House of the Millions

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Millions of years in hieroglyphics
O6 X1
C11 Z3 G17 M4 M4 M4

"House of Millions of Years"

Temple area of ​​Thebes west of the Nile

House of the Millions (also House of Millions of Years, Millions of Years House ) is a term that appears at the end of the Middle Kingdom of Egyptian history and first designates a temple for the cult of the king, then especially in the New Kingdom the royal mortuary temple , but also other temples of the royal cult. In them, in the cult image and the wall reliefs, a mystical union of the king with a powerful deity (such as Amun , Osiris or Ptah ) was depicted, which in faith ensured the king's continued existence.

Most of the millions of years old once lay parallel to the Nile on the other side of the Valley of the Kings in Thebes-West , but also in Memphis ( Amenhotep III , Ramses II ), Abydos ( Seti I , Ramses II), Soleb (Amenhotep III) and Abu Simbel (Ramses II). Here the kings ( pharaohs ) set a monument in which they were venerated during their lifetime . In the millions of years old , regular barge processions took place in which the cult image of the god in question was brought into the temple.

historical development

Already at the beginning of the 4th dynasty , the classic structure of the pyramid districts with the components valley temple  - pathway  - mortuary temple - pyramid took place , for the first time with the Meidum pyramid . This arrangement was retained until the Middle Kingdom.

For security reasons, the New Kingdom started burying the kings in rock tombs ( Valley of the Kings ) and relocated the associated mortuary temples to the edge of the fruiting land. Occasionally the valley temple and the access road can still be traced ( Hatshepsut ). The Theban mountain el-Qurn (“the horn”) can be seen as a “ pyramid ” , a natural pyramid at the foot of which is the Valley of the Kings. In the New Kingdom, millions of years old are not only documented in Thebes, but also in other places where there were no royal tombs.


Thebes West

Rock temple in Deir el-Bahari :

Actual million year houses in el-Qurna :


See also


  • Martina Ullmann: King for Eternity - The Houses of Millions of Years: An Investigation of the King's Cult and Temple Typology in Egypt. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2002, ISBN 3-447-04521-3 .
  • Stefanie Schröder: Millions of years. On the conception of the space of eternity in constellative kingship in language, architecture and theology. 1st edition, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-447-06187-2 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Dieter Arnold : Lexicon of Egyptian architecture . Albatros, Düsseldorf 2000, ISBN 3-491-96001-0 , Million Years House , p. 164 .