Temple of Kalabsha

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. They are just a handful of the southern temples and forts that would have been below the new level of the
lake. 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 Kalibshah, moved from its original site in 1970 by a team of West German
engineers. 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. Talmis was certainly
settled by the 18 Dyn. as 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., was added to by the Romans, perhaps Augustus, but it was never finished. Like Edfii and
Dendarah, it was a healing temple.

description of Kalibshah



An imposing causeway (30.Sm) leads to the front of the temple and the Pylon. This is set slightly askew to the axis of the temple and has
25 steps leading up to the temple platform. The pylon is wellpreserved although it has lost its upper portions, including the cornice. It is undecorated except around the entrance. Outer doorway, the king offers milk to Mandulis and to Osiris and Isis, the king offers Ma”at to Mandulis and Wadjet. The emperor before Mandulis and Augustus before Horus. The entry leads to a colonnaded court, originally with a total of 14 columns on the S, N and E sides. Some of “the colour remains on the inner paintings. Lintel, double scene, the emperor followed by fertility gods and field goddesses offers to Maodulis and Isis. 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. Inscription in inferior Greek of Silko, Christian king of the Nobati of Nubia who descended as far as ancient Kalabsha in a successful raid on the Blemmyes. Close to this is a picture of I’\ man (perhaps Silko) in Roman dress, on a horse, receiving a wreath from the winged Victory. Next 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. 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. The king holds up sky before Ptah, Sekhmet and Mandulis (?), offers wine and lettuces to Min, Isis and Mandulis. The king offers incense to Mandulis and Wadjet (left), the king offers milk to Osiris-Onnuphris and Isis (right). The emperor offers incense and libation to Osiris, Isis, Horus, Mandulis and Wadjet. Lower register, the emperor offers incense to lion-headed Tutu, and Imhotep. The emperor offers
incense to Mandulis and Wadjet. The Sanctuary is similar in size to the two vestibules and, like them, originally had two columns.
(The king offers crowns to Horus, Hathor and Mandulis. The emperor offers vase to Khnum, Satis and young Mandulis and image to Mut, Horus and Amun-Rec. The emperor offers lotuses to Mandulis and Wadjet, cloth to Mandulis and goddess, and incense to Isis and Horus.  The emperor offers lotuses to Isis and young Horus and milk to Mandulis and Wadjet. Around the temple is an ambulatory. Lion-headed water spouts project from the wall. Surrounding the temple is a thick temenos wall which also encloses
to the SW a small rock-cut Chapel of Dedwen with an open columned forecourt. 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. In the NE comer is a
small Chapel, probably predating the present main temple. Although unfinished it seems to be the work of the Ptolemies V and X. Reliefs
show the king offering to the Triad of Elephantine