'The waxing moon and the Eye of Horus at Dendera.'
This forceful image of the moon on a pillar, decorated with the "healed eye" of Horus, can be found on the astronomical ceiling of the outer hypostyle hall in the Hathor Temple at Dendera.
The astronomical ceiling consists of seven separate strips but here we are looking at a detail of the FIRST STRIP WEST from centre.
The deities in this picture form part of a panel that deals with the waxing moon and which is located at the middle of the strip.
According to Egyptian mythology Horus lost his eye during a battle with Seth (the murderer of his father Osiris) and the eye (called 'Wadjet') was subsequently healed by Thoth, who is portrayed at the right-hand side of the picture.
The destruction and healing of the eye was symbolically coupled by the ancient Egyptians to the waning and waxing of the moon.
To the left of the moon are 14 stairs with gods who refer to the 14 days leading up to the full "healed" moon.
From right to left they are Min (1), Atum (2), Shu (3), Tefnut (4), Geb (5), Nut (6), Osiris (7), Isis (8), Horus (9), Nephtys (10), Hathor (11), Horus (12), Tanenet (13) and Iunit (14).
For an overview of the entire strip see picture 29561.
This part of the Dendera Temple was built during the Roman period (first century AD). Photo Paul Smit.