Great Temple of Osiris at Taposiris Magna

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The Great Temple is an ancient Egyptian religious complex dedicated to the god Osiris, and was believed in ancient times to have been the burial site of Egyptian God Osiris. More recently it is also believed to be the last resting place of Cleopatra. "Taposiris Magna" was a city established by Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus between 280 and 270 BCE. The name means "great tomb of Osiris", which Plutarch identifies with an Egyptian temple in the city.


The great temple of Taposiris Magna, literally meaning the temple of the tomb of Osiris, is locally known as the Qasr Abusir (قصر أبو صير).

The great temple, today of which only the impressive outer walls remain standing, was once an important cult center of the gods Osiris and Isis. However archeological finds, including over one hundred Doric column drums discovered on site, have shown that the temple of Taposiris Magna had a unique combination of both Egyptian and Greek temple architecture. Thus, within the typical Egyptian-style pylon and surrounding walls, once stood a Hellenistic sanctuary with Doric columns.

During the excavation mission by the Egyptian-Dominican mission a large number of coins bearing the name and image of Queen Cleopatra VII were found inside the temple walls, in addition to many parts of statues and temple grounds which were adorned in the past to reveal the temple foundation panels, which proved that it was built by King Ptolemy IV.


circa 280 CE

The main entrance to the temple precinct is through a large pylon (some 41 meters in length oriented north-south) facing east.

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