Temple of Dekka
The temple of Dekka is situated in south Egypt, about 100 Km away from the famous Aswan High Dam, which was built to tame River Nile. Initially, it was constructed in Nubia, but in modern time, it had to be shifted to a place named Es-Sebua, that is 40 Km upstream the river and now this temple is placed on a small cliff. The shifting mission of this temple was accomplished from 1962 to 1968, so that the temple could be secured from the flood waters of the Lake Nasser and High Dam. Though now this temple is also famously known to the world as El-Dakka, the local Egyptians call it as Pselqet, while the Greeks refer to it as Pselchis.
The temple was built by the Nubian Agher Amon who ruled at the time of king Ptolemy II, and later additions were added during the Greco-Roman times. The temple is originally goes back to the 18th dynasty, during the time of Thutmosis III, Hatshepsut and Seti I and Merneptah. Like most of the other Nubian monuments it was converted into a church during the Christian era. The temple is decorated with many religion scenes and important relief.
The creator of the Temple of Dekka
There is a dispute about the true maker of this temple among the scholars of present times. Earlier, people thought that it was made by the Nubian king Agher Amon, whose reign was at the time of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, between 282 and 246 B.C. According to the historians of that time, this temple was probably built around 220 B.C., by this Nubian king, whom the Greeks referred to as Ergamenes. The latest additions of the temple were supposedly built by other Egyptian kings of Greco-Roman era.
But now, the present researchers claim that this temple was made much earlier, at the time of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, who dedicated the temple to God Horus. Several stone blocks with pictures of Horus are found in this temple site, which confirm this theory. Later on, probably Seti I and Merneptah, the rulers of the 19th dynasty built the newer additions of the temple.
The architectural wonders of the Temple of Dekka
This temple consists of a façade, a pylon, a large courtyard and two sanctuaries, built in two different periods. The uniqueness of this temple is mainly due to its façade, as it is the only façade in Egypt that faces towards the north, instead of the east and it runs in north-south direction that is parallel to the River Nile, flowing down in front of it.
Earlier, there used to be an enclosure wall that is demolished in the course of times. Hence, the pylon or the huge gateway now stands separated from the courtyard, due to the absence of this wall that held the pylon. This pylon is notable due to a sculpture of a solar disk and an uraeus extending its wings, which was actually considered as a sacred serpent, placed above the entrance. A smaller entrance to the southern part of the temple leads the way to a staircase, directing towards many rooms, inside the pylon.
The courtyard leads to the hall or pronaos, which is decorated with the bas-reliefs which show a Ptolemaic King giving offerings to various Egyptian gods.
Among the two sanctuaries of this temple, one was supposedly made by Arkamani, the Nubian king and the initial maker of this temple and the other was said to be included by Augustus. These sanctuaries contain many beautiful reliefs depicting the Nubian king to give offerings to various Egyptian deities, including Goddess Anqet and the lion-headed Goddess Sekhmet, along with Thoth, Isis and Tefnut