Type of site:
– First Intermediate Period (ca. 2250 – ca. 2050 BC)
– Objects from the Hellenistic-Roman period
– Remains of a Roman-period sanctuary
Most interesting finds:
– Architectural remains mainly from the First Intermediate Period: a large mud-brick building housing, among others, a bakery where bread offered to Hathor in a nearby temple was baked;
– Greek texts from the Hellenistic and Roman period;
– Remains of a stone cult building from the Roman period.
History of research:
Dates of PCMA mission’s work:
Type of research:
– Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Institut français d’archéologie orientale (IFAO)
Description of the site and research:
The city of Dendera in Upper Egypt was in antiquity the cult center of goddess Hathor. The building of the temple dedicated to her was started during the reign of Ptolemy IX and finished under Nero. Its facade faces the Nile. Unlike typical Egyptian buildings, it does not have a courtyard with porticoes and is not preceded by pylons. In the chapel dedicated to Osiris, the famous “Dendera zodiac” was depicted – the oldest representation of the 12 constellations of the zodiacal band. To the south of the Hathor temple stood the temple of Isis while to the west, the sacred lake.
The Polish-French archaeological mission excavated one of the districts of the ancient city located to the east of the Hathor temple. It discovered buildings from the First Intermediate Period, including a bakery where bread offered in the temple was baked, as well as remains of a stone cult building from the Roman period. Among the artifacts collected were Greek texts from the Hellenistic and Roman period.
Łukaszewicz, A. (2003). Dendera: Interim communiqué. Polish Archeology in the Mediterranean, 14, 197–198.