Temple of Kalabsha
The Temple of Kalabsha is in the site of three re-erected temples saved from the waters. The temples are on an island (fee and special pennit required) reached by motor-boat. Interestingly, they are just a handful of the southern temples and forts that would have been below the new level of the lake. Yet, others have gone to countries co-operating in the massive UNESCO rescue operations and a few have been abandoned and are now under water. Most impressive is the well-preserved Temple of Kalabshah The UNESCO and the help of a team of West German engineers moved it from its original site in 1970. The original site of this temple was Kalabshah (ancient Talmis), about 50km S of Aswan. Here the river once wound between cliffs, the Bab al-Kalabshah, with granite rocks breaking up the surface of the water, making navigation difficult.
Amenhotep II is shown in the outer vestibule of the temple. There was also a statue of Tuthmosis III lying in front of the temple early in this century, but its present whereabouts is unknown. The temple is built of sandstone blocks and is dedicated to Marul (Gk Mandulis), a Nubian fertility god who is also associated with sun worship; For some reason Wadjet, the goddess of Lower Egypt, is also closely associated with this temple and is represented throughout in the paintings. This temple, a reconstruction by one of the Ptolemies on an 18 Dyn. foundatio11. Cleverly, the Romans added to it, perhaps Augustus, but it was never finished. Like Edfii and
Dendarah, it was a healing temple.
Description of The Temple of Kalabsha
Depictions of Kalabsha
An imposing causeway (30.Sm) leads to the front of the temple of Kalabsha and the Pylon. Surprisingly, The pylon is well preserved although it has lost its upper portions, including the cornice. In addition, outer doorway, the king offers milk to Mandulis and to Osiris and Isis, the king offers Ma”at to Mandulis and Wadjet. The entry leads to a colonnaded court, originally with a total of 14 columns on the S, N and E sides. Lintel, double scene, the emperor followed by fertility gods and field goddesses offers to Maodulis and Isis. In addiiton, the king with two genii behind him, adores Osiris aiJ.d Horus, the king offers to Isis and Osiris and Isis gives life to Mandulis. The king offers to Mandulis and Horus (right). Graffiti and hawks. The emperor before Mandulis as a child and Isis . The king purified by Thoth and Horus.
Next in the Temple of Kalabsha is an inscribed decree of Aurelius Besarion, governor of Ombos and Elephantine (c AD 248), ordering the expulsion of pigs from the precincts of this temple. A Meroitic inscription of Kharahedeye, King of the Blemmyes. The Hypostyle Hall has eight columns in two transverse rows of four. Some of the paintings are unfinished.
The king offers crowns to Horus of Edfu and Mandulis, Ptolemy offers field to Isis, Mandulis and Horus, Khnum faces Rec-Harakhte, and Amenhotep II offers wine to Min-Rec and Mandulis. (This suggests that the foundation is in fact New Kingdom.) (1~16) Trajan offers to Mandulis, Isis and Osiris. King (cartouches blank) kills an enemy before Horus, Shu and Tefnut. Offers incense to Mandulis and Wadjet. Processions followed by fertility gods. Beyond this are two vestibules, each with two columns.
Inner Rooms of Kalabsha
In Temple of Kalabsha to the S of each are stairs to the roof, that in the second with a small chapel perhaps dedicated to Osiris. Top register, the king offers wine to Osiris, Isis and a field to Isis and Mandulis. (20) Top and second registers, the king consecrates victims before Isis and offers wine to Osiris. Then, he holds up sky before Ptah, Sekhmet and Mandulis, offers wine and lettuces to Min, Isis and Mandulis. Secondly, he offers incense to Mandulis and Wadjet (left), the king offers milk to Osiris-Onnuphris and Isis (right). Thirdly, he offers incense and libation to Osiris, Isis, Horus, Mandulis and Wadjet. Distinctively, in the lower register, the emperor offers incense to lion-headed Tutu, and Imhotep. Surprisingly, he offers incense to Mandulis and Wadjet. The Sanctuary is similar in size to the two vestibules and, like them, originally had two columns.
More offering scenes
In addition, he offers crowns to Horus, Hathor and Mandulis. Also, he offers vase to Khnum, Satis and young Mandulis and image to Mut, Horus and Amun-Rec. Secondly, he offers lotuses to Mandulis and Wadjet, cloth to Mandulis and goddess, and incense to Isis and Horus. Thirdly, he offers lotuses to Isis and young Horus and milk to Mandulis and Wadjet. Sensationally, Lion-headed water spouts project from the wall of the Ambulatory. In Temple of Kalabsha to the SW a small rock-cut Chapel of Dedwen with an open columned forecourt. Surprisingly, the only painting is of the king offering wine and incense to Dedwen, probably a local Nubian deity. Suggestions that this served as a mammisi are not borne out by the paintings. Finally, in the NE comer is a small Chapel. Although unfinished it seems to be the work of the Ptolemies V and X. Reliefs
show the king offering to the Triad of Elephantine