EGYPTThis is what the entrance of a New Kingdom temple may have looked like in its glory days.

This is the outer court yard leading into the Hypostyle hall.Luxor Temple

This is a reconstruction of The Colonnade of Amenhotep III at the temple of Luxor. It leads out into the courtyard.

This is a reconstruction of The Court of Amonhotep III at the temple of Luxor. This view looks back at the Colonnade.

The diagram shows the three design changes made during construction. 1st the mastaba, the traditional tomb of the pharaohs. 2nd the four step pyramid. 3rd enlarged to make a six step pyramid.The chap responsible for the step pyramid was Imhotep, Djoser’s vizier. He is credited as being the inventor of building in stone and was a man of many talents – Architect, physician, master sculpture, scribe, and astronomer. He must be the first true genius in recorded history and his impression on the Egyptians was profound because later generations revered him as a god of wisdom. The temple at Kom Ombo

You can see by the temple plan (below) the two gateways. The right side is dedicated to Sobek, the left to Horus. Each of these two deities had their own special ceremonies and festival

The temple at Kom Ombo

The temple at Kom Ombo is about 30 miles (48 km) north of Aswan and was built during the Graeco-Roman period (332 BC AD 395). There was an earlier structure from the 18th dynasty but little remains.The temple is unique because it is in fact a double temple, dedicated to Sobek the crocodile god, and Horus the falcon-headed god. The layout combines two temples in one with each side having its own gateways and chapels. Sobek is associated with the wicked god Seth, the enemy of Horus. In the Horus myth the allies of Seth made their escape by changing themselves into crocodiles.

Sobek’s chief sanctuary was at Kom Ombo, where there were once huge numbers of crocodiles. Until recent times the Egyptian Nile was infested with these ferocious animals, who would lay on the riverbank and devour animals and humans alike. So it is not surprising that the local inhabitants went in fear.They believed that as a totem animal, and object of worship, it would not attack them. Captive crocodiles were kept within the temple and many mummified crocodiles have been found in cemeteries, some of which can be seen in the temple sanctuary today. The Pyramids of Giza

The age of the first ancient wonders of the world began with the pyramids of Sneferu, he built three pyramids and may have had a hand in others. His pyramid at Medum began as a step pyramid and was then modified to form the first true pyramid. He built two pyramids at Dahshur one called the Bent Pyramid because its upper part has a shallower angle of inclination than the lower part.

Seneferu’s Bent pyramid at Dahshur was originally planned as a true pyramid, but its geometry was altered at a point just above half it’s height. The angle of incline was decreased from 54º 31′ 13” to 43º 21′.When Khufu, also known as Cheops, became pharaoh one of his first acts was to curtail the growing power of the priesthood. He “shut up all the temples and forbade sacrifices”. As a priest’s living came from performing these rituals it is not surprising that Khufu was unpopular with the religious orders.Khufu’s pyramid at Giza showing the plan of passages and burial chamber. Some believe that his pyramid at Giza was built by slaves but this is not true. One hundred thousand people worked on it for three months of each year. This was the time of the Nile’s annual flood which made it impossible to farm the land and most of the population was unemployed. He provided good food and clothing for his workers and was kindly remembered in folk tales for many centuries.

There are three pyramids at Giza, each of which once had an adjoining mortuary temple. Attached to this temple would have been a covered causeway descending down to a valley temple, near the Nile. The ‘great’ pyramid itself is truly an astonishing work of engineering skill – for over four thousands years, until the modern era, it was the tallest building in the world. The sides are oriented to the four cardinal points of the compass and the length of each side at the base is 755 feet (230.4 m). They rise at an angle of 51 52′ to a height , originally, of 481 feet (147 m) but nowadays 451 feet (138 m). It was constructed using around 2,300,000 limestone blocks, weighing, on average, 2.5 tons each. Although some weigh as much as 16 tons. Until recently, relatively speaking, it was cased in smooth limestone but this was plundered to build Cairo.Is it conceivable that by bringing together so many people and giving them a common goal, that of making a mountain, a national identity is forged in their hearts. From Upper and Lower Egypt communities would have got to know each other and a common bond would have been manifest in the object of the pyramid. If this is true it is unique because all other forms of nationalism have grown out of war. For example England and France in the Hundred years war and the USA through the revolutionary, civil and Indian wars.The Temple of Luxor

The Colonnade of Amenhotep III The Colonnade of Amenhotep III has seven pairs of 52 foot (16m) high open-flower papyrus columns, which still support their huge architrave The temple of Luxor is close to the Nile and parallel with the riverbank. King Amenhotep III who reigned 1390-53 BC built this beautiful temple and dedicated it to Amon-Re, king of the gods, his consort Mut, and their son Khons.

This temple has been in almost continuos use as a place of worship right up to the present day. It was completed by Tutankhamun and Horemheb and added to by Ramses II. Towards the rear is a granite shrine dedicated to Alexander the Great. The Temple of Luxor

The mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu al-HajjajAl-Uqsur, in Arabic or Luxor meaning the Palaces was a small Nile village famous only for the annual festival with which it celebrated the renowned 13th-ccntury Sufi Shaykh Ynsuf Abu al-Hajjaj.In the early 19th century, however, French archaeologists discovered that the village indeed deserved its name. Beneath the mosque that was built around Shaykh Yusuf’s tomb, a vast temple lay buried.As the temple was excavated the mosque was left intact and is still in use today. Therefore, from ancient times, through the Christian period and into the present this patch of earth has been a place of devout worship. The Tombs of the Nobles Some of the loveliest works of art I have ever seen are to be found at Saqqara, in the tombs of the nobles. The limestone walls are delicately incised with myriads of animals, fish, birds, insects, vegetation and people – hunting, herding and farming. Some of the forms still retain their original paint, after 4,500 years! The quality of these compositions demonstrates that the Egyptians had attained, at an early stage, an artistic culture of a very high order. Cattle Crossing is an etching made from sketches done at Saqqara. The medium of etching – itself a process of erosion seems well suited to capturing the time worn quality of the relief carving.

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