The Temple of Bastet

The Temple of Bastet

The temple of Bastet is one of the main cult temples of the goddess "Bastet" in the Old Kingdom, which was associated with fertility and often acted as a protective deity. Originally, Bastet was depicted as a lioness, and later as a cat.

According to the Greek historian Herodotus who visited “Per Bastet” in the 5th century BC, despite other temples being more grandiose in appearance, none was more beautiful than the temple of "Bastet". This temple would have been surrounded by two channels and lined with trees, thus allowing a wonderful view of the city.

During the 22nd Dynasty, when Per Bastet became the capital of Egypt, the temple of Bastet was extended, and as a result, a lot of material from earlier structures was re-used. The oldest of these are two red granite blocks dates to the reign of the 4th Dynasty king Khufu (c.2589–2566 BC) and king Khafre (c.2558–2532 BC).

Additions to this temple were continued by the second king of the 22nd Dynasty, Osorkon I (c.924–889 BC), with his name appearing frequently at the entrance of the temple. The site contained a monumental gate beyond the peristyle courtyard. This was built by Osorkon II, and decorated with scenes of him celebrating the heb sed Festival.

In the far west, there is a long colonnade that leads to a hypostyle hall, also built by Osorkon II, and which contains papyrus and Hathor columns. The far west end of the temple, which comprised the Holy of Holies in the complex (the sanctuary), was renovated by the last Egyptian king of the 30th and final Dynasty, King Nectanebo II (360–343 BC).










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