From today's featured article
Egyptian temples were built to commemorate the pharaohs and to support the central functions of their religion: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, and warding off the forces of chaos. Rituals, it was believed, invoked the divine presence, sustained the god, and enabled it to continue to uphold the divine order of the universe. Temples were important religious sites for all classes of Egyptians even though most people were forbidden from entering their most sacred areas. They are among the largest and most enduring examples of Egyptian architecture, with their elements arranged and decorated according to complex patterns of religious symbolism. A large temple could own sizable tracts of land and employ thousands of laymen to supply its needs. Some temples, such as Abu Simbel, have become tourist attractions that contribute significantly to the modern Egyptian economy. Egyptologists continue to study the surviving temples for their invaluable sources of information about ancient Egyptian society. (Full article...)
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