This temple is considered one of the most interesting in Egypt, first, half of it is dedicated to the god Sebek, who commanded fertility and the flood of the Nile; in other temples popular with tourists, its sanctuaries are rare. Secondly, it is a double temple dedicated to two gods at the same time, the second god is Gore, which we described in detail in the article about the temple in Edfu . Thirdly, there are mummies of crocodiles, which are the "calling card" of this landmark.
Just like the temple in the city of Edfu, this complex was built already in the last period of the history of ancient Egypt, when the country was ruled by pharaohs of Greek origin, descendants of Alexander the Great's associate, Ptolemy. Their dynasty was called, and all the pharaohs bore the name of Ptolemy. We described them in detail in an article about the temple in Edfu .
Construction began under Ptolemy VI, and continued until the era of the Roman Empire. The last additions were made under the Roman emperor Troyan, an external courtyard and walls were added to the temple.
As in Edfu, there are perfectly preserved inscriptions and wall paintings that have become priceless sources of knowledge about ancient Egypt for Egyptologists, of course after the Rosetian stone was found and the opportunity to read ancient texts appeared. Many drawings of the temple have preserved different colors, which you will not see in other churches, recall that originally all the pictures were created in many colors, just in the older temples the coloring disappeared with time.
The temple is completely symmetrical, the southern part is dedicated to the god Sebek, and the northern god is the Mountain. Sebek - a very interesting and colorful god, he was portrayed as a man with a crocodile head, or simply in the form of a crocodile.
Sebek (or Sobek) Egyptians worship from the time of the ancient kingdom, even in the "songs of the pyramids" it is mentioned that the pharaohs are the epitome of Sobek and are like him.
Sebek was the god of fertility and the flood of the Nile, which for the ancient Egyptians was the same. But at different times he had other functions. In the time of the middle kingdom, he merged with the deity Gore in the image of the god Sebek Gore, being the patron of the power of the Egyptian pharaohs. In the time of the new kingdom in the image of Sebek-Ra, he gained the greatest popularity, embodying the Sun.
In addition, at different times he was considered the patron of military valor and military skill. And at all times in Egypt believed that he controls crocodiles, and prayer protected him from attacks of a predator.
In ancient times, the crocodiles in the Nile were much larger than now, and attacks on people happened all the time. Protection from this reptile from the Egyptians had only two, good attention and prayer to the gods.
It is this place, the bend of the river near the town of Kom Ombo, which was a favorite place for crocodiles, it is not surprising that the temple of Sebek is located in this place. In ancient times, the Nile valley was much richer in fauna, than now, there were not only crocodiles, but also hippos. By the way, according to legend, the hippopotamus was eaten by a pharaoh named Menes. On the one hand, this is complete nonsense, since the hippos are exclusively herbivores, but if you recall the ancient mythology, it becomes clear that this is just a figurative expression, the hippo was the embodiment of the god Set, associated with evil forces.