Ancient Egypt – Kom Ombo – the Double Temple

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Kom Ombo is the only ‘double temple’ from ancient Egypt. So named because it combines two architectural styles: modern by ancient Egypt’s standards, as well as representing two different gods simultaneously. It combines the Ptolemaic and the Roman period to commemorate the crocodile god Sobek, and the hawk god Horus.

The double temple at Kom Ombo

The ‘double temple’ at Kom Ombo – representing the gods Horus and Sobek.

There is a main axis along which the two temples were symmetrically built. The layout of both of these temples was similar in design to the temple of Hathor, at Dendara.

Kom Ombo – the Only ┬áDouble Temple from Ancient Egypt

Carved relief depiction of the god Horus.

Carved relief depiction of the god Horus.

Located in the town of Kom-Ombo, on the east Nile, the Temple is built on a high dune overlooking the river. The temple was started by Ptolemy VI, in the early second century BC. In ancient times, sacred crocodiles (the Nile crocodile, of which very few remain today) basked in the sun on the river bank nearby. The temple itself has scant remains, largely due to the changing nature and shape of the Nile (over the last 5,000 years) and by builders from a later period who took the stones to use in new buildings.

Carved relief depiction of the god Sobek.

Part of this temple has been lost into the Nile and in 1992, this building suffered after an earthquake that shook it at its foundations.

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