Bolton Library and Museum Services

Temple column fragments of Rameses II

  • From Ihnasya el-Medina (Herakleopolis Magna), the temple of Herishef
  • New Kingdom, Dynasty 19, reign of Rameses II (1279–1213 BC)
  • Red granite, 1500 x 750 x 750, 1495 x 700 x 700 mm
  • BOLMG:1891.14.1-2

These two fragments join together to form part of one large column. Originally, it had a capital in the form of bundled papyrus plants.

The column is inscribed for Ramses II who is shown on the one fragment offering to the gods. With a group of other columns, it formed a portico for the front of a temple to the god Herishef.

The portico structure was almost seven metres in height. The columns may be over 1000 years older than Rameses II as there was an earlier Dynasty 12 temple dedicated to the god Herishef on the same site which may have been constructed from elements of a Dynasty 5 pyramid complex that the Egyptians transported from around 50 km away.