of Hathor. DENDERA. 22. Route. 221
great splendour by the priests of Hathor. The walls of the kiosque
are embellished with three rows of representations, showing the king
and various deities in presence of the gods of Dendera. Just above
the floor is a procession of local deities (1., those of Lower Egypt,
r., those of Upper Egypt) bearing gifts. On the ceiling the sky
goddess Newt is depicted with the sun rising from her lap.
We now return to the second antechamber in order to visit
thence the innermost part of the temple, 'the hidden secret cham¬
bers', as they are called in the inscriptions.
The central door leads to the profoundly dark Sanctuary, in
which the sacred boats with the images of the gods formerly stood.
The king alone, or his sacerdotal representative, might enter this
sacred precinct and in solitude commune with the deity. Only
once a year was this permitted even to him, at the great festival of
the New Year. The reliefs on the walls depict the rites which the
king had to perform on entering the sanctuary, and the sacrifices
which he had to offer.
There are three rows of Reliefs, but only the lowest can be distinctly
seen with the aid of a candle or a magnesium lamp. Left Wall (PI. k).
(1) The king ascends the steps to the shrine of the gods, (2) breaks the
seals on the door, (3) gazes upon the goddess, and (4) offers incense be¬
fore the sacred boats of Hathor and Horus of Edfu. — Right Wall (PI. 1).
(1) The king removes the band fastening the door, (2) opens the door, (3)
prays to the goddess, and (4) offers incense before the boats of Hathor
and Har-sem-tewe. In the actual performance of the rites, the first scene
on the left wall immediately followed the first on the right wall, and so
on. — Rear Wall (PI. m). To the left, the king, before whom is the youth¬
ful son of Hathor with sistrum and rattle, presents an image of the god¬
dess DIaat to Hathor and Horus; to the left, the same ceremony before
Hathor and Har-sem-tewe.
The Sanctuary is surrounded by a Corridor, lighted by aper¬
tures in the side-walls and in the ceiling, and entered from the
second antechamber by means of two side-doors. Opening off this
corridor are 14 Small Chambers (PI. i-xi), which were used as store¬
rooms and for various rites.
Room I, which is embellished with reliefs like those in the Sanctuary
contained a shrine with an image of Hathor.
We have now concluded the survey of the apartments on this
floor. Before ascending to the roof of the temple, we should visit
two of the subterranean chambers, or Crypts, which claim atten¬
tion not only for their remarkable construction but also for the fresh
tints of their paintings.
The temple at Dendera contains no fewer than 12 Crypts (or 14 if we
reckon separately the parts of those that are divided), constructed in the
thickness of the temple-walls, and lying both above and below the level
of the temple-floor, some isolated, others in two or three stories. The
walls of these are no less richly adorned with sculpture than the rooms
we have already inspected. They were doubtless used for storing the
precious articles and images required for the temple-services. Their reliefs
date from the reign of Ptolemy XIII. Neos Dionysos, and are therefore
the oldest as well as the best executed decorations in the temple. The
arrangement and entrances of these passages in the different stories are
shown in the small Plans n, m, and iv. Some are approached by nar-