In the 19th century, with the rise of Egyptology due to the the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon Bonaparte. The subsequent publication of Description de l’Égypte between 1809 and 1829, a race of sorts took shape. It was a race to acquire Ancient Egyptian artefacts and antiquities by national and private collections; a viciously competitive endeavour that eminated from ruthless ambition on all sides involved, particularly among the British and the French.
As a result, a tremendous amount of Ancient Egyptian artefacts can be found scattered all over the world, mostly in museums, but some in very private hands. Even mummies didn’t escape that dreaded fate. Just imagine having a mummy on display right next to a tapestry in the dinning room! Not very apetising I would imagine…
Like most places in Egypt, Denderah was excavated in the late 19th century, where it slowly started to reappear again as one of the best-preserved temples, if not the best-preserved one, in all of Egypt. As Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie described in the Seventh Memoir of The Egypt Exploration Fund, Dendereh 1898:
Dendereh is to most persons only the name of a temple; one of the largest, best preserved, and most popular of Egyptian architecture, visited and admired by every tourist, a stopping-place of every steamer.
But what made the temple even more fascinating are two particular items: the Denderh Zodiac, and the Dendereh Light. The former was charcterrised as “the only complete map that we have of an ancient sky”, and it has been conjectured to represent the basis on which later astronomy systems were based. It is now on display at the Musée du Louvre, Paris. [Source: Wikipedia]
The latter, however, has a more fringe interest. The Dendereh Light describes a supposed ancient Egyptian electrical lighting technology depicted on three stone reliefs (one single and a double representation) within the temple of Hathor in the complex. The sculpture became notable among fringe historians because of the resemblance of the motifs to some modern electical lighting systems! [Source: Wikipedia]
Here are some slides of the temple before it was completely excavated back in 1900, along with a Dahabeiah raising the American flag somewhere around Luxor taken around the same time, it was, and still is, the most liesurly luxurious method of cruising the Nile.Brooklyn Museum, Dahabeieh, Dendereh, Description of Egypt, Egypt, Featured, Light, Luxor, Petrie, Zodiac