Egyptian Travel: The Zodiac in the Dendera Temple to Hathor

Posted by Steve Collins on

On a recent visit to Egypt, we visited the Hathor Temple in Dendera. On the roof of the temple, there is a small open-air room. The small room was a chapel dedicated to Osiris. When you walk inside it is noticeable that the walls do not have the same highly detailed hieroglyphs as the rest of the temple. However, when you look up you notice something amazing. 

Zodiac Calender Dendera Temple to Hathor

On the right side of the ceiling is a large arching Nut drawing. Nut is the goddess of the sky and heavens.

On the left side is a relief that is unique to any temple in Egypt. The sandstone is black and features the Egyptian zodiac calendar. The Ancient Egyptians were aware of the significance of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. In this calendar, the twelve signs of the Zodiac are in the center, along with gods and goddesses.  Supporting the zodiac disc is the god Horus and a female goddess or priestess. The Horus images are said to represent the four directions and the goddesses represent the four seasons. The months are represented by adding the goddesses and Horus images, for a total of

Zodiac Calender Dendera Temple to Hathor Goddess Nut

twelve. Astronomers and Egyptologists are still discovering more about the zodiac relief and other findings at the Dendera Temple to Hathor. This is a replica of the relief placed in its original place. The original zodiac relief is at the Louvre. 

Zodiac Calender Dendera Temple to Hathor Egyptian God Horus

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