A full-color exploration of the encoded ceiling at the Temple of Dendera
• Draws on more than 5,000 high-resolution photographs taken by the author to reconstruct the complete ceiling of the portico of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera
• Reveals in detail how each panel represents celestial cycles of time from the Precession of the Equinoxes to the annual cycles of life found along the Nile
• Explains each panel’s astronomical significance from the ancient Egyptian perspective as well as examining the myths, gods, and goddesses depicted
Egypt is famous for its pyramids, the Sphinx, the temples at Luxor, and the Valley of the Kings, but 40 miles north of Luxor lies the best-preserved temple complex in all of Egypt: The Temple of Dendera, known for the famous “Zodiac of Dendera” now housed in the Louvre Museum. Within the portico leading into the Hathor temple at Dendera is a little-known outstanding achievement of humanity: an extensive colored bas-relief—larger than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—meticulously encoded with the sophisticated astronomical knowledge of ancient Egypt.
Drawing on more than 5,000 high-resolution photographs he has taken at the Temple of Dendera, photographer and computer scientist José María Barrera presents a complete full-color photographic reconstruction of the ceiling of the pronaos at Dendera and reveals in detail how each panel represents celestial cycles of time from the Precession of the Equinoxes to the annual cycles of life found along the Nile. He explains the meaning of the layout of the ceiling as it relates to the present, the past, eternity, the hours of the day, the phases of the moon, the constellations used in ancient Egyptian astronomy, and the Great Solar Year. The author provides detailed analysis of each panel, including close-up photos, and explains each panel’s astronomical and spiritual significance from the ancient Egyptian perspective as well as examining the myths, gods, and goddesses depicted. He also includes an appendix exploring the meaning and symbology of ancient Egyptian iconography.
Allowing you to experience the vivid details of this ancient work of art and science, this photographic exploration also recreates the sense of spiritual awe and power the Temple of Dendera radiates to its visitors, whether today or millennia ago.
José María Barrera is a software engineer and application architect, specializing in data representation and languages, who has been fascinated by alchemy and Egyptian culture for more than 20 years. An avid photographer, his work has been exhibited in galleries in Chicago and New York City and sold at Sotheby’s Auctions. Born in Colombia, he holds a master’s degree in computer science. He lives in New York City.
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