The provinces were virtually autonomous at that time and, although Dendera was not a leading political force in Upper Egypt, its notables built a number of mastabas of some size, though only one has any decoration apart from stelae and false doors. At older birth houses, a court was attached as a separate structure.
On the west end of the site are brick-vaulted catacombs of Late Period animal burials, primarily birds and dogs, while cow burials have been found at various points in the necropolis. The Roman Birth House (mammisi) was built when the earlier structure, begun by Nectanebo I and decorated in the Ptolemaic Period, was cut through by the foundation of the unfinished first court of the main temple of Hathor.
Of course, this was a significant site for the Hathor cult, whose forms included a cow. Only a false door at the eastern exterior wall of the main temple of Hathor reminds one of the original sanctuary.
These passages are too narrow to be used and must have been added for symbolic and optical effect.
Two corridors that isolate the large sanctuary are notable.
The core building contains a sequence of three rooms.
The roofing slabs were not positioned, as usual, beneath the level of the cavetto molding around the buildings top, but would have probably been hidden by a parapet wall.
Temple Index Dotted about the landscape of modern Egypt are many ancient temples from the Mediterranean coast all the way to the southern border with the Sudan, most located in the Nile Valley but scattered elsewhere as well. A cult niche high up in the wall corresponds to the location of the statue niche in the sanctuary of the main temple.
Some of these temples are famous and stand out from the others, such the Temples of Luxor and Karnak, Philae, Kom Ombo, Esna, Edfu and others. Its scenes depict Trajan, Augustus' later successor, making offerings to Hathor, and are among the finest to be found in Egypt.Among these most important temples may also be counted Dendera, which provides examples of a particularly rich variety of later temple features. It was the ritual location where Hathor gave birth to the young Ihy or Harsomtus, two alternative youthful deities who stand for the youthful phase of creator gods in general.Dendera is located about 60 kilometers north of Luxor on the west bank of the Nile River opposite the provincial modern town of Qena. There are also, of course, figures of the god Bes, a patron of childbirth, carved on the abaci above the column capitals.Ancient Egyptian Iunet or Tantere, known to the Greeks as Tentyris, was the capital of the 6th nome of Upper Egypt and a town of some importance. The reliefs on the exterior walls are superbly preserved, and portray the divine birth and childhood of the infant Horus, whose rites legitimize the divine descent of the king. The composite capitals of the columns carry high pillars with Bes figures.Today, we know it as Dendera, though the population of the town has, since antiquity, moved to Qena across the Nile on the east bank. The frontal ambulatory extended by the addition of three columns into a kind of kiosk, with the front corners formed by L-shaped pillars.Now, the ancient temple lies isolated on the desert edge. The kiosk had a timbered roof that somehow must have connected to the stone structure of the birth house.