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The Island of Philae with Temple of Aset, 30th Dynasty, from Gay Robins' Art of Ancient Egypt

The Temple of Het-Hert is located behind the Roman kiosk which is visible on the right side of the photograph.

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Hall of Nectanebo I from the 30th Dynasty, in Schulz and Seidel's Egypt: World of the Pharaohs

The oldest structure on the island is the kiosk built by Nectanebo I (380-362 BCE).  To the north of the kiosk he also built a temple gate which was eventually integrated into the first pylon of the Temple of Aset.  From this time until the Roman period, many different temples were added to the island.  Among those was a temple of Het-Hert constructed under the Emperor Augustus. 

Worship was continued on the island of Philae into the 6th century CE, and both the last hieroglyphic inscriptions, written in 394 CE, and the last demotic inscriptions, from 452 CE, are also found there.  One reason that Philae was able to continue the ancient Egyptian religion well into the Christian Era of Egyptian history was due to its location far into Upper Egypt near the southern border, where it became a haven for the faithful.

Philae served to disseminate Egyptian religion to Nubia and the Sudan in the south during hundreds of years.  Many of the reliefs and inscriptions of Meroe in the Sudan show influence from the texts of the Temple of Aset at Philae.


Wildung, Dietrich, Egypt from Prehistory to the Romans (Taschen's World Architecture Series), Koeln, Taschen, c. 1997.

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