Hathor was the daughter of the sun god Re. She was the
goddess of the sky, love, mirth, beauty, and fertility. She
personified the creative power of nature. In art she was
often shown with the head of a cow. As the protectress of
the City of the Dead, she became the goddess of the dead.
During certain festivals, the priests of Horus and Edfu
celebrated rites together with priests of his consort,
Hathor and Dendera, and their children Harsomtus. Hathor had
many other names such as "Mistress of Heaven," "The Lady of
the Stars," "The Gold that is Hathor," and "The Golden One."
The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite. At Dendura(650 km
south of Cairo), there is a well preserved temple dedicated
to Hathor where she was worshipped in her role as a goddess
of women and of childbirth.
In Thebes she was considered a goddess of the dead.
There is a temple built on the site of an earlier Hathor temple dating from
the Middle Kingdom. The present structure was built during
the late Ptolemaic period(late 2d to 1st century BC), with
additions made during Roman times. The front contains six
ornately decorated columns whose tops are shaped like Hathor's head, represented as a women with bovine (cow)
ears. Inside the temple are two staircases leading to upper
sacred chambers, one contains a stone relief showing the
zodiac (now in Louure, Paris). On the outer wall of the
temple are reliefs showing Cleopatra and her son