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L.I.S.A. Redaktion | 03/13/2019 | 1145 Views | 1 | Movies by the Gerda Henkel Foundation |

The Temple of Heliopolis

Signs of decline | Episode 4

Only the archaeological remains are now visible of the former temple precinct in Matariya, since the once holy site is now surrounded by a busy metropolis with a population in the millions: Traffic chaos, residents and noise – it’s all in a day’s work for the German-Egyptian excavation team. Nevertheless, the archaeologists also know that changes in the environment around the Sun Temple did not first begin with the decline of Egyptian culture. For example, it’s possible to find signs of secularization of the temple precinct, which indicate that the inventory was destroyed and then rebuilt at a later point in time. 

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The project
The Sun Temple of Heliopolis is the largest ancient Egyptian sacred precinct. Its significance is based on the assumption that the world was created on this spot. Over a vast timeframe of 2,400 years, rulers’ interests were documented, before the investments suddenly stop in the third century B.C. in as yet unclarified circumstances, following which the temple’s monuments were transported away. During the course of an emergency excavation in area 232, two layers of construction from the 4th to the 2nd century B.C.E. were identified and documented in 2017. The results achieved here show that for this critical period in the temple’s history, findings representative of the process and circumstances of the secularization centuries before Egypt was Christianized can be obtained over an extended area. The results of the research project thus concern firstly the circumstances of the secularization and the inventory before the turning point, and secondly the sequential events in what was once the most important temple in Egypt during the period from the first removals of its monuments, following which, for example, the obelisks were taken to Alexandria and then in the early imperial period to Rome.

Project management
PD Dr. Dietrich Raue

Peter Prestel

Maximilian Schecker

Maximilian Schecker

Series created by 
Gisela Graichen und Peter Prestel 

Alle Episoden (en)
Episode 1
Episode 2
Funde und Befunde
Episode 3
Zeichen des Niedergangs
Episode 4
Generalinterview mit PD Dr. Dietrich Raue und Klara Dietze M.A.
Episode 5


by Wolfgang Mayer | 27.02.2019 | 12:50
Ein tolles Projekt mit vielen engagierten Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern, Mabruk!
Ich wünsche noch viel Erfolg

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