Hathor is a goddess of many things within the ancient Egyptian story. She was known as “The Lady of the West” (the sun sets in the west); so the protector of the dead.
But also Hathor was a maternal figure and often portrayed as the Divine Mother of the reigning pharaoh.
Moreover Hathor was also the babe of love and sensual pleasures, and of music and dancing.
But to the everyday people, Hathor was known by a range of titles: “The Golden One”, “She of the Beautiful Hair” and as “The Lady of Drunkenness”, for the joyful swirl of intoxication was part of her worship.
Let me say now, it was a sober day. Hellishly hot. No beer in sight.
The Hathor temple at Dendara is well-preserved. Intact stone roofs. Carved pillars. Painted ceilings. For me, jaw-dropping. Intense. Overwhelming. In love.
This gorgeous temple was constructed during the late Ptolemaic period and completed during Roman-occupied times. Unlike many (older) Egyptian monuments, she’s had close-to-zero reconstructive surgery.
So at about 2000 years of age, Dendara’s Hathor temple is still a stunner.
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