Philae island The island of Agilkai (Philae) lies in the center of the lake formed between the Aswan and High Dams.
Vessels approach from the north, and usually along the west side of the island toward its entrance at the southern tip. The boats generally return to the mainland along the east and northern sides. This
latter trip provides the better view of the fine architectural proportions of the monuments.
The main temple of Isis does not conform to the character- istic ground–plan of traditional Greco-Roman temples like those of Edfu, Kom Ombo. andlendera.
It was an earlier construction. it would appear that some of the architectural features that became standard in later times-such as the practice of enclosing a narrow corridor running along the sides and the back of the whole building-were not yet contemplated.
Access today is a flight of steps (a), slightly east of the original entrance (b).
Ptolemy II (285-247 B.c.) was responsible for the reconstruction of its elegant columns, which have double floral capitals, the upper part bearing sistrum capitals with heads of Hathor.
The screen walls between the columns are crowned with a uraeus frieze and Nektanebo II, the last native ruler of Egypt, making gifts to the gods.
The two pedestals that stand in their original positions were once surmounted by obelisks.
One was erected by the priests in acknowledgment of benefactions bestowed on them by Ptolemy
VIII, and is now at Kingston Lacy in England (p.77).
The lower The columns of the original entrance to the Philae temples half of the matching obelisk was later despatched to the same destination.