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Dendera, Temple of Time

The Celestial Wisdom of Ancient Egypt

Foreword by Bob Brier
Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A full-color exploration of the encoded ceiling at the Temple of Dendera

• Draws on more than 5,000 high-resolution photographs taken by the author to reconstruct the complete ceiling of the portico of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera

• Reveals in detail how each panel represents celestial cycles of time from the Precession of the Equinoxes to the annual cycles of life found along the Nile

• Explains each panel’s astronomical significance from the ancient Egyptian perspective as well as examining the myths, gods, and goddesses depicted

Egypt is famous for its pyramids, the Sphinx, the temples at Luxor, and the Valley of the Kings, but 40 miles north of Luxor lies the best-preserved temple complex in all of Egypt: The Temple of Dendera, known for the famous “Zodiac of Dendera” now housed in the Louvre Museum. Within the portico leading into the Hathor temple at Dendera is a little-known outstanding achievement of humanity: an extensive colored bas-relief—larger than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—meticulously encoded with the sophisticated astronomical knowledge of ancient Egypt.

Drawing on more than 5,000 high-resolution photographs he has taken at the Temple of Dendera, photographer and computer scientist José María Barrera presents a complete full-color photographic reconstruction of the ceiling of the pronaos at Dendera and reveals in detail how each panel represents celestial cycles of time from the precession of the equinoxes to the annual cycles of life found along the Nile. He explains the meaning of the layout of the ceiling as it relates to the present, the past, eternity, the hours of the day, the phases of the moon, the constellations used in ancient Egyptian astronomy, the solar year, and the Great Year. The author provides detailed analysis of each panel, including close-up photos, and explains each panel’s astronomical and spiritual significance from the ancient Egyptian perspective as well as examining the myths, gods, and goddesses depicted. He also includes an appendix exploring the meaning and symbology of ancient Egyptian iconography.

Allowing you to experience the vivid details of this ancient work of art and science, this photographic exploration also re-creates the sense of spiritual awe and power the Temple of Dendera radiates to its visitors, whether today or millennia ago.

About The Author

José María Barrera, a software engineer and application architect specializing in data representation and languages, has been fascinated by alchemy and Egyptian culture for more than 20 years. An avid photographer, his work has been exhibited in galleries in Chicago and New York City and sold at Sotheby’s Auctions. Born in Colombia, he holds a master’s degree in computer science. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (January 16, 2024)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644118351

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Raves and Reviews

“José María Barrera presents a very clear depiction of the color ceiling in the pronaos of the Hathor temple at Dendera. Brilliant photographs are accompanied by the precise locations. A detailed high-quality overview of the complete ceiling includes panels and architrave undersides. This book’s main subject is the description of all the figures depicted at the panels of the ceiling, which are a representation of the old Egyptian calendar and sky visualizations of the Greco-Roman time in Egypt. These not only represent genuine traditional old Egyptian gods of time and the known celestial bodies but also the inclusion of the zodiacal signs of Babylonian-Greco origin. This is an exceptionally well-suited introduction into early astronomy and concepts of time of this advanced civilization for non-professionals and professionals likewise.”

– Daniela Mendel-Leitz, Ph.D., academic staff member for the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studie

“A wonderfully illustrated book that gives an excellent overview of the decoration on the ceiling of the pronaos at Dendera.”

– Gyula Priskin, Ph.D., author of The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Moon and senior lecturer at the Dep

“Behold a timeless tome, where the celestial tapestry depicted on the ceiling of the pronaos inside the ancient Egyptian temple at Dendera unfolds, woven with astrological threads by the remarkable author José María Barrera in this captivating work of scholarly allure. Finally! A book that unravels the entire ethereal procession of ancient Egyptian gods sailing through the night sky. With resplendent high-resolution photographs and meticulous research, Barrera unveils the profound connection between the cosmos and humanity and the stars as depicted on the ancient temple’s ceiling, unveiling the meaning concealed within.”

– Anyextee, filmmaker and author of The Adept Initiate’s Guide to the Luxor Temple

“A book of astonishing beauty! A before and after in our vision of ancient Egyptian skies through the astronomical ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Dendera. Barrera will not disappoint anyone.”

– Juan Antonio Belmonte Avilés, Research Professor of Astronomy at the Instituto de Astrofís

“A triumph of historical splendor. Not only does José María Barrera expose us to the glorious living color of Egyptian antiquity, but his expert photographic re-creations and learned text elucidate the mysteries and encrypted ideas of the ceiling of the Temple of Dendera like no other work available.”

– Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award–winning author of Occult America and Uncertain Places

“This book with its clear and beautiful pictures allows its reader to perceive and admire all the details of the reliefs, even those that are usually hidden from the naked eye. It was like seeing Dendera for the first time again.”

– Manon Y. Schutz, Ph.D., lecturer and teaching and research fellow at the University of Münster

“Ancient Egyptians thoroughly understood the 26,000-year cycle of the twelve 2,160-year Great Ages. They recorded this sacred record of time on the exquisite ceiling of the Dendera temple, and now José María Barrera has decoded it! The Egyptians taught the people to live according to this harmony for thousands of years—the attunement we need for survival. Read José María Barrera’s book!”

– Barbara Hand Clow, author of Astrology and the Rising of Kundalini and The Pleiadian Agenda

“Finding the right words to describe the Temple of Hathor at Dendera is nigh impossible. José María Barrera has achieved it in this valuable pictorial study of the Hypostyle Hall ceiling when he concluded that it ‘should not exist, yet does indeed exist.’ For many reasons, I totally agree with him.”

– Christopher Dunn, author of Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt and Giza: The Tesla Connection

“A great artist who presents different parts of the Dendera temple for the modern eye.”

– Ahmed Osman, author of The Egyptian Origins of King David and the Temple of Solomon

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