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The Atlantean Symbolism Of The Egyptian Temple-Prof.Arysio Santos

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Author Topic: The Atlantean Symbolism Of The Egyptian Temple-Prof.Arysio Santos  (Read 4802 times)
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« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2008, 08:40:31 am »

The Meaning Of The Temple's Pylons

The pylons of Egyptian Temples — their most outstanding feature — have a very specific
symbolic meaning. Before entering their analysis, let us quote the excellent British Museum
Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by I. Shaw and P. Nicholson (London, 1995) on the entry "Pylon".
Pylons are, according to this erudite source:

Massive ceremonial gateways (Egyptian bekhenet) consisting of two tapering towers linked
by a bridge of masonry and surmounted by a cornice. Rituals relating to the sun-god were
evidently carried out on top of the gateway... The earliest known pylons may have been con-
structed in the pyramid complex and sun temple of the 5th Dynasty ruler Nyuserra
(2445-2421 AC)...

Many [pylons] also contained internal stairs and rooms, the purpose of which is uncertain.
Ancient depictions of pylons show that the deep vertical recesses visible along the façades
of surviving examples were intended to hold flagstaffs... Such flags would have had particular significance in the context of the temple, in that the Egyptian word for "god" (netjer) took the
form of a symbol usually interpreted as a fluttering pennant.

Pylons were frequently decorated with reliefs enhanced with bright paint and inlays, in which
the scenes tended to emphasize the theme of royal power... The most common motif on the
pylon was that of the king smiting foreign enemies or offering captives to a god.

The illustrious authors go on to say further:

Many important temples had only one pylon, but the more important religions complexes con-
sisted of long successions of pylons and courtyards, each added or embellished by different
rulers; the temple of Amun in Karnak, for instance, had ten pylons.

In the unusual temples dedicated to Aten... the pylons consist of pairs of separate towers
without any bridging masonry between them. It is likely that the pylon represented the two
mountains of the horizon (akhet) between which the sun rose, thus contributing to the temple's
role as a symbol of the cosmos and the act of creation. The towers were, each, identified
with the goddesses Isis and Nephthys.
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