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Temple-chapel of Qasr (or Kasr) el Aguz Part 1

The names of the temple

1- Temple-chapel of Qasr (or Kasr) el Aguz (lit. the castle of the old lady),

 2- chapel of Thoth-Ibis,

The names Thoth and Djehuty relate to the same god, Thoth is the Greek name for Djehuty.
• The temple is dedicated to Thoth-ibis, a special form of Thoth referred to in the liturgies of the cult of Djeme


   Dje-hr-(pa)-hb , Djehuty-Horus, (the) ibis
   and Djhwty-stm , Djehuty-Setem, the setem or sem-priest.
God Thot carries  the tittles of  Lord of Khmun (Hermopolis), Lord of the Divine Words, ... . In the temple, the god is always represented with a human body and the head of an ibis, sometimes crowned with the lunar disk, sometimes with a crown similar to the atef crown.
 It is possible that a sacred ibis cult took place here.

 The mentioned divinities  in the temple from ancient times :

1- Imhotep son-of-ptah, in his role of godly healer
2- Amenhotep son-of-Hapu. Their representations are confined to the second room, and they are not found in the sanctuary at the rear.
3-  the Ptolemaic dynastic cult itself is even represented here extensively, including the forebears of Ptolemy (but without mentioning the first Ptolemy, son of Lagos, who was a commoner, general of Alexander the Great) and their queens. By providing the kings and queens with the attributes and crowns of the gods and goddesses, the popular effect of assimilating of one with the other is accentuated.
4- The principle goddess mentioned is Nehemauait, she is at times the consort of the snake divinity Nehebu-kau, but also of Thoth, as is the case here. It also seems that she was venerated in all sanctuaries of Thoth, notably in his city of origin, Hermopolis. Usually, but not here, she is represented as a goddess to the child. She wears on her head an architectural sistrum which allows us to differentiate her from Mut and Hathor.

CROWNS : variations on a theme.

Throughout the temple both the king and Thoth wear many variations of the atef crown, which has as its base the white crown of Upper Egypt. All have the addition of horns. Most, certainly all of Thoth's, sit on top of the head rather than covering the scalp. Some have the addition of a uraei (usually two), a solar disc on its head, one on either side.
All are shown as seen from the front, instead of in the same profile as the head wearing them. The first image below shows it as would be seen in the correct profile. The last is an example where the atef variant is mounted on the red crown of Lower Egypt
Some appear to be comprised of three smaller versions on top of the horns. This is sometimes called the "hem-hem" crown, or "triple-atef". Again, one is combined with the red crown.

the temple is located about 200m. to the south-west of the temple of Medinet Habu,
This temple-chapel had been constructed by Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II. This small temple  is of little importance. 

It was not finished,  but it deserves to be seen, because, containing entirely finished sculptures and others which are only drawn, it represents the different stages of work of the Egyptian artists in the execution of the bas-reliefs

 After Pharaonic times, the temple was transformed into a stable.

 It is composed of three successive oblong rooms, of which the two last, the room of the offerings and the sanctuary, are decorated. The room of the offerings is only partially sculpted, the majority of the great iconographic scenes being simply painted.

the excavation & restoration works of the temple 

1-an epigraphic survey by Dominique Mallet in 1909 (IFAO).

2- a preparatory visit done in November 2000 by Claude Traunecker and Annie Schweitzer allowed to measure how much this survey was in error and incomplete.
3- the Institute of Egyptology of the Marc Bloch University of Strasburg solicited by the Supreme Council of the Antiques of Egypt, in collaboration with the IFAO, was given the authorisation for work in this monument. 

The function of the temple of Qasr el-Aguz:
It has been believed for a long time that the temple of Qasr el-Aguz was an oracular building or one bound to the cult of a deified character
The legitimacy of the successor is bound closely to his role of officiant in the funerary ceremony and the predecessor's funerary cults.
  it appears that Thoth is also the guardian of the royal crowns. Thoth of Qasr el-Aguz plays an important role therefore in the ceremonies of recognition of the Pharaonic royalty according to the specific rituals of Thebes.
At present, the relationship with the former "place beloved of Thoth" centre of administration and the maintenance of law and order in the necropolis, during the Third Intermediate Period, is not clear. 

Who is the builder of the temple ?
In the decorations of this monument it is Ptolemy VIII (c. 182BC–116BC), who is portrayed.
Four of his predecessors (Ptolemy II to V, great-great-grandfather to father) also appear, but as deified kings.
The numbering of the Ptolemies is a modern invention. During the Greco-Egyptian period they were identified by secondary and even nicknames. Ptolemy VIII was known fully as Ptolemy Euergetes Phsycon ("Phsycon" meaning "pot-bellied"). Today he is known as Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Phsycon.

Ptolemy VIII appears with two Cleopatras (but not at the same time); these are Cleopatra II and Cleopatra III. If unnumbered, it is Cleopatra II who is being portrayed.

Cleopatra III was born to Ptolemy VI (Philometer) and Cleopatra II. Ptolemy VI (Philometer), Ptolemy VII (Neos Philopater) and Ptolemy VIII (Euergetes II) were the brothers of Cleopatra II.
After the death of Ptolemy V, the eldest brother (Ptolemy VI) became the King of Egypt, and (being very young) his mother was regent. He later married his sister Cleopatra II. In an attempt to gain control, Ptolemy VIII had his brother expelled and he married Cleopatra II. He later had Philopater (Ptolemy VII, who never reigned) killed, thus taking the throne fully for himself.
Euergetes then discarded Cleopatra II and married Cleopatra III, making her Queen and joint ruler.

The Cleopatra of "Anthony and Cleopatra" fame, was: Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 BC - 30 BC). She originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brothers/husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV; eventually gaining sole rule of Egypt.


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