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Kom Ombo

Kom Ombo is located on a bend in the river Nile about 50 km north of Aswan In Egypt. Located on the east bank, Kom Ombo is home to an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. The temple is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and the falcon god Haroeris (Horus the Elder). Despite being badly damaged, the temple is a beautiful sight as you approach from either direction on the river; particularly as sunset nears and the colors change.

Kom Ombo Temple stands on the east bank of the Nile, in Egypt, right next to the river, about 4 Km from the town. Kom Ombo Temple was dedicated to two Gods, Horus and Sobek. It is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The building is unique because its double design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along "with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.

Kom Ombo Temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 BC) at the beginning of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys, most notably Ptolemy XIII (51-47 BC), who built the inner and outer hypostyle halls. The scene on the inner face of the rear wall of the temple is of particular interest, and "probably represents a set of surgical instruments.

Kom Ombo Temple was mainly dedicated to the God Sobek, the crocodile God, together with his wife, in another form of the Goddess Hathor. The Temple is of Greco-Roman structure, dating back to the year 119 BC, when Ptolemy VI, who started the construction, built it out of limestone. Neos Dionysus finished most of the building, while the Emperor Augustus added the final touches.

Much of the temple has been destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes, and later builders who used its stones for other projects. Some of the reliefs inside were defaced by Copts who once used the temple as a church. All the temples buildings in the southern part of the plateau were cleared of debris and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893.

A few of the three-hundred crocodile mummies discovered in the vicinity are displayed inside the temple.

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