Into Egypt– Part Six

Into Egypt– Part Six October 22, 2022

It is an interesting fact that Luxor, not Memphis, nor Sakkara nor Geza became the go to location for the pharaohs when it comes to a temple.  In some ways this makes sense during the middle dynasties when the burials of pharaoh began to focus on the Valley of the Kings and Queens across the Nile.  And there were in fact two major temples, and a processional avenue of lions with rams heads between them.  The temple of Karnak and the temple of Luxor, and both are still worth visiting but we will focus on the Luxor temple.

Here is the the portion of processional avenue being restored…

And these same combo beasts also line the entrance way to the temple of Luxor..

So who are some of the major pharaohs who built things here and visited here… here are four of them

A schematic and description or two will help us at this point.

This shows you the basic components of such a temple.  The sacrificial area and the purification lake were near the back of the property. Mainly what one would see upon entrance was columns after columns, statues, and obelisks.  Today since there is a visitor’s center you also see this replica…

The columns take two shapes— the ones that are pointed at the top are in the form of the lotus plant, while those that are fan vaulted at the top represented the papyrus— the two sacred plants found in and on the banks of the Nile.

 

As you can see, many of the columns have carved images which were then painted as well.  Obviously, the painted part did better when not exposed to the sun, for instance, the underneath part of the top of a cross piece…

It is clear that many male leaders didn’t like the notion of Hatshepsut ruling the land because here we see several erasures of her images..

Even the images of the ibis and the falcon gods could not protect her though notice the chains of ankhs indicating she has everlasting life.

The obelisks were used to tell stories the pharaohs wanted told…

 

The purification pool is huge, suggesting there were many sacrifices, and much cleansing of altars and priests thereafter.

Most of the pictures of things to be sacrificed are of bread or other food stuffs….

Of the statues of the pharaohs some are just of the individual person, but sometimes their wives are depicted as well. Typically, Ramses has his wife depicted as if she were a tiny hobbit like woman standing beneath him.  Here are several of the statues…

Sadly, some pharaohs felt they needed to depict their enslavement of other peoples, or of those they deemed criminals…

This temple became so popular with the royals that the columns multiplied so much that one feels like one is in a forest…

Here is an image of a brutal pharaoh being told that the supplicant had or was telling the truth… and perhaps he got his just due because his face is erased…

It was perhaps this pharaoh…

Alexander even appears on one column here, though in an Egyptian disguise….

That might be him.  Ramses II, in my view the pharaoh of the Exodus, was the greatest of the builders here…. and here is some info about it…

The priests constantly emphasized that even the pharaohs who wanted the key to everlasting life, the ankh, had to tell the truth (our own former President could learn something from this exhortation), 

Along the way, we should stop and smell the beautiful tropical and exotic flowers that grace the area.


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