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  • Egyptian mirror, zodiac of Denderah - Photo Museum Store Company

Egyptian mirror, zodiac of Denderah


Product Description

This mirror is based on the Egyptian Zodiac of Denderah. On the ceiling of the Denderah temple there was a carved Zodiac, or Celestial Day, so remarkable that the original ceiling was removed and re-erected in Paris and a copy substituted. The Signs of the Zodiac portray a configuration of the stars from around 50 B.C. The zodiac was situated in the ceiling in a middle room of the small eastern Osiris chapel located on the roof of the Hathor temple - specifically on the western half of the ceiling of the central chamber - and formed the greater part of the ceiling. (It is essentially comprised of two concentric circles. The entire disk is approximately 240 centimeters in diameter. Its thickness is approximately 90 centimetres. The weight of the two huge blocks of sandstone comprising the disc is many tonnes.) It is the oldest known representation of the zodiac.) The first appearance in Egypt of our own 12 zodiacal constellations comes from the so-called Zodiac of Denderah. All available evidence indicates that the concept of the zodiac was not native to Egypt but that it was imported at a late (but unknown) date. (Perhaps during the period of the expansion of the Assyrian Empire.) The Denderah star map integrates ancient Egyptian star-groups with the zodiacal constellations of the Babylonians (and Greeks). The Babylonian zodiac has been integrated into the Egyptian sky. The astronomical ceiling shows all 12 zodiacal constellations (as well as other constellations, and the planets). It is a syncretistic zodiac based on Egyptian and Greek ideas and is most likely based on a Hellenistic model. The figures of 36 decans (from the Tanis family of decans), indicators of the hours of the night, are depicted standing on the circumference (as walking men, snakes, and other animals) (adjacent to the hands of the supporting figures). The signs of the zodiac are located inside the decan ring and the planets in their exaltations and some constellations are interspersed among them. (The planets are depicted as gods holding staffs.) The northern constellations are in the centre of the disc (and the north celestial pole is approximately at the centre of the disc). The zodiac is supported by four human-headed feminine figures standing erect (at the four corners of the canopy of heaven), who are the goddesses of the cardinal points of the compass, and also four pairs of kneeling falcon-headed deities.

14"H (36 cm) : 4lbs : Bonded marble

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