomb), together with Tafanat (Tefnut) as flame in order to burn the enemies of Osiris, as she does in Araq-hah when she is the goddess Manat, the Eye of Ra with the fear-inspiring pupil (and at the same time) the goddess Sakhamat, She who is Powerful, the Mistress of all Sakhamat goddesses.

– The Great Building Inscription of the Edfu Temple Translated by Dieter Kurth

About the BaHadat

The BaHadat, or Throne Room, is decorated with the images of the goddess MaHayat. She is a daughter of Ra, and takes the image of a lion who protected the roads which the dead travelled to the Underworld. The purpose of the BaHadat Room was to protect the temple of Horus by the expiatory offering of incense. On the left side of her sacred barque is a hymn that describes her anger and aggressiveness, and on her right a hymn extolling her as peaceful and beneficence.

The BaHadat Room is also home to the Great Ennead who watch over Osiris, performing various tasks to prevent Him harm and to burn His enemies.

Djaba' Hieroglyphs
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Temple

Great Hall

Map of the Great Hall

The Great Hall is in front of it (the Naos) : it has twelve columns, great supports, wonderful to behold. The hall is 37 (cubits) long and 26 wide. Its walls are most perfectly decorated: it is called Place of Pleasure. It is also known as Place of Joy and Place of Enjoyment of Ra and Horus, for it resembles the Chemmis (papyrus thicket) of their son (Horus, Uniter of the Two Lands).

– The Great Building Inscription of the edfu Temple Translated by Dieter Kurth

About The Great Hall

The Great Hall, and those halls and chapels beyond it, make up the original nucleus of the temple, or the Naos. The Great Court has twelve free-standing columns, more slender than those in the Pronaos, and the lower part of the columns being more slender. The Great Court had several names (above), and as the names indicate, The great Hall is the place where the gods enjoy themselves. On the west side of the Hall, the rooms of the ointment-workshop, and Room of the Nile. To the east of the Hall, the Treasury, and a stairway leading to the roof of the Naos.

Djaba' Hieroglyphs
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imy ra w'abw imya ra w'abw Sakhamat - over the mouth of the pure ones of Sekhmet nat 'a - ritual Sa'w

Hatap rad Naswt ra sakhamat, Har kya na saHari Hw swaH idw Sama’w sarakhyw wapwtya sakhamat – Offering the Pharaoh gives to Sakhamat, and another for exorcising the plague beating wind, the demons of disease, the evil spirits, messengers of Sakhamat.

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