Temple of Kom Ombo Outside of Aswan, Egypt
August 20, 2018
On the evening of our last full day of our cruise down the Nile River, we visited the Temple of Kom Ombo. Although it was not the largest of temple complexes that we saw during our time in Egypt, it was still fascinating. The southern part of the temple is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek. Although crocodiles are not often found north of the new Aswan dam anymore, they used to prevalent in the area. There is even a Crocodile Museum at the site with crocodile mummies that are quite unique. The northern part of the temple is dedicated to the falcon god Horus and his image can be found on many of the hieroglyphs within the temple.
As with many different sites that we visited in Egypt, to get to the temple you wind your way through a variety of locals selling trinkets and children begging for money. Once inside the temple grounds, as you walk amongst the columns, the evidence of previous floods is very evident by the color variations on the walls. Because the temple sits so close to the banks of the Nile River, it has been damaged and mostly destroyed many times throughout history by both floods as well as earthquakes. Despite that fact, the temple has been mostly restored and there are even some hieroglyphs that retain some pigments of color.
With all of the different cruise ships that were at the temple when we visited, it was quite crowded when we arrived. On the bright side, since it was almost sunset, we had a slight break from the overwhelming heat. The temple was originally built around the Ptolemaic dynasty, somewhere between 180 and 47 BC. As with most of the temples in Egypt, the stories on the walls and columns of Kom Ombo depict specific histories of the gods, but many of them were unique to the local people of the area.