Scholarly article on topic 'Poetry as Spiritual Interpretation of Islamic Architecture & Ancient Egyptians Temples'

Poetry as Spiritual Interpretation of Islamic Architecture & Ancient Egyptians Temples Academic research paper on "History and archaeology"

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{"The Monotheism" / "Cognitive model" / "the interpretive spiritual approach" / "The Mevlevi Tekkee" / Dendera / doors / heavens / Sufism / dander / guadians / temples / hathor / symbols}

Abstract of research paper on History and archaeology, author of scientific article — Mai A. Hawas

Abstract In 1251i.e. before the Mathnavi was begun Mevlana's friend, the minister Jalaluddin Qaratay, founded the Qaratay madrasa, a small edifice which, in – Anne Marie Schemmile opinion, better reflects the character of the Mathnavi than any rational explanation could do. Erzen has proved that aesthetic consciousness at the ottoman culture and artistic product of art & architecture, miniature, painting, literature and music is a traditional product rather as a creation of art. (ERZEN, 1991) Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī also known as Mevlânâ, Mevlevî (1207-1273) has often tried to solve the riddle of the relation between words and meaning, of experience and expression, in several ways returns to the feeling that words are merely dust on the mirror of “experience’, dust brought forth from the movement of the broom “tongue’, and the true meaning, the “soul of the story’.

Academic research paper on topic "Poetry as Spiritual Interpretation of Islamic Architecture & Ancient Egyptians Temples"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 225 (2016) 364 - 375

'Conservation ofArchitectural Heritage, CAH" 23-27 November 2015, Luxor

Poetry as spiritual interpretation of Islamic architecture & Ancient Egyptians temples

Mai A. Hawas*

Ph.D, AP— Architecture Dep. - Engineering Faculty -Cairo University — Senior Architect at Dar Al-Handasa ltd.-28 Mohamed ezz El Arab, Mounira,Cairo,11461,Egypt,

Abstract

In 1251i.e. before the Mathnavi was begun Mevlana's friend, the minister Jalaluddin Qaratay, founded the Qaratay madrasa, a small edifice which, in - Anne Marie Schemmile opinion, better reflects the character of the Mathnavi than any rational explanation could do.

Erzen has proved that aesthetic consciousness at the ottoman culture and artistic product of art & architecture, miniature, painting, literature and music is a traditional product rather as a creation of art. (ERZEN, 1991)

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rum! also known as Mevlana, Mevlevi (1207-1273) has often tried to solve the riddle of the relation between words and meaning, of experience and expression, in several ways returns to the feeling that words are merely dust on the mirror of 'experience', dust brought forth from the movement of the broom 'tongue', and the true meaning, the 'soul of the story'

©2016 The Authors.PublishedbyElsevierLtd. Thisis an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-reviewunder responsibilityoflEREK, International expertsforResearchEnrichmentandKnowledgeExchange

Keywords: The Monotheism, Cognitive model, the interpretive spiritual approach, The Mevlevi Tekkee., Dendera, doors, heavens. Sufism,dander, guadians, temples, hathor, symbols

On the opposite shore of the world of symbolism, the Ancient Egyptian civilizations lived a strong world of images, symbolism and mystery. The Egyptian temple was a machine for maintaining and developing divine energy. It was the place in which the cosmic energy, neter/netert (god/goddess) (Gadalla, 2003), came to dwell and radiate its energy

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +2 01225673390. E-mail address: mai.hawas@dargroup.com, oceandreaml45@hotmail.com

1877-0428 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of IEREK, International experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.06.034

to the land and people - same as in Islamic civilization - art & architecture were not separated, based on a religious system of beliefs. The harmonious power of the temple plans, the images engraved on the walls, and the forms of worship, were inspired from the main sources of the ancient Egyptian culture describing religion, myth & symbolism which are three texts: the pyramid texts, the Coffin texts & the book of the dead.

It is to examine the influence of poetic & metaphorical texts on the art & architecture of both civilizations, examining oppositions & similarities.

The text known as the book of the Dead have been found on royal shrouds and funerary equipment of the 17th century BC. Later on, it became so important that it was copied on the walls of royal and private tombs, by the mid second millennium BCC, the rules of Egypt were being buried in rock - cut tombs in the valley of the kings at Thebes. The decoration of these tombs included the Duat ( the Egyptian Underworld) which contained the realm of the dead.

The classification of Egyptian gods is a complex matter, adding to it, the divine nature of the Egyptian king, the concept was that the living king is treated as a god while he is alive. According to Gabr, the living king had to earn his immortality, whereas the gods were inherently immortal. He had to maintain maat (the verb meaning justice, balance, truth and order) to indicate that he was fit to be god and thus to be immortal. (Gabr A. H., 1999)

This polarity of human/divine is irrational to our modern minds but Egyptians found different types of polarities, which educated them of the Ka & Ba, light & darkness, the valley and the desert. Once the king was in his new position, he was identified as a living god, like Horus, but when he died, he become identified by Oriris and Re. Dendera Temple Complex is known as Temple of Hathor, meaning temple of the Heliosphere. Positive structured plasma to Negative Earth via two Djed Columns (dielectric). In Dendera Temple the central Cartouche below describes God watching over the structured plasma that is positively charged or anodic with two Djed Columns or dielectric insulator linking to the negatively charged body or earth.

The temple of Hathor at Dendara contains a number of small crypts along the eastern, southern, and western sides. These crypts are thought to have served as warehouses or treasuries for ritual furnishings, sacred and ceremonial equipment, and divine images used in celebrating various feasts. The crypts are small and it is likely that few served as locations for formal rituals. Many have plain, undecorated walls.

At the southern end of the temple there are five subterranean crypts aligned along a straight hallway, it was in these small rooms that the most valuable of the temple statues and objects were kept, including two statues ofHathor.

François Daumas wrote:

But most prestigious of the statues was that of the ba ofHathor. According to the texts written on the walls, we know that the kiosk consisted of a gold base surmounted by a gold roof supported by four gold posts, covered on all four sides by linen curtains hung from copper rods. Inside was placed the gold statuette representing a bird with a human head capped with a horned disc. This was Hathor, Lady of Dendara, residing in her house... It was certainly this statuette that was carried in the kiosk on the evening of the New Year. [Dendara et le Temple d'Hathor, 1969, p. 60; my own translation.]

Most of the poems inscribed on the walls are symbols and prayers for Hathor:

The sky and the stars make music to You.

The sun and the moon praise You.

The Gods exalt You.

The Goddesses sing to You

The following hymn is found on the walls ofDendara:

The Mistress of Names in the Two Lands, the Unique One, Mistress of Terror among the Guardians of the Netjeru, the Uraeus on the horns of Atum:

The Netjeru come to You prostrating, the Netjerut, bowing Their heads.

Your Father Ra adores You; His face rejoices in hearing Your Name.

Djehuty satisfies You with His glorifications and He raises His arms to You, carrying the sistrum. The Netjeru rejoice for You when You appear.

You illuminate the Two Lands with the rays ofYour Eye.

The South, the North, the West, and the East pay You homage, and they make adoration.

Mai A. Hawas /Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 225 (2016) 364 — 375 Het-Hert, Mistress of Iunet, Your beautiful face is pleased by the King of Upper and Lower Egypt.1'

Figure 1 Second western Osirian chapel, temple ofHathor at Dendera, BD 146, from Cauville

1997, pi. 193

The Seven Hathors can appear as either cows or as beautiful women. The cows are usually seen in a funerary context, where they are accompanied by the sky-bull, the "Bull of the West." In Queen Nefertari's beautifully decorated tomb, they have the following names: Lady of the Universe, Sky-Storm, You from the Land of Silence, You from Khemmis, Red-Hair, Bright Red, and Your Name Flourishes Through Skill. They also appear in the Mythological Papyrii, where their names are Lady of the House of Jubilation, Mistresses of the West, Mistresses of the East, and Ladies of the Sacred Land, as well as in The Book of the Dead, tomb paintings and temple reliefs. Some of the depictions show them wearing a patterened "saddle-cloth," a sun-disk, a double curved plume, and a menit necklace. Their function is to nourish and protect the deceased from harm.

In their human form, the Seven Hathors are present at the birth of a child, when they pronounce its fate. They are also called upon for help in matters oflove, as well as protection from evil spirits. The power of the red hair-ribbons of the Seven Hathors is used to bind dangerous spirits and render them harmless.

The Columns head is formed in the shape ofHathor as in human form, supporting the sky, where a great scene of Wdget or life maintaining the cosmic order of the universe, the sun,

As per Lucarelli, a special place is given to those creatures who watch over certain passages that are represented as gates, portals and doors. Doors and door-watchers of the netherworld are also the theme of other ancient Egyptian funerary compositions, for example the Book of Gates and the Book of the Night. (Lucarelli, 2015)

According to The book of the dead, there are two types of entries, the entry through the secret doors at the hereafter life, the Osiris kingdom, These secret doors symbolized the hierarchy of the heavenly world in the Egyptian traditional belief, and also the hierarchy f within the journey to the hereafter, every king should pass these gates, each symbolized

* From the Sanctuary of the Temple of Dendera Chassinat: Le Temple de Dendara; S.Cauville: Dendera I

a faculty of values, where the King approaches each guardian of the gate and goes through, the king has to have the knowledge of the guardian name, the king have to express his purity of all sins, the secret gates are mentioned in many text sources of the Egyptian methodology, but each had different numbers for these secret doors to the Osiris world. The book of the Dead mentioned seven secret doors, other sources acknowledged 21 secret doors.

The other type of portals, symbolized stages of transformation or purification, these stages were mentioned as seven stages of portals, symbolizing the divine throne or the alter, at each stage there are three guardians doorkeeper,' a saw 'watcher,' and a smi 'herald", It is likely that the variety in the guardians' iconography symbolizes their capacity to manifest in many forms. (Lucarelli, 2015), Since they originally belonged to the imagery of the Beyond, it is especially notable that the door-guardians can also be found in the ritual context of the Ptolemaic temples

Lac sscrè [30m * 34110

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Figure 2 Dendera Temple Plan

Figure 4 Dendera Ceiling - Wedjat (6 Senses) or life maintaining the cosmic order ofthe universe

As per Lucarelli, Knowing the name of beings, places and sacred objects is one of the central principles of funerary magic and occurs frequently in the spells of the Book of the Dead; (Lucarelli, 2015)

Lucarelli focused of the importance of representing these demons pictographically, as it is motivated by the fact that the deceased must be ready not only to know their names, but also to visually recognize them. Their outward appearance is not much different from the way deities are depicted in their animal and hybrid forms. (Lucarelli, 2015) The door-guardians can also be found in the ritual context of the Ptolemaic temples it is in the Osiride chapels of the Ptolemaic temple of Hathor at Dendera that the function of these demons as temple guardians can be better analyzed, it is on the walls of the second western chapel that BD 144, 145 and 146 occur.

Ritual magic in Egypt was based on a creative power of words & images (Gabr A. H., 1999). The magician and priest strove to find the true nature of beings and objects and to find the connections between them. These connections were created by shared properties such as colors or the sound of a name or a shape to symbolize the real and manifest body. Once a pairing had been established, it was thought possible to transfer qualities from one component to the other. Or to produce an effect on the one by actions performed on the other. (Gabr A. H., 1999). Heka was the force that turned these connections into a kind of power network. (Bromage, I960) (Budge, The Book of the Dead, 1985) (Budge, Egyptian Magic, 1971) the text in Dendera temple is a faithful copy of the Book of the Dead version, with the exception of a few variants for the names of the last three guardians

Knowing the name' of beings, places and sacred objects is one of the central principles of funerary magic and occurs frequently in the spells of the Book of the Dead; see in particular the so-called spells for 'knowing the bas of the sacred places' (BD 107-109, 111-116), Lucarelli 2006, 95-104.

Spells BD 144 and 147 are two variants of the same text, which refers to the seven 'arr.wt-gates of the house of Osiris in the west and the gods who are in their caverns while offerings for them are upon earth.'5

Figure 5 Second western Osirian chapel, temple of Hathor at Dendera, BD 144, from Cauville 1997, pi. 192.

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X k k, k ■ L ill FT,-, "1 [ rf Ji in i frffMftT M JTCSIS _.iM H\fKi 1 mm\ HE! m\ 1 (¥ Ul 10

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Figure 6 Second western Osirian chapel, temple of Hathor at Dendera, BD 146, from Cauville 1997, pi. 193

One of the reasons why these figures of door-watchers of the netherworld have been introduced among the legions of the temple genii is to be found in their skill in 'opening the way' (wn wA.t), granting the passage through gates and doors separating different domains (earth/netherworld, pure/impure, sacred/profane). Both funerary magic (opening the gates of the netherworld) and temple ritual (giving access to the most hidden spaces where the rituals were performed) are based on this skill; the guardian demons become therefore the ideal, dynamic link among funerary and daily ritual magic. It is not a coincidence that in BD 145 a recurrent declaration pronounced by the deceased in front of the gates is

'Make way for me, since I know you, I know your name, I know the name of the god who guards you.'n

The universality of spiritual doctrine is clearly demonstrated in "Treasury of Traditional Wisdom "by Whitall Perry. As stated by Martin Ling, traditional wisdom is divided to three main category corresponds to the three basic principles of the Islamic mysticism, fear, love and knowledge, each of these divisions has two aspects: the domain of fear action: abstention and accomplishment. Love has: dynamic intensity & static aspect of contemplative bliss. Spiritual knowledge has its objective & subjective aspects as it is concerned with the Absolute as Transcendent Truth and Immanent Selfhood.

Since the work of sacred art is concerned with holiness and the as it is also concerned with the crystallization of sainthood which sets before man as a models, Islamic architecture is to be examined to reflect these aspects of spiritual dimension in mosque architecture. Invalid source specified.

As these aspects is also reflected in the poetry of Galal Din Rumi, as stated by Ann Marie Schimmel in her book "The Triumphal Sun" the three stages of fear, love and knowledge are the main stations in the Sufi life in his journey to God, these stages are the main dimensions in his prose and poetry, as The microcosm is man, who reflects these same qualities but as a totality. The macrocosm and the microcosm are like two mirrors facing each other (C.Chittick, 2005, p. 49),Rumi also, although living after Ibn Arabi, follows the earlier terminology in his writings. Discussing the true nature of man, Rumi remarks that philosophers say that man is the microcosm, while theosophies or Sufis say that man is the macrocosm Ibid,P52

Also Rumi discuss Universal Man as the principle of all manifestation and thus the prototype of the microcosm and the macrocosm. Chittick explains that Individual man, or man as we usually understand the term, is the most complete and central reflection of the reality ofUniversal Man in the manifested universe, and thus he appears as the final being to enter the arena of creation, for what is first in the principal order is last in the manifested order.§ According to Rumi:

"Externally the branch is the origin of the fruit; intrinsically the branch came into existence for the sake of the fruit. If there had not been desire and hope of the fruit, how should the gardener have planted the root of the tree? Therefore in reality the tree was born of the fruit, (even) if in appearance it (the fruit) was generated by the tree". Ibid,P52 Rumi summarizes the relationship of the Shahddah to the states of fana and, baqa as follows: "Everything is perishing but His face": unless thou art in His face (essence), do not seek to exist. When any one has passed away (from himself) in my [God's] face, the words "everything is perishing" are not applicable (to him). Because he is in "but, "he has transcended "no", whoever is in "but" has not passed away [in respect ofhis real Self] * (C.Chittick, 2005) (Schimmel, 1993, p. 244)

"When a man's "I" is negated (and eliminated) from existence, then what else remains'? Consider, 0 denier. If you have an eye, open it and look! After no, why, what else remains? (VI, 2096-97).

To examine the stages of wisdom as reflected in Rumi's proses and poetry, is more related to understand his Sufi doctrine, and his path to God, as Chittick explained that according to Rumi Man should not waste his efforts in trivialities but should concentrate all of his attention on the Path, for "except dying, no other skill avails with God" (VI, 3838). The individual self is a prison which keeps man separated from God: "To be nigh (unto God) is not to go up or down: to be nigh unto God is to escape from the prison. (C.Chittick, 2005, p. 70).

The architecture of the mosque, as a worship place, is the place where man begin his journey to perform prayer, it could be a simulation for these stages of self, in her journey to God, it is suggested that mosque architecture as a product of the Turkmen emirates period, was influenced by the Sufi doctrine of Rumi, and through his understanding of universe, a methodology for the mosque could be based in parallel to the Sufi doctrine of the period at the 13th and 14th century at Anatolia.

The Mosque with its protected walls & door is a pure expression for fear aspects, as through door one's is turning his back to the external danger of the profane world, expressing the flight from danger, as there is no refuge from God except to him.as for Rumi, every faithful Muslim repentance is not a unique act, he knows that the door of repentance is situated in the Maghreb, Man should never despair of finding this door ,which is according to our poet is one of the

eight doors of Paradise. **also we find Rumi's mausoleum bear the inscription:

"Come back, come back, even though you have broken your repentance a thousand times."

The second station as stated by Lings, corresponds to the positive aspect of fear, which is attack, Lings also points out to the symbols of this spiritual station, that of combat, victory, it is the inner act to the affirmation of the Self.|| Invalid source specified., which is called "Gihad" the most spiritual form of the "Gihad" is the inner one with the profane needs of one's self.

This station is overwhelmingly expressed in the mosque architecture in pillar, which is dynamic in its virtue of its function as the structure tension element, against gravity, resembling the soul when it is conquering spiritual laziness, inattention and dreaming , which all has to be overcome. The pillar by it upwards towards the sky against gravity ,resembles the soul in its longing to God, against its habitual passivity here we refer to Rumi when he mentioned that trees are like dervishes, slowly advancing, slowly growing and smiling until they bear full fruity (Schimmel, 1993), and their leaves bear witness of the root's character and tell what kind of nourishment they have imbibed, As long as the branches are dry, they resemble ascetics who become refreshed (green-headed) and intoxicated when the friend's lip touches them as ceticism is transformed into love. (Schimmel, 1993, p. 74)

Interpreting the dome meaning and relation to light and walls of the mosque implies further interpretation for meaning for the development of pendentive dome beyond its structure role as the roof of the mosque, there are numerous studies for the classification of plan design using pendentive dome as main criteria to categories the plan layout's variations of the Ottoman mosque architecture, a criteria that will categorize instead of interpret, as a descriptive method for analyzing architecture forms of the mosque, proposing that analyzing courtyard plan unit types is the symbol of Ottoman mosque architecture incorporating simple and pure geometric shapes * (Mahmoud, 1998, p. 110) the previous assumption , describes the form as a symbol in itself, no meaning beyond its material form, as the form has no significance to imply, hence analyzing through descriptive approach is to describe objects as a subject to achieve in itself, with no metaphor meaning, while as previously mentioned, that architecture at pre modern world is part of a culture that generates system of beliefs as an art product, hence it is more likely not to propose that forms are analyzed depending mainly on its function or method of construction, as interpreting forms through the descriptive approach will limit interpretation, in addition that it suggests a description based mainly on separating form and meaning as structuralism has suggested, a criteria that maybe against the beliefs that shaped the literature, art and architecture of that period of time.

This approach of recalling for love is achieved at the mihrab, with its curved surface, and when Examining the Mihrab at Green mosque at Bursa, it is described to be the paradise itself (Goodwin, 2003, p. 62).not just the gate of paradise, its columns is described like the trees of life, which supports a twelve rows of stalactites, the flat surface is full with flowers as a symbol for a fertile reign.

Figure 7 Mihrab, Green mosque, Bursa, the Figure 8 Entrance, Green mosque, Bursa, the Figure 9, the florished imperial loge auther auther designed by Mohamed Magnon

There is an inscription in honor of Ali bin Ilyas Ali, Known as NAkkash Ali or Ali the designer, it was stated by Goodwin, that he was likely to be the master of considerable (Goodwin, 2003, p. 62), referring to the location of the inscription and its size that it must have an important role to be mentioned.

Through both Rumi poetry and the Green Mosque at Bursa, the wisdom of fear, love & knowledge can be traced as the main stations in transcendence, Several questions is to arouse, concerned with the spiritual basics of form giving that is influencing contemporary.

"But the chosen, ones of God, who have true knowledge, see neither the hereafter nor the stable. Their eyes are fixed on the first principle, the source of all things. (Arberry, 1993, p. 37) What letter could one read in the lightning's light? (the dome of spiritual illumination ) as to grow spiritually

A fire ofpiety (taqva*) burnt the world which is besides God: A lightning from God struck and burnt piety. while our spiritual self flees away from this world (Schimmel, 1993). "One of you is an unbeliever, And one of you a believer." Two people are warring within you. Who shall succeed? The one that Fortune makes her friend. (Arberry, 1993, p. 106)

Every moment the voice of Love is coming from left and right.

We are bound for heaven: who has a mind to sight-seeing?

We have been in heaven, we have been friends of the angels;

Thither, sire, let us return, for that is our country . . .

Came the billow of'Am I not?' and wrecked the body's ship;

When the ship wrecks it is the time of union's attainment;

'Tis the time of union's attainment, 'tis the time of eternity's beauty, 'Tis the

time of favor and largesse, 'tis the ocean of perfect purity.

The billow of largesse hath appeared, the thunder of the sea hath arrived,

The morn of blessedness hath dawned. Morn? No, 'tis the light of God (Schimmel, 1993, p. 252)

All these pleasures and pursuits are like a ladder. The rungs of a ladder are not a place to make one's home; they are for passing by. Fortunate are those who learn this. The long road becomes short for them, and they do not waste their lives upon the steps (Arberry, 1993, p. 119)

Figure 10 Minaret, Uc Serefeli Mosque, Figure 11 Dome, Uc Serefeli Mosque, Edirne, Edirne, the auther the auther

Conclusion

The Sufi thought of Rumi depends on system of symbols, manifested & revealed in nature, that helps humans in their transcendence to the ultimate truth, his vision presupposes Sufi relation between the significant and the significance, after his death, his descendants and students has maintained the Sufi order through different schools of Sufism & art, as art at the time was not an individual expression of selfbeliefs.

Through both Rumi poetry and the Green Mosque at Bursa, the wisdom of fear, love & knowledge can be traced as the main stations in transcendence, Several questions is to arouse, concerned with the spiritual basics of form giving that is influencing contemporary mosque architecture: are these spiritual basics for Rumi exists in the 21 century ? is there a quest for a different spiritual meaning to express through contemporary mosques ?

Do the same values exist as a community belief or as an individual choice? Is there an interest to express a spiritual belief through building contemporary mosques?

The manifestation of spiritual thought is achieved in the process of form giving using the origin meanings of form, the meanings of the basic geometric forms, the triangle, squares and circles, the geometric forms generated from these basic forms had also embraced their embedded meanings, these meanings is also found generated in the spiritual basics of literature texts of the thirteen & fourteenth centuries, as the Mevleve order had developed a sufi doctrine that celebrates poetry and music, the seven stages which is found in the first chapter of Methnawi, states that any sufi must transcends through seven stages in his journey to God. A lot of Rumi's proses expresses each level of transcendence. The Ancient Egyptian civilization had developed a system of belief that is manifested in every aspect of art, to be drawn and written at the same time, all forms of art had contributed to generate architecture, the basic function of ancient Egyptian architecture is to manifest its system of myth and beliefs.

The two civilizations had a similar approach concerning the seven stages of transcendence, but with different manifestation, while the Ancient Egyptians had considered the seven stages as gates which the person (in the afterlife) have to pass in order to go to heaven, on the contrary of the Islamic civilization, the seven stages process that contribute as major and essential factor in form giving of religious buildings, should be happening in profane life, before death,

architecture had played a role to help prayers to go thought these seven stages manifested in forms and geometric order of buildings.

The main reason for the interest of the Egyptian Ancient civilization in the process of which the person go through after his profane life, is that there are no barriers between the two, and it should be simulated so that one is aware of his unseen path after death, also to assure that the happiness in after life is related to god duties in this mundane life, the temple architecture had several texts expressing the belief in the afterlife, and the respect to gods and goddesses, also as in Dendera, the temple calibrated the cosmos as well it calibrates the birth of humans in the earthly life. The temple is the gate between these two worlds and it is the place of worship as part of the cosmos.

© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Peer-review under responsibility oflEREK, International experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange.

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