Temple of Hathor In Timna Park

The Temple of Hathor in Timna Park is one of the most interesting archaeological finds found in the Arava. But before talking about the shrine of Hathor that was found there; who was the Goddes Egyptian of Hathor? So Hathor which means in ancient Egyptian, “House of Horus”; was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion who played a wide variety of roles. As a sky deity, she was the mother or consort of the sky god Horus and the sun god Ra, both of whom were connected with kingship, and thus she was the symbolic mother of their earthly representatives, the pharaohs.

She was one of several goddesses who acted as the Eye of Ra; Ra’s feminine counterpart; and in this form, she had a vengeful aspect that protected him from his enemies. Her beneficent side represented music; dance; joy, love, sexuality, and maternal care, and she acted as the consort of several male deities and the mother of their sons. Furthermore, Hathor crossed boundaries between worlds, helping deceased souls in the transition to the afterlife. Hathor was often depicted as a cow, symbolizing her maternal and celestial aspect, although her most common form was a woman wearing a headdress of cow horns and a sun disk. She could also be represented as a lioness, cobra, or sycamore tree.

Temple of Hathor In Timna Park: Thousands of Important Artifacts Were Found

So Beno Rothenberg, the main excavator of the Timna Valley area; excavated a small Egyptian temple dedicated to Hathor; the Egyptian goddess of mining; at the base of Solomon’s Pillars. The Temple of Hathor In Timna Park was built during the reign of Pharaoh Seti I at the end of the 14th century BCE; for the Egyptian miners. The shrine housed an open courtyard with a cell; an area cut into the rock to presumably house a statue of the deity. Then earthquake damage caused the temple to be rebuilt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II in the 13th century BCE, with a larger courtyard and more elaborate walls and floors.

Moreover, the hieroglyphics; sculptures, and jewelry found in the temple totaled several thousand artifacts; have provided a lot of important information for archaeologists. Furthermore, a rock carving of Ramses III with Hathor is located at the top of a flight of steps carved into the stone next to the shrine of Hathor. When the Egyptians left the area in the middle of the 12th century BCE; the Midianites continued using the temple. They erased the evidence of the Egyptian cult; effaced the images of Hathor and the Egyptian hieroglyphics; and built a row of stelae and a bench of offerings on both sides of the entrance. They turned the temple into a tented desert shrine and filled it with Midianite pottery and metal jewelry. There was also a bronze serpent found near the sanctuary.

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Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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