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Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Karnak and Luxor Temples - Part 2

Wikipedia has two separate articles about the Karnak temple complex we were visiting in a previous post: Karnak and Precinct of Amun-re.  The Karnak article references a marvelous aerial photograph from 1914 by the Austrian photographer Theodor Kofler.  (There is an article about Kofler and  his aerial photohgraphy of Egypt available at this link   -   highly recommended)  This is a portion of the picture showing the broken tip of Hatshepsut's second obelisk:

That tip has been moved into the plaza near the Sacred Lake and we caught up to it there.
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That also gave us a chance to take a look at an obelisk from the very tip top.
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The Sacred Lake plaza also has a large granite scarab mounted on a pillar.  Reports are that if you walk around the pillar/scarab seven times, good luck will come your way.
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An ancient Egyptian calendar can be found "hanging on the wall" at the edge of the plaza. Rashid explained briefly how it worked.
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From the Sacred Lake, the route out of the Karnak temple passes a "boneyard" of chunks and hunks that appear to be waiting for matching pieces of their jigsaw puzzles.
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A very large wall with inscriptions also presents itself on the way out.  This appears to feature Thutmose smiting his Syrian enemies - a very popular theme throughout the temple complex.
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Next our van took us from Karnak back to the Luxor temple near our boat dock.  Just in case you were wondering if the tourist traffic had returned to Egypt, this picture of the parking lot at the Luxor temple gives some indication.
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In ancient times, the Karnak and Luxor temples were joined by a mile and a half long avenue of sphinxes.  Much of the avenue has been restored in recent years.
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Unlike Karnak which bears evidence of many Egyptian Kings, Luxor is almost exclusively a Ramses II monument.  Another modern visitor center with a detailed model greets the tourists.
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Ramses II placed a tall obelisk in front of the pylon at the entrance.  This was one of a matched pair - the other was spirited off to Paris by the French archeologists and can now be found in Place de Concorde.
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There is a sign with a good description of the interior court and photos of the gradual excavation of the site.
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The interior court plaza seemed like a great photo opportunity for our group.
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Of course, this is also a good opportunity here for a photo of Ramses II
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There are a number of hieroglyphic drawings on various parts of the temple walls.
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