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Album: By Country | By Date Egypt | March 2001 < Prev: Cairo to Luxor | Next: Temple of Karnak, Part 2 >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date Egypt | March 2001  

March 2001 - Karnak Temple, Part 1

The enormous temple of the state god, Amon-Re

Karnak is more than a single temple.  It is a combination of sanctuaries, pylons, and obelisks, all dedicated to the gods - mainly Amun - and the pharaohs.  Ram-headed sphinxes line the entrance and an avenue of sphinxes connected Karnak to Luxor Temple.  We saw lines of sphinxes amidst houses in between the two temples.  Gods and goofballs Face of a pylon or great gate which divides sections of the temple
This is part of the great hypostyle hall.  Built by Seti I, Tote's favorite pharaoh, it covers 6000 square meters.  Scaffolding Inside the Great Hypostyle Hall.  In many other places, pillars are used for support and the point was to create a large open space.  Here, the pillars themselves occupy a great deal of the space and block most sightlines.  There is no "court" or space, merely a large room packed with enormous pillars.  It is disorienting and stunning.  This should help give some perspective to how enormous the Hypostyle Hall is.  This was Mark's favorite ancient part of Egypt.
The obelisk on the left is one of the Obelisks fo Hatshepsut.  Tuthmosis III attempted to eradicate all signs of the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, his step-mother, and built a 25 meter tall stone structure around this obelisk to hide it.   It is the tallest obelisk in Egypt and the top half was orignially covered with electrum, an alloy of gold and silver.  The water table is very high.  This small hole shows that the water is just below ground level.  This makes it very difficult to keep Karnak ruins "in repair"
Papyrus columns
Two gooses - one old and one silly.