Shrine of Ptolemy VIII & Cleopatra II

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Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 26 July 2016

The shrine held a cult statue of the goddess Isis, who is mentioned in the inscriptions. It stood in one of the sanctuaries of one of her famous temple on the island of Philae. Holes on all sides of the recess hold held two door leaves and bolts. The statue inside was only revealed when the priests performed their daily rituals. The gap is flanked by papyrus columns, with a cobra frieze and winged sun-discs at the top. The shrine is one of four placed in the temple by King Ptolemy VIII and his wife, Queen Cleopatra II. On the base, stand two figures of the king with raised arms. He supports the sky (represented as a horizontal band) and with it, the statue that stood inside the shrine. Due to its isolated location, the Isis temple at Philae stayed longer in operation than any other Egyptian temple, well into the Christian era. It was closed around 535 CE by order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Ptolemaic Period, reign of Ptolemy VIII, circa 170-116 BCE. From Philae, found reused in a Coptic church, Originally from the temple of Isis, Egypt. (The British Museum, London

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About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2016, July 26). Shrine of Ptolemy VIII & Cleopatra II. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Shrine of Ptolemy VIII & Cleopatra II." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified July 26, 2016.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Shrine of Ptolemy VIII & Cleopatra II." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 26 Jul 2016. Web. 04 Feb 2023.