A couple of weeks ago, furrylittlegnome made the trek to “The Big Apple” for culture, holiday decoration displays and for some much needed shopping. Her first stop was to 5th and 82nd. The destination? The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
There were a few exhibits on the agenda but the most impressive (that could be photographed) was this one: The Temple of Dendur.
Housed at The Met since 1978, The Temple of Dendur dates back to 15 BC. Made of sandstone, the front gate and temple were removed from their original site, in the Egyptian town of Aswan on the Nile River, in 1963, as they faced destruction from the construction of a dam. Egypt presented the temple as a gift to the American people, represented by Jacqueline Kennedy, in 1965.
Inside the temple, carvings depict Emperor Augustus – a distant nephew of Julius Caesar – with several gods. More information can be found in an article titled, “Temple of Dendur Opens Front Porch” published in The New York Times in January of 1994: “If its relief carvings have been much studied, scholars have long been interested in a group of other, unplanned decorations in the pronaos: its graffiti. The first, scratched into the soft sandstone, was written in a spidery demotic Egyptian script and dates from 10 B.C., 5 years after the temple was built. Other graffiti include Greek Coptic Christian inscriptions from A.D. 400, when the temple was used as a church, and the chiseled inscriptions of 19th-century travelers who left their names in the building.”