Hathor: The Egyptian Goddess of Love and Joy

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Hathor (also known as Het-Heru) is a goddess from ancient Egyptian mythology, considered one of the most important and versatile deities in the pantheon. She is often depicted as a woman with the head of a cow or sometimes as a lioness-headed figure. Hathor is associated with love, beauty, music, dance, fertility, and motherhood. She was also considered a goddess of joy, celebration, and feminine power. 
Hathor was often depicted as a nurturing and protective deity, particularly in her role as the divine mother who cared for the deceased in the afterlife. She was sometimes called the "Lady of the West" because of her association with the setting sun and the afterlife.

Hathor and Ramses II statue from the Tomb of Nemtymes
Hathor as a cow protecting Ramses II at the Tomb of Nemtymes in Saqqara.

Throughout Egyptian history, Hathor was worshipped in various forms and under different names, and she was often syncretized with other goddesses. She was also closely linked with the goddess Isis, particularly in her role as a mother and protector. 
One of the most famous temples dedicated to her is the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, located near modern-day Qena in Upper Egypt. After visiting the temple our team was inspired to offer statues and jewelry representing this iconic Egyptian deity. 

Colonnades on the roof at the temple of Dendera
On the roof of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera is a small kiosk in which rituals were performed.

In addition to her role in Egyptian mythology, Hathor's influence extended to other cultures in the ancient Near East, where she was sometimes equated with or absorbed into the worship of other goddesses.

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