Edouard Naville.

The festival-hall of Osorkon II : in the great temple of Bubastis (1897-1889) (Volume 10) online

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Restored entrance fo {l)e |SestivaUl)all








ti:ntii memoir of










NViiEX I publislicd tlic monuments discovered in the great templo of Bubastis, I -was
obliged to leave aside a eonsiderable number of inscriptions, all of which came from
the same part of the temple, and are of a jjcculiar character. There could be no
doubt about them, they all belonged to a great Avhole, describing a religious festival
Avhich took place under Osorkon II., the fourth king of the XXIInd Dynasty.
(Bubastis, p 50.) This was therefore a distinct subject, which had to be mentioned,
as a historical event, but the development of which Avas out of place in the
account of the edifice, and of the city.

It is the description of this festival wbich is contained in the plates of this
memoir. However numerous they may hv, they are i'ar from exhibiting a complete
picture of the texts Avhieh originally stood on tlie walls of the building, raised and
adorned specially for the festival. It is easy to judge from the general plates how
Jiumerous and large are the gaps, caused either by time or by the action of water,
or, worst of all, by the destructive hands of the inhabitants. The form of tlie building
could not be discovered at first sight. AN' hen its remains were unearthed, the hall of
Osorkon II. Avas a mere lu^ap of huge granite blocks (pi. xxxvi.) ; each stone had to
be rolled and turned, and paper casts Avere made of the inscriptions engraved on its
sides. AVhen the inscriptions had been copied, order could be brougiit into this
confused mass of writing and figures ; the contiguous parts could be put together ;
the angles, where they had been preserved, served as clues for the measures, and by
degrees the form of the edifice could be recognized. It is evident that the inscriptions
Avere not engraved all round the hall : they only coA'cred the Avails of a large gatCAvay
Avhich led from the first hall into the second, and wliieh perhaps was the only part of
the irccond hall built of granite. The i)lates xxxii.-xxxv. give an idea of the
disposition of the Avails ; they Ibrm an entrance, which must have had an appearance
similar to that represented in the frontispiece.

Tlie discovery of the form and of the nature of the building on Avbicli the
inscriptions Averc engraved, enables us to estimate the amount of these valuable
texts Avhich have been lost. In fact, not much more than one-third has been
preserved, and certain parts, like the northern side- wall, ha\e almost disappeared.


In a restoration of this kind, nincli is left to conjecture in regard to die position
of the blocks, particularly "when all tiie neighbouring ones are wanting ; however, I
believe that there cannot he much doubt as to the general form of the edifice. It is
quite similar to the gateway at Soleb, where inscriptions referring to the same festival
Avere engraved.

All the linear plates of this volume have been drawn by Madame Naville, and
printed by the firm of Thevoz and Co., in Geneva, who also executed the pliototypes
from negatives taken by Count d'llulst and the liev. AV. MacGregor. I have to
thank my friend, the lie v. W. .AlacGrcgor, for revising the text for the press.

This memoir exhausts all the objects discovered in the great temple of Bubastis,
from Avliich 1 jjart with regret, remembering the rich reward which it has given to the
labours of its explorers.


Mal.vgny, Jjj9-v7, 1892.


The Hall

The Festival

Tho First Ascent to the Paviliou

The Rising of the God, and the Assembly of Divinities

The Second Ascent to the Pavilion

The Offerings and Shrines of the Xortli

Contents of Plates







Tub festival hall is tlie most interesting part of
tlie great temple of Biibastis. To relate its
history would be to go over again that of the
■W'hole edifice, which I have told elsewhere.
Let us remember that it Avas the second hall,
entering from the east, and that judging from
the heap of stones, which is all that remains of
it, it had an approximate length of SO feet
."ind a breadth of 120. There the excavations
began, and it is th^! part of the tempk" which
gave the richest crop of monuments. "We may
sum np briefly the chief facts of its iiistory.

The festival hall dates from the Old Empire.
It contained a doorway with an inscription of
Pepi I. I even believe that it was the sanc-
tuary of the original temple. Vi^o do not know
exactly the architectural plan of the temples
of the Old Empire, as very little of them
is still extant. They had a fate similar to
that of most of our places of worship.
They underwent considerable changes, which
perhaps wiped out entirely all traces of the
original buildings. Tlio great cathedrals of
our days are generally constructed on the site
of much smaller edifices. If anything of the
primitive sanctuary has been preserved, it is
in the crypt, hidden under the pavement, on
which rest stately columns and majestic arches.
It was the same with the temples of Egypt.
Moreover, the great simplicity of the construc-
tions of the Old Empire, the absence of orna-
ment and of inscriptions on the walls of the ;

temples, prevent us from assigning their
proper date to fragments which have been re-
used in constructions of a more recent date. It
seems probable that the temple on which were
inscribed the names of Cheops and Chefren con-
sisted of two chambers, the eastern oncbeingthc
entrance, while the western was the sanctuary,
the abode of a divinity, which one wo do not
know. This divinity was not Bast under the
fourth or the sixth dynasty, not even perhaps
under the twelfth. It was only much later
that Bast became the chief goddess of the city
to which she gave her name.

This small temple lasted until Usertesen III.,
who raised architraves of large dimensions,
and who probably altered entirely the old con-
struction. He added to it the colonnade which
may have been an entrance to the sanctuary on
the western side. We cannot say what form
the great king of the twelfth dynasty gave to
his renovated hall. Undoubtedly it contained
a shrine, in the neighbourhood of which the
kings placed their statues; for in the great
number of them which wore unearthed among
the ruins, there were some going back to the
twelfth dynasty, although they had the name
of Eameses II. ; for instance, the statue the
liead of which is in Sydney,' and the base still
on the spot, perhaps also the colossi,' frag-
ments of which only remain.

After the twelfth dyna-^t^- a king of the
thirteenth left his nani'' '" fh" -sanctuary ; but

' tuliaslis, I'l. xxv. c.

' IJ. 1>1. xxiii. c.


we arc uncci'tain as to Avliat happened after-
wards. It is possible tliai tlie first Hyksos
invaders destroyed partly or oven ruined the
temple of Bubastis, if vco are to believe the
tradition preserved by ^lanetho ; but admitting
that the narrative of the Sebennyte priest is true
as to the first conrpierors, the monuments prove
just the reverse concerning their successors and
especially the last foreign kings. Far from
treading in the steps of the invaders, the last
Hyksos left at Bubastis some of their most
beautiful monuments, and Apepi seems to have
raised in the temple important constructions.
There, thej- worshipped their gcd, who was
Set after Apepi's reign, but who may have
been another before him.

A few statues of officials go l)ack to the
eighteenth dynasty, but nothing showing a
construction or even repairs on a large
scale. Probably in the time of Amenophis
III. the temple was standing in good order,
and was dedicated to Anion. But before the
nineteenth dynastyit was again ruined. Though
Seti I. boasts of having renewed the edifices
dedicated to his father Amon, he does not seem
to have done mucli ; it was his son Rameses
II. who rebuilt the sanctuary, destroyed
probably by the contemporaries of Khuenaten,
the implacable enemy of the worship of Amon.
Rameses II. began with erasing from all the
architraves the inscriptions of his predecessors;
and he did it so thoroughly that, but for a few
omissions and nesrlisrences of his workmen, we
should feel inclined to attribute to him the
honour of the foundation of Bubastis. He
lavished embellishments on the hall of the
sanctuary. He collected there a great number
of statues bearing' his name ; groups in which
he was associated with one or two gods, and also
what I called the architectural statues, which
have a purely ornamental purpose, and do
not pretend to give us a likeness of the
king, though they have his cartouche.

Later on, the temple had again to suflTer

from the wars and the state of anarchy which
the countrj- had to endure. I suppose that it
was during the struggles which preceded the
accession of Rameses III. to the throne that
the temple was overthrown. It remained in a
state more or less of ruin, until the Bubas-
tites, Osorkon I. and Osorkon II., took to
raising it up again. Osorkon I. began with
the entrance ; Osorkon II. reconstructed tho
sanctuary, to which he gave the name which
we shall use henceforth, "the festival hall"

J ^ UyJ , or more completelj- " the hall of tho


It is hardly possible from a heap of stones
to judge of the form of a building, especially
when a considerable number of blocks have
disappeared, having been carried away for
various purposes. Before making a close
study of the sculptures, I thought that they
extended all rouml the hall, and that they
were divided into two parts, the south
i and the north, like Egypt itself, each side
differing in character and being distin-
guished by the headdress of the king. But
when the blocks were put together, when each
of them was measured and the angles reconsti-
tuted, we obtained for the building on which the
sculptures were engraved the plan of Fig. 1.
This looks exactlv like the section of the door
of a pylon dividing two halls, such as wo see
at Thebes, in the temple of Khonsu,' or at;
Kurneh,* or at Medinet Haboo.'^ The pylon
would then have had the form shown in Fig. 2.

What I think more probable is that it was
an entrance like that which exists at Soleb,*
between the first and second hall, a long door-
way, the two sides of whicli are broader than
the enclosing wall,. and project into one of the
halls, so as to form with the enclosure an angle
where statues or colossi were standing (Fig. 3).

Leps., Dcnkm. i. pi. S3.
Id. pi. 92.

* Id. pi. 8G.
' Id. pi. 117.


Fig. 1.








Several circumstances show that it was an
cntrauco. Tlio walls A and D are not vertical,
they are slightly sloping towards the west, as
inav be seen from the ans;le between A and B.
On A and D the kiug wears the double diadem,
and the representations are converging ; on
both sides they are turned towards the door




: m









where the king is supposed to go in.
The first part of the walls B and E is
slightly jirojecting, and is evidently meant
to be a doorpost; besides, on the base-
ment of the same walls we see sculp-
tures nearly destroyed, representing the
kiuof, whom fjods hold bv the hand on
each side and introduce into the hall.
This scene is frequent in the Egyptian
temples; -it is always at the entrance, and
is called " The Introduction of the King "

^A yp^^(pi-vi.).

It is probable that on this entrance
was engraved the whole of the festival,
and that no part of it stood on the walls
of the hall. This would show that the
walls were not sufficiently well built, or that
the (juality of stone was not good enough
to bear such sculptures. The walls may
have been made of limestone, and this fact
explains why they have disappeared, like the
pavement of the temple ; perhaps also part of
the hall was in bricks; but we see no traces of
them in the soil, whereas there are quantities
of limestone chips. Wo shall have to speak
again of the temple of Soleb, where the
inscriptions were also engraved on a doorway
between the first and the second hall.





TuK most importaut part of the inscriptions of
the festival, the text from which we derive the
clearest information as to the nature of the
festival celebrated by Osorkon II., is found
on PL vi. Tlierc we see the king sitting on
a throne or litter, a true " sedia gestatoria,"
carried on the shoulders of six priests belong-
iniT to a low rank, and called am khcnt. Tbo
horizontal inscription which runs above tbo

* Lc]>i=., Diiikm. IK. 1:;:!, 12 1 ; Mai., liciukrali, i. pi. 12;
Xav., " Tlic Store-city of Pithom," 2iid cd. p. 31.

V. -2


heads of the bearers reads as follows : — " The
carrying of the king resting on his throne ; the
king is on his way to'n'ards his abode." Below
what must be drapery hanging from the bars
which support the throne, we read these
words : — " All lands, all countries, the Upper
Retennu and the Lower Retennu are trodden '
under the feet of this good god ; all the
Rekhiu are living." The mention of the
Retennii shows that Osorkon claimed the
dominion over the Syrian nations, but it is
obvious that in his case it was mere boasting.
He never ruled over the Syrians, especially if,
as is possible, he is the Zcrah of the Bible,
who was completely routed in his war against
Asa. As for the words " the Rekhiu are living,"
it means that mankind, namely his subjects,
in opposition to his enemies, of whom the
Retennu are a typo, are well provided for and

The throne on which the king is sitting is

called J3 s^j5. At Abydos we see the

King Seti I. carried on the same throne by the
Spirits of Xorth and South, and on this
occasion a goddess says to him : ^ " Thou sit test
on thy throne srp at the /S'cJ-fcstival (the
festival of thirty years), like Ra at the begin-
ning of the year." The analogy with the
representation at Abydos would already induce
us to recognize in the festival of Bubastis a
solemnity having reference to the calendar, or
to a defiuito period of years.

The inscription on both sides of the king
reads as follows : —

" In the year 22, on the fii'st day of the
month of Khoiak, the issuing (of the king) out
of the sanctuary of Amon, in the festival-hall,
I'esting on his throne ; the beginning of the


" The inscription reads p, ! , but I suppose it must be
■w— 1 n Q U U

^Jl n. Brugseh, Diut. p. 1112.

^' Sec In?cr. of Canopus, I. 9 : '"^ P "f" ^"\^ $3

translated by IvcKa tiJs tuJv ai-Opdi-tnv uunrjpMS.
' Marictte, Abyd, i., pi. 31.

consecrating of the two lands by the king, of
the consecrating of the harem of Anion, and
of consecrating all the women who are in his
city, and who act as priestesses since the days
of the fathers.

" They are as priestesses in the house of
their lord, paying tribute by their work every
3'ear, when His i\raiesty wishes to celebrate
great ceremonies in honour of his father
Amon-Ra. As he (the god) granted his first
(SetZ-festival to his son resting on his throne,
he will grant him many at Thebes, the queen
of barbarians. Said aloud in the presence of
his father Amon : ' I have consecrated Thebes
in her height and in her breadth, she is holy,
she is given to her lord, her soil will not bo
visited by the inspectors of the royal house ;
her inhabitants are consecrated eternally, in
the great name of the good god (the king).' "

This inscription contains many obscuro
points, on which we can give no satisfactory
explanation ; but what is most extraordinary
is that it is found identical, as much as
we can judge from very fragmentary
remains, at a much earlier period, and in a
region where we should not expect it. In
jSTubin, in a place which at present is not
accessible, at Soleb, between Wady Haifa and
Dongola, Amenophis III. of the eighteenth
dynasty built a temple, or rebuilt an old
one, some ruins of which have been prc-
sei'ved.' In this temple, which he dedicated
to " his living imnge on earth," to himself,
represented as a man with the lioims of Amon,
Amenophis III. is seen celebrating a festival
which is in an abridged form exactly the same
as at Bubastis, and the sculptures of which
are engraved at a corresponding place, on the
entrance to the second hall. Amenophis is
seen carried on his litter, holding the same
emblems as Osorkon. The inscription is much
weathered, but what remains of it is identical
with that of Bubastis.

' Leps., Denkm. i. IIG, 117, iii. 83-87.


Several of the scenes wliicli we sliall meet
with occur also at Soleb, and especially the place
where the /S(;tZ-festival was celebrateil, a pavi-
lion on the top of the temple called (f^ /].'

The two pavilions of Soleb and Bubastis are
very nuich alik(> ; at Soleb, in front of it, a,ro
the remains of an inscription nearly destroyed :
"The access (?) to the ^aZ-fostival." This
proves that the ceremony at Bubastis was
also a St'cZ-testival. A difference to be noted
between the two temples is, that while at Soleb
the kinej is represented wearing the crown ot
Lower Egypt, at Bui>asti3 ho has various head-

A mention of the ^'t;i-fcstival is found in
the great Karris papyrus of the Britisli
Museum. There Rameses III., speaking of '
what ho has done at Memphis, says : *

" I made thee the first iS'titZ- festival of my
reign, in the great festivals of Tonen. 1
redoubled to thee what was dono in the
pavilion. I appointed to thee sacrifices of
numerous offerings of bread, wine, beer,
spirits, fruits, young cattle, calves, as it were
hundreds of thousands, bulls by tens of thou-
sands, without number ; products of the districts
of Egypt, like the sands of the shore. The gods
of the north and south are assembled within it.
I restored thy divine house in the halls of the
(SecZ-festivals, which were imined before my
rci"-n. I provided for the wish of all thy gods
at the ^'otZ-festivals,' gold, silver, and stones,
as they were before."

This sounds very like a description of what
is represented at Bubastis. There are some
remarkable coincidences. Rameses says, that
it takes place in the pavilion which ho had
constructed or renew

says, that for this occasion all the gods of Upper
and Lower Egypt were gathered at Memphis.
The same solemn gathering takes place at
Bubastis, and is sculptured on its walls.
Rameses had reconstructed the divine abode
of Phthah, "in the halls of the SVtZ-festivals."
Osorkou did tlic same, he renewed " the divine
abode of Anion in the hall of the .?ciZ-festival."
^ A t^ — rm=^. Lastly, Rameses


, ^ w

in. informs us that the first ,St,'(Z- festival of his
reign was to coincide witli (Jte great fcstiualu of
Toncn. This !]:od being a form of Phthah,
the god of Memphis, his being mentioned when
the kino: describes what he has done for this
city, does not seem at all extraordinary ; but at
Bubastis the same thing occurs. "\Yc read (pi.



,,1 P.,


!i'.?? ii\!i'n<''-'


' For the vaiiiuits see J;nij,'sch, Diet. i>. lo.'iJ, tfiippl.
p. 1331.

* Pap. Harris, pi. xlix. 1. 10 and 81. I uso Lirch's
translation with slii^ht cliangcs.

' Tap. Harris, pi. .kIv. 3.

Ihc festival of I'hthah

Toncn takes place," and the priest who is
lying down on the floor " worships the god
four times." This mention of Phthah Tonen,
which seems strange at first sight, probably
indicates that the festival of Osorkou is
celebrated at the same time as that of Tonen,
which perhaps took place in a different city.
Tonen is, in fact, the patron of the Scd-
festival, of the period of thirty years, the
TpiaKouTacT-qpi';, alter which it recurs. I need
not quote instances of the king being called

or ^5i?=» y^ " lord of the SeJ-periods,"

father rhthah Tonen." This god could not
bo forgotten at Bubastis, for it is he who
causes the festival to occur at the proper time ;
that is the reasou why wo find his name so
unexpectedly ; otherwise ho appears only as
one of the visitors at the festival, and he takes
part with other gods in the kind of blessing
which is conferred on the king while ho is
sitting on his throne in the pavilion (pi. ii.).

Thcro is no doubt that the festival of which
Osorkon left us a description, is the festival




called in Egyptian Ileh Scd I ^ uy i^diM-
or LIU-' This festival corresponds to a period
which in the titles of Ptolemy Epiphanes, quoted
by the Rosetta stone, is translated rpiaKovra-
cTr]pL<;, a period of thirty years. On this point
the inscription discovered at Bubastis raises a
difficulty which at present we are not able to
explain. The date of the festival at Soleb is
destroyed, and as we know that Araenophis I IT.
reigned at least thirty-six years, he may have
celebrated his festival in the thirtieth year of
his reign. We can understand also liameses
III., who wrote his papyrus in the thirty-
second year of his reign, saying that he had
celebrated at Memphis his first anniversary
of thirty years. But, how can Osorkon II.
celebrate it in the twenty-second year of his
reign ? for it is certain that the date is twenty-
two. The signs are all distinct, except the n
which is on the left of the column, and there is
no room for inserting another n which would
make thirty-two. We ai-e compelled to admit
that it is twenty-two. Does Osorkon celebrate
it in advance? or is the j^criod reckoned in-
dependently of his reign, and does it include
eight years of his predecessor ? It would be
the first example of this manner of reckoniur>:
the years.

This is not the only difficulty. U]J is the
division of time above -I rciip, the year. We
constantly meet with promises of this kind :
\ \ \ ¥k rf ^ ' " I give thee yeaj-s bv

thirty ; " '^^^\
>2i I

iff -


give thee milUous of thirt\' j'cars, thy years are
eternal : " as wo should sav, I cjivc thee
minions of centuries. liei-e again the inscrip-
tions of Bubastis totally disac'ree with the

' The sign occurs here in various form?, but [aly is never
found. See pi. ix. 0.

' At Soleb we find (Leps., Denkm. iii. 87, c) ^ ^ ', |j^

meaning which seems well established. On pi.
xvii. 11, we see Bast standing before the king,
Avho offers her the clepsydra, and the text reads:
He gives thee Sed periods of twelve years each.
The sign n ten is broken on the right side, but
a careful measurement shows that there is no
room for another n ten, onlv for the sign
{ year. Later on, under the reign of Kekht-
horheb," aa inscription speaks of Sed periods of
fiftij years each; the stone is broken in the
middle of the number, which was perhaps
higher than fifty. At present I see no way of
reconciling these different statements, which
seem to contradict each other.

One thing is certain, the festival at Bubastis
was connected in some way with the calendar.
It was the be":inning or the end of a definite
period ; it was not one of the ordinary religious
festivals, recurring every year on a certain day
of the month, and moving through the different
seasons with the vas-ue vear, which was one
fourth of a day shorter than the solar year.
The festival occui'red at a fixed historical date ;
and the other instances we know, under previous
kings, do not fall in the same month. Rameses
III. does not sav in which month it occurred.
At Soleb, though the date is destroyed, the few-
remaining signs point to a month of the third
season, the summer; another line ^ speaks of
something which lasts from the 26th of Ivhoiak
to the 2Gth of Pakhons, which would make
4 months, 120 days. In the oldest version
which we find of the Sed-festival,- in the time
of Pepi, of the sixth dynast}*, the date of the
festival is the 27th of Epiphi.^

Another fact not to be omitted, and which

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