We took a Nile River cruise in Egypt in 2013. One of the sites we visited was Esna Temple, about 50 km south of Luxor. The temple was originally built in New Kingdom times, but the present structure was completed by the Romans in the third century AD.
The temple walls are covered with ornate carvings. One of them, shown in the following image, is Isis, the bird goddess. Isis, whose name means “she who sits,” is seated with the warrior goddess Sekhmet to the left and a god(?) wearing a double-plumed headdress to the right while offering two vessels for judgement. Notice the ankh, representing the key of life, in Isis’ right hand. In this carving, the staff in her left hand is topped by a bird’s head rather than the traditional lotus.
In late February 2013, we took a cruise up the Nile River from Luxor to Aswan in Egypt. One of our stops was to visit the Temples of Philae on Agilika Island. The Temple of Isis is the largest temple of Philae. This cream-colored temple is dedicated to Isis, Hathor, and other gods related to childbirth and midwifery. Hathor, usually depicted as a cow goddess, is one of the most important and loved deities of Ancient Egypt. In some stories, Hathor is the wife of Horus, who is the son of Isis and Osiris. Part of the Temple of Isis is the Mammisi, or birth house. One scene on the wall of the Sanctuary of the Mammisi is Isis carrying her baby son Horus. Around three sides of the Mammisi are columns topped with capitals showing the face of Hathor.
This photo was taken on February 27, 2013. Specs are: