Detail of the astronomical ceiling of the outer hypostyle hall in the Hathor Temple at Dendera. The ceiling has recently been cleaned in a careful way that removed hundreds of years of black soot, without harming the ancient paint underneath.
The image shows the moon on a pillar, decorated with the "healed eye" of Horus. According to Egyptian mythology, Horus lost his eye in a battle with Seth, the murderer of his father Osiris. The eye was subsequently healed by Toth (who is portrayed at right). The destruction and healing of the eye was symbolically coupled to the waning and waxing of the moon. To the left of the moon are 14 stairs with gods, referring to the 14 days leading up to the full "healed" moon. Photo Paul Smit.