Temples in Ancient Egypt

Back in ancient Egypt temples where widely regarded as the most important aspect of any persons life at the time. A relationship to the gods was as integral to their life as food or air was. Temples as a whole can be split into two categories: Cultus, the religions side of things and Mortuary these are temples dedicated to the pharaoh.

The architecture of the temples of the gods where extremely important to ancient Egyptians they used what was available to them at the time which was stone. The philosophy was that temples are meant to be as eternal as the gods. They didn’t use the other readily available materials such as mud brick, due to them eventually rotting away and wood wast an option due to the scarcity of the item so they used what they had the most of. With the stone they mostly used relifsconsider the temple to be the house of the gods.

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The inside of the temples where segregated by spiritual level few where allowed past a certain point. But this was mostly reserved for the inner sanctuary meant for priests. They also had storerooms for the goods used in the rituals and even a chamber specifically for a statue representing the god along with any offerings the priests had to the gods.

While the gods had a home in these temples they needed the priests serve them. In the temples two types of priests existed in the Temple. There where Lay Priests, that served for three months a year. Serving for one month then taking off another three. During times off they served important jobs such as doctors and scribes. Full-Time priests served the gods at all times. Where priests of that god preform things such as rituals with sacred pools[1], ceremonies and give offerings and thanks to the gods. Other Egyptians where allowed to participate in worshiping the gods during festivals.

When at home the people used shrines, these places where in a private home that had offering tables.These shrines where often refeif scultures made up of sandstone. Different peoples used to worship gods such as gods like Amun-Ra at these home shrines. Two of the most common gods worshiped in homes were Bes and Tauret. Bes because he was the protector of children and assisted with childbirth. Tauret on the otherhand was the goddess of childbirth and fertility. People left offerings at their household shrine. These included steles carved with requests for help or items to help give thanks.

Fesivals where when the people could go to these temples and pray. These festivals took place every year and were when peopel could see more detailed statues of the gods and had the cultural significance of ensuring the Niles flooding. One festival in particular took plcae in thcity of thebes. During the festival the statue of Amun-Rah traveled west to the Temple of Karnak. To visit the temples of pharohs past.

The largest temple that has been found yet is the temple of Karnak. Created at estimated 2055Bc to 100AD Karnak was a temple dedicated to Amun, Mut adn Khonsu. This behemoth was created over the course of 2000 years for the egyptians. Over 200 acres this spiritual site was almost twice as large as Vatacan City. The Egyptians often went on spiritual pilrimage to this sacred place and has an annual twenty -seven-day festival caled the Opet festival. The Pharoah and his prietsts eneter the temple and prefored ceremonies to regenerate Amun and guarantee the Nile would provide for them. During this time people fiested and drank and even where allowed to ask questions to the priests.

The Egyptian people where known for their amazing culture and arcitecture. The culture around the temples and how the people interact with them and their gods is an interesting and insightful glimps into their life. The people and the gods where intertwined in such a way that like the greeks and their gods and accomplishments the Egyptians where immediatly recognizable.

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Temples in Ancient Egypt. (2021, Dec 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/temples-in-ancient-egypt/