Room 15 – The Temple of Ellesiya
As part of a Unesco international mission (launched in 1960) to save 19 Egyptian temples from the new Aswan Dam, The Museo Egizio was given the Temple of Ellesiya in 1967.
Tuthmosis III (1479 – 1425BC) ordered a small temple to be carved out of the rock at Ellesiya, not far from Abu Simbel. It was dedicated to the gods Horus of Miam and Satet.
The temple could only be reached by river, through a landing platform at the front. The inside had an inverted T-Plan formed of a corridor and two side chambers.
The floor is slightly sloping upwards towards the sancto sanitorium, thus creating an illusionistic effect. The walls have scenes showing the king offering to Egyptian and Nubian deities.
The images face towards the back wall against which are images of Horus, Satet and Tuthmosis III enthroned.
The decoration was hammered out in places during the reign of Akhenaten and it was subsequently restored by the Pharaoh Ramesses II, who had the triad at the niche at the back reworked to depict Amun, Horus and himself.
The temple eventually became a Christian cult place, as the crosses and five-pionted stars carved in the entrance portal and on the inner walls bear out.