Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Lyons, Henry G.
A report on the island and temples of Philae — London, 1896

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Letter A.

Number i.

Level Number 33.

This temple, with the centre gateway of the great pylon, are the only buildings belonging to the old Egyptian time now visible on the
island. It has long been seen to a certain extent, but was much hidden by the Coptic houses which had crowded round it; however, these have
been completely removed and the proportions of this old temple court can be seen (Photographs Xos. 3 and 4). The southern part of the temple
had perhaps fallen into the river, or was removed when the quay Avail was built across the south end of the island, cutting off the remainder of
the court, and leaving only the front portion to mark the place of the original temple. The present building rests on a course of blocks which
formed part of an earlier wall, and the places of the wooden dovetailed clamps can be seen in the western doorway, and where this course passes
under column No. I. of the western colonnade in prolongation of the north face of the temple. In clearing away the rubbish, etc., surrounding the
temple, the entrance stairway was brought to light, though broken and tilted out of position by the breaking of the pavement block on which it
rests. Inside the temple were the remains of two or three house walls, but these were cleared away until the big pavement blocks, on which the
temple is erected, were reached.

In the north-eastern corner a small amount of roughly laid pavement existed and this was left, but it seems to belong to a late period
when repairs were carried out, and cannot be a part of the original construction of the temple ; elsewhere nothing was found until the pavement blocks
were reached. These are large blocks of sandstone about 3 metres long by about 1 metre wide, which are carried on vertical masonry walls to
form a terrace at the required level (VI.), and on them a pavement about -170 to '180 metre thick was laid ; indeed, portions of such a pavement
exist under the course of stones alluded to above as forming the foundations of the present temple, a fact of some importance in fixing the
probable age of this form of construction, which is continued as far as the west stairway (T). The temple as it now stands bears the cartouches
of Xectanebo 11. and Ptolemy II. on the columns and inter-columnar wall; the former are much damaged, all of those in the north-east walls
having lost their capitals and most of the upper drums of the shafts, wdiile those of the western wall have had their capitals very much damaged
(Photographs Xos. :j and 4).


Letter B.

Number 2.

Level Number 32.

A demotic inscription in Philae, published by Lepsins (Denkemaler VI., Xo. 8) commences (translation by Mr. C. Wilbour) : " May the
names remain here before Isis, of Abaton and Philae; before the great god Ar-hes-nefer; before Hathor; before the great god Har-ned-iotef; before
the great gods of the sacred gate of Abaton and Philae." Of the temples dedicated to these gods, only these of Isis (M) and Hathor (G) have been
known hitherto. When work was commenced at the south end of the island, heaps of rubbish were lying at the foot of the wall which bears the