In 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. After his death in 323, his successors ruled Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. This was the last dynasty of independent Egypt. The Ptolemies were Greeks but presented themselves to the Egyptians as native pharaohs and closely imitated the traditions and architecture of pharaonic Egypt. The Temple of Horus at Edfu was built during the Ptolemiac era on top of an earlier temple to Horus, which was oriented east-west instead of the current north-south configuration. The oldest part of the temple is the section from the Festival Hall to the Sanctuary; this was begun by Ptolemy III in 237 BC and completed by his son, Ptolemy IV Philopator. The Hypostyle Hall was added by Ptolemy VII (145-116 BC) and the pylon was erected by Ptolemy IX (88-81 BC). The final touches to the temple were added under Ptolemy XII in 57 BC. The falcon-headed Horus was originally the sky god, whose eyes were the sun and moon. He was later assimilated into the popular myth of Isis and Osiris as the divine couple's child. Raised by Isis and Hathor after Osiris' murder by his brother Seth, Horus avenged his father's death in a great battle at Edfu. Seth was exiled and Horus took the throne, Osiris reigning through him from the underworld. Thus all pharoahs claimed to be the incarnation of Horus, the "living king." The Temple of Edfu was abandoned after the Roman Empire became Christian and paganism was outlawed in 391 AD. It lay buried up to its lintels in sand, with homes built over the top, until it was excavated by Auguste Mariette in the 1860s. The sand protected the monument over the years, leaving it very well preserved today. In 2005, a visitor center and paved parking lot were added to the south side of the temple, and in late 2006 a sophisticated lighting system was added to allow night visits.
Egypt ; Arabic: مصر, Miṣr or Máṣr) is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Western Asia. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt borders the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its estimated 82 million live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable agricultural land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with the majority spread across the densely-populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments, including the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx. The southern city of Luxor contains numerous ancient artifacts, such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Egypt is widely regarded as an important political and cultural nation of the Middle East.