Antecedents to the Ptolemaic Mammisis

Vanessa Crown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


The Ptolemaic mammisi was a small chapel adjacent to a larger temple, dedicated to the child-god of the local triad. Rituals celebrating the mystery of the divine birth of this child-god were· held in the mammisi. Each mammisi was associated with a unique program of worship, dominated by the main temple complex with which it was associated. All Ptolemaic mammisis shared distinctive architectural features which included, but were not limited to, papyrus-bundle or palm-featured columns, Hathor-headed capitals, screen walls and a columned ambulatory surrounding the central sanctuary and associated halls (Arnold 2003, 33). The interior of the mammisis were decorated with detailed scenes depicting the mystery of the divine birth and texts outlining the rituals that were performed there. By the end of the Ptolemaic period, mammisis appeared in the majority of Egyptian temple complexes and played a significant role in daily cult and annual festivals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEgyptology in Australia and New Zealand 2009
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the Conference held in Melbourne, September 4th-6th
EditorsChristian M. Knoblauch, James C. Gill
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781407309415
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventAustralasian Conference for Young Egyptologists (1st : 2009) - Melbourne
Duration: 4 Sep 20096 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameBAR international series


ConferenceAustralasian Conference for Young Egyptologists (1st : 2009)


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