Dendera (Arabic: دَنْدَرة Dandarah; Ancient Greek: Τεντυρις or Τεντυρα; Bohairic Coptic: ⲛⲓⲧⲉⲛⲧⲱⲣⲓ, romanized: Nitentōri; Sahidic Coptic: ⲛⲓⲧⲛⲧⲱⲣⲉ, romanized: Nitntōre),[1][2] also spelled Denderah, ancient Iunet 𓉺𓈖𓏏𓊖 “jwn.t”,[3] Tentyris[4][5] or Tentyra[6] is a small town and former bishopric in Egypt situated on the west bank of the Nile, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) south of Qena, on the opposite side of the river. It is located approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Luxor and remains a Latin Catholic titular see. It contains the Dendera Temple complex, one of the best-preserved temple sites from ancient Upper Egypt.

Denderah Outside.JPG
Dendera Tempelkomplex 02.JPG
Dendera Mammisi Nektanebos I. 02.JPG
Clockwise from top:
Entrance to Dendara Temple, Dendara Temple Complex, Inside Hathor Temple, Hathor Temple Complex
Dendera is located in Egypt
Location in Egypt
Coordinates: 26°10′05″N 32°39′22″E / 26.16806°N 32.65611°E / 26.16806; 32.65611
Country Egypt
Time zoneUTC+2 (EST)


Era: Old Kingdom
(2686–2181 BC)
Egyptian hieroglyphs
Z1 N23
t niwt
t3 n t3 rr(t)[1][8]
Era: Ptolemaic dynasty
(305–30 BC)
Egyptian hieroglyphs
Entrance to the temple.
Miniature stela. It shows 2 reliefs of ears and incised hieroglyphs. The title or epithet of the "Lady of Dendera" as well as the names of Taweret and Hathor appear. From Egypt, Ramesside period. The British Museum, London

The original name of the town is Ancient Egyptian: ı͗wnt, the etymology of which is unknown. It was later complemented by the name of the chief goddess Hathor and became Egyptian ı͗wnt-tꜣ-ntrt which is the source of Coptic: ⲛⲓⲧⲉⲛⲧⲱⲣⲓ, romanized: Nitentōri or just tꜣ-ntrt "of the goddess", which is the source of Koinē Greek: Τεντυρις. The modern Arabic name of the town comes from either its Greek or Coptic name.[9]

There's also an aberrant Coptic form ⲛⲓⲕⲉⲛⲧⲱⲣⲓ, which could be either dissimilation of a regular name or a confusion with Koine Κένταυροι.[10][11]

Temple complexEdit

Egypt – Denderah

The Dendera Temple complex, which contains the Temple of Hathor, is one of the best-preserved temples, if not the best-preserved one, in all of Upper Egypt. The whole complex covers some 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a hefty mud brick wall. The present Temple of Hathor dates back to July 54 BC, at the time of Ptolemy XII of the Ptolemaic dynasty,[12] and was completed by the Roman emperor Tiberius, but it rests on the foundations of earlier buildings dating back at least as far as Khufu (known as the Great Pyramid builder Cheops, the second Pharaoh of the 4th dynasty [c. 2613–c. 2494 BC]) but it was the pharaoh Pepi I Meryre who built the temple.[12][13]

It was once home to the celebrated Dendera zodiac, which is now displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. There are also Roman and pharaonic Mammisi (birth houses), ruins of a Coptic church and a small chapel dedicated to Isis, dating to the Roman or the Ptolemaic epoch.

In the vicinity of the temple complex a bakery dated to the First Intermediate Period was discovered by the French-Polish expedition from the Institut français d’archéologie orientale (IFAO) and the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw. Bread offered to Hathor was baked here.[14] The team also excavated the so-called Eastern Temple in this area.[15]

The area around the temple has been extensively landscaped and now has a modern visitor centre, bazaar and small cafeteria.

Ecclesiastical historyEdit

After Egypt became a Roman possession, the city of Tentyris was part of the Late Roman province of Thebais Secunda. Its bishopric was a suffragan of Ptolemais Hermiou, the capital and metropolitan see of the province. Little is known of the history of Christianity in the place, as only the names of two ancient bishops are given:

The town was given its present Arabic name of Denderah during the late Ottoman Empire and ruled 6000 inhabitants in Qena (Qeneh) district.

Titular seeEdit

Under the Latin name Tentyris, the episcopal see was nominally revived as a titular bishopric (in Curiate Italian repeatedly renamed) since 1902, but is vacant since 1972,[16] having had the following incumbents of the fitting episcopal (lowest) rank :


This area has a large amount of sunshine year round due to its stable descending air and high pressure. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Dendera has a hot desert climate, abbreviated "BWh" on climate maps.[17]



References – NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Gauthier, Henri (1929). Dictionnaire des Noms Géographiques Contenus dans les Textes Hiéroglyphiques Vol. 6. p. 23.
  2. ^ "Tentyris (Dendera)". Trismegistos. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  3. ^ Philae-Data. "Iunet (Dendera)". Archived from the original on 2008-05-17.
  4. ^ "Linguistic Bibliography". Archived from the original on 2014-03-04.
  5. ^ "Félix Teynard - Dendérah (Tentyris), Temple d'Athôr - Face Postérieure - Cléopatre et Cæsarion - The Metropolitan Museum of Art".
  6. ^ In old sources such as Belzoni.
  7. ^ Gauthier, Henri (1925). Dictionnaire des Noms Géographiques Contenus dans les Textes Hiéroglyphiques Vol. 1. p. 56.
  8. ^ Wallis Budge, E. A. (1920). An Egyptian hieroglyphic dictionary: with an index of English words, king list and geological list with indexes, list of hieroglyphic characters, coptic and semitic alphabets, etc. Vol II. John Murray. p. 1051.
  9. ^ Gardiner, Alan H. (1947). Ancient Egyptian Onomastica 2. Oxford University Press. p. 30.
  10. ^ Peust, Carsten (2010). Die Toponyme vorarabischen Ursprungs im modernen Ägypte. Göttingen. p. 33.
  11. ^ Černý, Jaroslav (1976). Coptic Etymological Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. p. 347.
  12. ^ a b c d Bard, Kathryn A. (2005). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Routledge. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-134-66525-9.
  13. ^ Beaumont, Hervé (2001-02-02). Egypte: le guide des civilisations égyptiennes, des pharaons à l'islam (in French). Editions Marcus. ISBN 9782713101687.
  14. ^ "Dendera". Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  15. ^ Łukaszewicz, Adam (2003). "Dendera: Interim communiqué" (PDF). Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean. 14.
  16. ^ Tentyris at
  17. ^ "Dandara, Egypt Köpen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  18. ^ mondial, UNESCO Centre du patrimoine. "Pharaonic temples in Upper Egypt from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO Centre du patrimoine mondial (in French).
  19. ^ mondial, UNESCO Centre du patrimoine. "Pharaonic temples in Upper Egypt from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO Centre du patrimoine mondial (in French).
  20. ^ "Trajan was, in fact, quite active in Egypt. Separate scenes of Domitian and Trajan making offerings to the gods appear on reliefs on the propylon of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. There are cartouches of Domitian and Trajan on the column shafts of the Temple of Knum at Esna, and on the exterior a frieze text mentions Domitian, Trajan, and Hadrian" Stadter, Philip A.; Stockt, L. Van der (2002). Sage and Emperor: Plutarch, Greek Intellectuals, and Roman Power in the Time of Trajan (98-117 A.D.). Leuven University Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-90-5867-239-1.

Sources and external linksEdit