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The Temple of Kom Ombo

Kom Ombo or Ombos was originally an Egyptian city called Nubt, meaning City of Gold. It became a Greek settlement during the Greco-Roman Period. The town’s location on the Nile 50 km north of Aswan gave it some control over trade routes from Nubia to the Nile Valley, but its main rise to prominence came with the erection of the temple in the 2nd century BC.

There are two temples at Ombos. The more magnificent of two stands upon the top of a sandy hill. The smaller temple to the northwest was sacred to Isis. Both are of an imposing architecture, and still retain the brilliant colors with which their builders adorned them. They are, however, of the Ptolemaic age, with the exception of a doorway of sandstone, built into a wall of brick, part of a temple built by Tuthmosis III in honor of the crocodile-headed god Sobek, held in especial honor by the people.

In Kom Ombo there is a rare engraved image of what is thought to be the first representation of medical instruments for performing surgery, including scalpels, curettes, forceps, dilator, scissors and medicine bottles dating from the days of Roman Egypt.

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