Egypt: Temple of Dendera - paulsmit
[EGYPT 29556]
'The sun in its bark at Dendera.'

	Portrayed during the ninth and tenth hour of the day Ra is traveling across the sky in his solar bark on the astronomical ceiling in the outer hypostyle hall of the Hathor Temple at Dendera.
The ceiling consists of seven separate strips but here we are looking at a detail of the middle and lower register of the FIRST STRIP EAST from centre.
The whole of the middle register deals with the daily voyage of the sun god and for everyone of the twelve hours the sun is depicted in its bark, with a goddess, crowned by a sun disk, standing in adoration before its bow. The text band below and above this register amongst others mentions that Ra " travels with a joyful heart", that he is "King of Time" and "he guides the heart to fulfill itself".
This picture shows Ra's voyage during the ninth and tenth hour of the day. 
During the ninth hour (on the left) he has the head of a lion and is crowned by a sun disc. Before him stands Thoth in a worshipping position, followed by the cat-headed Bastet and a goddess who is crowned by a wadjet eye. 
Near the stern of the boat a falcon-headed pilot is manipulating the two steering oars. Near the bow a falcon-headed Horus is spearing a man who belongs to one of the traditional enemies of Egypt.
During the tenth hour (on the right) the sun god has the head of a ram. Before him stands Thoth in a worshipping position, followed by the goddess of truth, Maat. Near the bow a ram-headed god is spearing a donkey who is also kept on a chain. The donkey is a symbolical animal for the evil spirited Seth.
The lower register of this ceiling strip is inhabited by deities who protect or help the sun during its voyage. The black jackals on the right  are called "Sailors of the sun-bark". Next to them are three 'ba' souls in the form of a human-headed and jackal-headed birds with human arms making a worshipping gesture. They are called "Souls of the first day of the month".
For an overview of this ceiling strip see picture 29552.
This part of the Dendera Temple was built during the Roman period (first century AD). Photo Paul Smit.