News: Upper Egypt's Dendera Temple to be converted into open-air museum

View of temple with large stone blocks in foreground
Dendera Temple - Ahram Online 2019

مجمع معابد دندرة

Over the last 18 months, the Ministry of Antiquities has announced the development of various open air museums at significant sites around Egypt. Kicking off 2019 is the announcement that the area around the Temple of Dendera is under development.

The Ministry of Antiquities is working with a French Archaeological Mission to create various displays at the site including the installation of large platforms on which to showcase original architectural features and finds such as "engraved blocks, stelae and statues uncovered in the area and left in situ since their initial discovery."

The blocks have been arranged in the open courtyard at the front of the temple and are joined by statues of various Egyptian deities, including the goddess Hathor, a deity of both state and household importance whose cult was important at this site, and the household deity Bes who was associated with the home and protection.
Map of Egypt showing location of Dendera Temple
Dendera Temple Complex  مجمع معابد دندرة

More about the Temple
This significant Temple lies in Upper Egypt to the north of Thebes at a bend in the Nile river at Dendera or ancient Iunet - a provincial capital of importance during several periods of Egypt's history.

Early texts refer to the temple being rebuilt in the Old Kingdom, with importance placed upon the site during the New Kingdom, while the temple of Hathor which remains at the site today, dates to the Greco-Roman Period.

The temple has many interesting and unique features, for example, like other Egyptian temples, it is orientated towards the Nile, but because of the bend in the river, it faces north rather than the usual east/west. The structure of the temple also points to New Year festivals celebrated at the site being performed on the roof of the temple when Hathor's ba statue would be moved from the shrine for ritual purposes.

Originally, temples to Hathor's consort Horus and offspring Ihy stood nearby, but these have not survived.

UPDATE: The Ministry of Antiquities announced that work on the upgrade was completed on the 12th of March 2019. []
Wilkinson, R. (2000). The complete temples of ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson. (pp149-51)

Upper Egypt's Dendera Temple to be converted into open-air museum - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Upper Egypt's Dendera Temple to be converted into open-air museum