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Philaelocked

  • Erich Winter

Extract

Island situated immediately south of Aswan in Upper Egypt, which was the original location of an ancient temple of the goddess Isis, surrounded by associated cult buildings. The earliest surviving parts of the temple date from the reign of Nectanebo I (reg 380–362 bc), and it was subsequently extended and enlarged until the 2nd century ad. Between 1972 and 1980, in an internationally financed rescue operation mounted by UNESCO, the buildings of Philae were transferred to the higher ground on the neighbouring island of Agilqiyya. In the course of this work some 300 blocks from an older construction, dating to the time of the 26th Dynasty ruler Amasis (reg 570–526 bc), were found in and around the later (Ptolemaic) 2nd pylon. These reliefs of Amasis show that there was already a cult of Isis on Philae in the 26th Dynasty. However, even earlier reliefs, dating to the time of the 25th Dynasty ruler Taharqa (...

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W. Helck, E. Otto and W. Westendorff, eds: Lexikon der Ägyptologie (Wiesbaden, 1975–)