Speos of Horemheb

Speos of Horemheb

The Speos of Horemheb is a temple built in a cave, probably an old quarrying gallery, during the reign of Horemheb (c. 1323–1295 BC), the last king of the 18th Dynasty. The temple has five openings cut into the cliff that are separated by pillars.

The middle opening served as an entrance, with the royal names of Horemheb engraved around it. The entrance leads to a hall that opens onto the sanctuary, which contains seated rock-cut statues of the temple’s seven gods: the crocodile god Sobek (Gebel al-Silsila’s local deity), the protective goddess Taweret, King Horemheb himself, the ibis-headed Thoth, and in the centre, the triad of Thebes consisting of Amun-Ra, his wife Mut, and their son Khonsu.

Taweret can be seen suckling Horemheb on the west wall, and a fascinating scene near it, on the west wall, depicts Horemheb’s triumphal procession after his victory in Nubia.

Ramesside kings and high-ranking officials later added scenes, stelae, and inscriptions to mark their visit to this sacred site, indicating that it functioned as more than a quarry throughout the New Kingdom. We know that the temple was later used as a Christian place of worship because of the crosses that were carved onto its walls.










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