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What did temples look like?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:54 am    Post subject: What did temples look like? Reply with quote

We see the remains of old temples, but I had wondered what they looked like in ancient times.

In “Ancient Records of egypt” by Breasted is a copy of an inscription from Amenhotep III (father of Akhenaton). He describes what some of the temples looked like.
It’s really amazing. Breated mentions that there is not an abundance of detail, but I like it because it leaves your imagination room to wander!

Quote:
Temple of the Memnon Colossi:
“Behold, the heart of his majesty was satisfied with making a very great monument; never has happened the like since the beginning.
He made (it) as his monument for his father, Amon, Lord of Thebes, making for him an august temple on the west of Thebes, an eternal, everlasting fortress of fine white sandstone, wrought with gold throughout; its floor is adorned with silver, all its portals with electrum; it is made very wide and large, and established forever; and adorned with this very great monument. It is numerous in royal statues, of Elephantine granite, of costly gritstone, of every splendid costly stone, established as everlasting works. Their stature shines more than the heavens, their rays are in the faces (of men) like the sun, when he shines early in the morning. It is supplied with a “Station of the King” wrought with gold and many costly stones. Flagstaves are set up before it, wrought with electrum; It resembles the horizon in heaven when Re rises therein. Its lake is filled with the great river Nile, lord of the fish and fowl, pure in ____”



I’m not sure what all the terms mean, but it does evoke this image of a large shining temple all decorated in gold, silver and elecrum, and with beautiful statues.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are several more descriptions of temples, but the following description of the Royal barge is also very interesting:

Quote:
King of Upper and Lower Egypt; Nibmare, Part of re; Son of re; Amenhotep (III), Ruler of Thebes. I made another monument for him who begat me, Amon-Re lord of Thebes, who established me upon his throne, making for him a great barge for the “Beginning-of-the-River” (named): “Amon-Re-in-the -Sacred-Barge”, of new cedar which his majesty cut in the countries of God’s-Land. It was dragged over the mountains of retenu by the princes of all countries. Is was made very wide and large, there is no instance of doing the like. Its __ is adorned with silver, wrought with gold throughout, the great shrine is of electrum so that it fills the land with its brightness, its bows, they repeat the brightness; they bear great crowns, whose serpents twine along its two sides; they exercise protection behind them. Flagstaves are set up before it wrougth with with electrum, two great obelisks are between them; it is beautiful everywhere. The gods of Pe make jubilee to it; the gods of Nekhen praise it; the two Nile gods of the South and the North, they embrace its beauty, its bows make Nun to shine as when the sun rises in heaven, to make his beautiful voyage at his feast of Opet on his western voyage of a million of millions of years.



This is also from Breasted.


[A footnote mentions that the shrine, which was set up amidships, was regarded as a temple and hence equipped with flagstaves and obelisks.]
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some computer reconstructions on the following site:
http://www.eyelid.co.uk/temple1.htm

An example:


The temples described by Amenhotep III seem to have been covered in precious metals (gold, silver, electrum), the one above is not quite as spectacularly decorated. Although the painted facade is amazing in its own right!

And from the inside:


I think the floor is meant to be covered in silver in this picture.

The pictures are by Mark Millmore.
His main website is at
http://www.eyelid.co.uk/
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Yves Van Herp
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful images, it can make you dream about times gone by!
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always enjoyed good reconstructions. I also like the ones where there are people put into the scenes.
If anyone knows of other good reconstructions of ancient egyptian sites I would like to hear about them.
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Yves Van Herp
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
I've always enjoyed good reconstructions. I also like the ones where there are people put into the scenes.
If anyone knows of other good reconstructions of ancient egyptian sites I would like to hear about them.


When I know of some I'll let you know.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me dumb here but what is electrum? (I thought 'nah, the egyptians couldn't have invented electricity' Laughing )

The pictures are magnificent though-I mean, wow-just imagine it, gilded floors shining in the sun! Statues covered in silver! I never knew the temples were that incredible!
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Yves Van Herp
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Electrum was an alloy of silver and gold, if I'm right!
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Isis!

Yes, electrum is a mix of gold and silver. I think the Egyptians used it somewhat regularly.

Yes, boggles the mind to think of all the gold silver and jewels doesn't it?
When I saw the description, I just thought others would enjoy it as well.
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SenAmun
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Electrum has 25-40% silver. The word electrum was also used for the substance amber. This is probably because of the color that electrum resembles especially on the lower silver levels. Electrum is also found in the Ural (Russia) there it has about 20% copper in it additionally.

To give an idea what electrum looks like here is picture of a Greek coin:



Using this material on obelisks for example must have looked dazzling.
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Yves Van Herp
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SenAmun wrote:
Electrum has 25-40% silver. The word electrum was also used for the substance amber. This is probably because of the color that electrum resembles especially on the lower silver levels. Electrum is also found in the Ural (Russia) there it has about 20% copper in it additionally.

To give an idea what electrum looks like here is picture of a Greek coin:



Using this material on obelisks for example must have looked dazzling.


And on the great piramid too! Leuk nog iemand die Nederlands spreekt op dit forum! Wink
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the pyramid was coated in limestone/marble...I have heard that it might have had a gold cap but I'm not sure if that was true, or just a legend.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I had ever seen an example of electrum. It is a little more "gold-like" than I had imagined.
Didn't they often cover the tops of obelisks with electrum or gold?

I thought that silver was much more rare in Egypt. I know that Psusennes I ,from a much later period, was buried in a silver sarcophagus.

Did they use copper as well?
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah i'm pretty sure they used copper. I remember reading that most metallic objects in Egypt were either copper or bronze for practical items like tools or weapons, or gold for the more wealthy, decorative items like jewellery etc.
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Yves Van Herp
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isisinacrisis wrote:
I thought the pyramid was coated in limestone/marble...I have heard that it might have had a gold cap but I'm not sure if that was true, or just a legend.


That's what they always told me too. Perhaps indeed a legend. Although when you look at the top of the great pyramid - while the sun is shining on it - you still see that "goldy" shine.
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