Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Ramesses II Temple at Abydos

The Egyptological Seminar of New York's November meeting took place last night and featured two speakers. Drs. Sameh Iskander and Ogden Goelet spoke about their work at the temple of Ramesses II at Abydos. Their work is a joint project between New York University and Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and has been underway since 2007.

The temple has been measured and digitally photographed. The photos will eventually be posted on the Internet. A number of interesting discoveries have been made:

1) There is a very rare representation of Anubis in human form on one of the walls.

2) One object found was carved with both a representation of Bes and a Coptic Cross.

3) One of the chapels has chapter 148 of the Book of the Dead and the "Litany of Re" carved on its walls. These texts are rarely found in temples, being generally reserved for tombs.

Dr. Goelet presented evidence that indicates the temple took about six years to build. When he was asked how long it took to measure and photograph the temple, Dr. Goelet delightfully replied, "It takes longer to survey an Egyptian temple than it took to build the damn things!".

The next meting of the Egyptological Seminar will take place on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 6:30 in the Art Study Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Martina Ullmann will discuss the temples of Ramesses II between the first and second cataracts of the Nile. The public is welcome to attend.

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