Kom Firin

A domestic installation in the ruined templeSmall room built into north-western corner of temple

Excavations in 2004 provided clear stratigraphic evidence to support a dating of the temple to the Ramesside Period. A small room (above), built on top of the remains of the temple walls with mud-bricks ofHead and neck from a pottery figurine of a gazelle a different size, was cleared, with two distinct phases of occupation.

The upper level yielded three large in situ cooking vessels and a pot-stand, along with a flint knife, a limestone cup and pottery of the Third Intermediate Period.

An earlier phase contained forms of the late New Kingdom and early Third Intermediate Period, along with faience beads, an amulet of Bes and fragments of terracotta figurines of a cobra and a gazelle.Upper part of a fired clay figurine of a cobra

Cobras

Few objects were encountered in excavations in the temple area, as the area has been badly affected by illicit digging over the last 130 years.

However, the most distinctive type of object are the figurines of rearing cobras. Fragments of 29 examples have been recovered, though none completely preserved. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, modelled by hand, and designed to stand alone. All but one example is fired.

The presence of the base of one such figurine in a late New Kingdom/early Third Intermediate Period context suggests their use in household situations, but it is clear from parallels at other sites that they could be employed in funerary or temple contexts, and are also commonly found in and around military installations.

 


Images (from top):

  • Small room built into north-western corner of temple. Three large cooking vessels and a pot-stand are visible
  • Head and neck from a pottery figurine of a gazelle. Height 7.2cm
  • Upper part of a fired clay figurine of a cobra. Height: 9.0cm