Heliopolis (Jwnw)

temple, cemetery

Location

Nome: 13th Lower Egyptian nome

Geographical coordinates: 30°05′ N / 31°20′ E

Heliopolis is located on the east side of the Nile, in the north-east suburb of modern Cairo. The area is flat and nowadays situated at a distance of 7km from the river.

Description

The beginning of the New Kingdom history of Heliopolis remains almost unknown. The town was mentioned on the backside of the mathematic Papyrus Rhind (pBM 10057 + 10058) dated to the reign of Ahmose. Under the date of year 11 of this king, 2nd month of šmw-season the arrival (most probably the arrival of the army) in Heliopolis (ʿḳ.tw Jwnw) was noted.[1] Dietrich Raue also believes that the rock inscription in Maâsara quarry named the temple in Heliopolis although the name of the god is no longer visible.[2]

There are no traces of architectural work conducted by queen Hatshepsut in Heliopolis. Gods from Heliopolis were not present during the gods’ council when Hatshepsut was chosen as the future king of Egypt: Atum was described as a ruler of Thebes on the southern wall of the Middle Portico in the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari.[3] The name of Atum as a ruler of Heliopolis is attested during the reign of Hatshepsut,[4] but it is Amun who is more frequently called by this title.[5]

It is generally stated on the basis of the Legend of youth of Hatshepsut incised on the west wall of the North Middle Portico in her temple at Deir el-Bahari that during her visit in the north of the country, the queen also visited Heliopolis.[6] There are some questions concerning this fragment of the text. It is said in the text that "every time when her majesty went to the northern land accompanying her father the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Aa-kheper-ka-Ra, Hathor from Thebes, Wadjyt from Buto, Amon King of Thrones of Two Lands, Atum from Heliopolis, Montu Lord of Thebes, Khnum Lord of Elephantine, These who are Over All Gods of Thebes and All Gods of North and South came."[7] It should be noticed that not cities, but gods are mentioned, which does not cover the north part of the country at all. It is probable then that gods came to the king before the trips and that the chapels of gods should not necessarily be located in their original place but could be parts of the state temple in Karnak as well.

Some sources indicate, however, that Heliopolis existed during the reign of Hatshepsut. In the letter of Tit three people involved in a dispute with the Treasurer Djehuti are mentioned. In this very letter, the title of the Greatest of Seers (wr-mȜ.w) is mentioned.[8]

Mohammed I. Moursi regarding to the stela of Thutmose III[9] dates the beginning of the cult of Mnevis to the reign of that king.[10] However, the canopic jar of Mnevis with the name of Hatshepsut, stored in the Musée dʼart et histoire de Genève and assigned to the area of Heliopolis, shifts the beginning of the cult to the times of the queen.

A short inscription mentioning Heliopolis was carved on the leaves of the ished-tree represented in the temple of Thutmose I in Gurna: [...] the sed-festival (of) the Ennead of Re in Heliopolis ([...] ḥb-sd Psḏ.t Rʿ m Jwnw).[11] The temple itself was decorated by Hatshepsut and Thutmose III but the ished-tree is most probably connected with Thutmose I.

Fragments with names of Thutmose III from the temple in Heliopolis are much more frequent and were found in the extensive area around the site.[12] Even his name preserved on the New York obelisk suggests his great interest in this site: sȜ Jtm n ẖ.t.f ms.n n.f nb.t Jwnjj.t Ḏḥwtj-ms.[13]

Thutmose III added some buildings to the existing temple complex of Heliopolis: fragments of doors, obelisks, altars and one sphinx of that king are attested.[14] The range of works is not known but one of their elements was the rearrangement of the space and probably, in consequence, re-erection of the obelisk of Senwosret I.[15]

The text found on the stelae from the 47th year of Thutmose III seems to be very important to understand the meaning of what was done by this king. It speaks about the encircling of Heliopolis with a wall during swʿb Jwnw pr Rʿ. Clearly, pr Rʿ was in ruin at that time.[16] The work of swʿb appeared so vital that it was published at least three times and placed around the area. Two stelae were found in the region to the south of Heliopolis, on the road to the Kubbeh palace, one, stored in Berlin, has no provenance given.[17] The information from three stelae of Thutmose III is confirmed in the inscription carved on the statue of Ah-mes, the High Priest from Heliopolis,[18] where the act of encircling Heliopolis temple complex with a wall is mentioned. The text also notes that the temple was in a bad state of preservation and the king had to sḏsr the House of Atum. Another text, preserved on a scarab of Thutmose III, attests once again that the swʿb took place in Heliopolis: Mn-ḫpr-Rʿ swʿb pr Rʿ ḏt.[19] The inscriptions on plaques of Thutmose III inform: Mn-ḫpr-Rʿ swʿb Jwnw mrj bȜ.w Jwnw / Mn-ḫpr-Rʿ swʿb Jwnw mrj nṯr.w jmj.w Jwnw / Mn-ḫpr-Rʿ swʿb Jwnw mrj psḏ.t ʿȜ.t.[20]

Another stela that attested the bestowal of lands for use of Mnevis[21] comes from the year 47th of Thutmose III. Thus, it is possible to date the development and not the beginning of the cult of Mnevis to this king.

The Annals of Thutmose III say that daily cult should be performed as it was done in Heliopolis (mj jrrt m Jwnw), which seems to be a confirmation of the cult performed there under Thutmose III,[22] although the precise date of this inscription has not been established so far.

All these pieces of information show that actions of Thutmose III in his late years were very complex, including the resacralisation of the temple area, encircling it with a new wall, building activity inside the temple with rearrangement of the space and land foundation. On the other hand, they suggest that Hatshepsut was not interested in developing Heliopolis. It is probably the result of the transfer of the main ritual functions of Heliopolis to Karnak (which was called the South Heliopolis under the rule of the queen). It is difficult to establish if and to what degree Heliopolis was damaged under Hatshepsut. Several sources from her reign indicate that probably the regular cult performed in the temple complex was very limited although the civil prerogatives of the Greatest of the Seers associated with the local people were preserved as it can be understood from the letter of Tit. The word swʿb used to describe the actions performed by Thutmose III suggests that the area was not ritually clean (swʿb) before the 47th year of that king.

Footnotes

  1. ^ 176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich and literature there.
  2. ^ 176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich.
  3. ^ 359: The Temple of Deir el-Bahari. Part II. The Ebony Shrine. Northern Half of the Middle Platform - Egypt Exploration Fund - 1896 - Naville, Edouard.
  4. ^ 357: The Temple of Deir el-Bahari. Part III. End of the Northern Half and Southern Half of the Middle Platform - Egypt Exploration Fund - 1898 - Naville, Edouard; 820: La chapelle Rouge. Le sanctuaire de barque d’Hatshepsout. I. Fac-similés et photographies des scènes - - 2006 - Burgos, Franck, Larché, François.
  5. ^ 820: La chapelle Rouge. Le sanctuaire de barque d’Hatshepsout. I. Fac-similés et photographies des scènes - - 2006 - Burgos, Franck, Larché, François.
  6. ^ 176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich.
  7. ^ Translation by Filip Taterka.
  8. ^ 608: Varia from the Time of Hatshepsut - - - Hayes, William C..
  9. ^ Egyptian Museum, Cairo JE 65830: 830: Studien zum Gott Atum, vol. 1, Die heiligen Tiere des Atum - - 1978 - Myśliwiec, Karol.
  10. ^ 832: Corpus der Mnevis-Stelen und Untersuchungen zum Kult de Mnevis-Stiere in Heliopolis - - - Moursi, Mohamed.
  11. ^ 834: The Legacy of Senwosret I During the Reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III - - - Iwaszczuk, Jadwiga.
  12. ^ 176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich.
  13. ^ 835: Les obelisques Égyptiens : histoire et archeologie vol. I - - 1991 - Selim, Abd El-Kader.
  14. ^ Granite door jamb of Thutmose III (176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich and literature there), fragment of sandstone door jamb of Thutmose III (176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich and literature there), London obelisk of Thutmose III (176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich and literature there), New York obelisk of Thutmose III (176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich and literature there), fragment of obelisk of Thutmose III (Egyptian Museum, Cairo CG 17013, JE 55307: 176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich and literature there), fragment of obelisk of Thutmose III (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge E.108.1912: 125: Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings IV. Lower and Middle Egypt: Delta and Cairo to Asyûṭ - - 1934 - Porter, Bertha, Moss, Rosalind L.B.).
  15. ^ 837: L’obélisque de Sésostris I à Héliopolis a-t-il été déplacé ? - - - el-Benna, Essam.
  16. ^ 839: Les stèles d’enceinte de Thoutmosis III à Héliopolis - - - Collombert, Philippe; 841: Zwei Stelen aus dem 47. Jahre Thutmosis‘ III. - - - Radwan, Ali.
  17. ^ 839: Les stèles d’enceinte de Thoutmosis III à Héliopolis - - - Collombert, Philippe.
  18. ^ Egyptian Museum, Cairo JE 36412: 843: Eine Statue des Prinzen und Hohepriesters von Heliopolis Ahmes (Cairo JE 36412) - - - Ghoneim, W..
  19. ^ 844: Scarabs: an Introduction to the Study of Egyptian Seals and Signet Rings - - 1908 - Newberry, Percy E..
  20. ^ 176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich.
  21. ^ Cairo Museum, JE 65830: 841: Zwei Stelen aus dem 47. Jahre Thutmosis‘ III. - - - Radwan, Ali; 832: Corpus der Mnevis-Stelen und Untersuchungen zum Kult de Mnevis-Stiere in Heliopolis - - - Moursi, Mohamed.
  22. ^ 176: Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich - - 1999 - Raue, Dietrich.

Jadwiga Iwaszczuk

Exploration

Ancient people connected to the site: Hapu-seneb ,

Objects:

Bibliography:

  • Raue Dietrich, Heliopolis und das Haus des Re: eine Prosopographie und ein Toponym im Neuen Reich, Abhandlungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo. Ägyptologische Reihe 16, Berlin 1999