The Temple of Kom Ombo was a quick stop on our Nile River cruise right before dinner, so today’s post will be a quick one too.
Kom Ombo is a double temple dedicated to two gods: Sobek, the crocodile god, and a regional falcon god called Horus the Elder (not to be confused with Egypt’s main falcon god of the same name, who was closely associated with the pharaohs).
One legend about Kom Ombo that I found fascinating was that during the temple’s construction, many workers were being eaten by crocodiles from the Nile. They began to worship and make offerings to Sobek so that he would protect them from the crocodiles and they could complete the temple.
Well, they finished the temple, so I guess it worked!
Next door to the temple is a small museum aptly named the Crocodile Museum, which showcases the history of Kom Ombo. The most interesting exhibit is the cemetery of crocodile mummies!
The ancient Egyptians believed that the gods sent physical manifestations of themselves to Earth in the form of their totemic animals. Thus, a crocodile recognizable by specific markings was believed to have the spark of the god Sobek within it. So the priests of the temple would worship and care for it. When it died, the spirit of Sobek would go into another crocodile, and the dead crocodile would be mummified and ceremoniously buried in a special cemetery.
Hieroglyphics within the temple.
Another fun fact about Kom Ombo is that it was used to treat the sick during the Ptolemaic dynasty (Cleopatra’s dynasty). On the walls are hieroglyphs of medical instruments, such as scalpels, scissors, and prescriptions. Unfortunately, because it was night when we went, I didn’t get the best pictures. So here’s one from Wikipedia!
“A” is for Arrival
“B” is for Buyer’s Remorse
“C” is for Cruisin’ the River Nile
“D” is for Delays, Delays, Delays
“E” is for Empty Tombs
“F” is for Fragrance
“G” is for Great Pyramid of Giza
“H” is for Hatshepsut
“I” is for Island Temple of Philae
“J” is for Just Engaged!
This April for the A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing my experience of traveling to Egypt last month. These posts likely won’t be in chronological order, depending on what memory each letter strikes up, but if you’d like to follow me on this journey, subscribe below.
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17 thoughts on “Nortina’s Egyptian Travel Diaries (#AtoZChallenge): “K” is for Kom Ombo”
I didn’t realize the Egyptians mummified animals, too. Well, now that I say that, I think I read something once about mummified cats. But I never would’ve guessed they mummified crocodiles, too.
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I think I also read that mummified ram heads were recently discovered in Egypt too. Any animal they associated with their gods they treated as sacred and so mummified them when they died. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo also had a mummified animals collection. It’s all quite interesting!
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