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Egyptian collectables the temple of karnak

Egyptian Collectables: The Temple Of Karnak

The temple of Karnak is a vast complex that was built over a 1,300 year period and is considered to be the largest temple ever built by man. While originally started to honor the god Amun, it was expanded over time to include many smaller temples.
There are three main temples dedicated to Mut, Montu and Amun, which are enclosed by enormous brick walls. The main complex, The Temple of Amun, is located in the center of the complex. The Temple of Monthu is to the north of the Temple of Amun, while the Temple of Mut is to the south. There are also smaller temples dedicated to Khonsu, Opet, Ptah and Osiris Hek-Djet.
Inside the Great Temple of Amun is the Hypostyle hall. The hall is considered to be one of the world’s greatest architectural masterpieces. Construction began during the reign of Ramesses I, who was the king that founded the Nineteenth Dynasty. While Ramesses I was king for only one year, the work continued under Seti I. Construction was then passed on and completed by Seti I’s son, Ramesses II.
The walls, ceilings and columns are painted with the natural earth tones. The hall ceiling was 82 feet high and was supported by 12 papyrus columns. The columns are made of sandstone and set in two rows of six. Each row is flanked on either side by 7 rows of columns that are 42 feet high. The reliefs throughout the hall contain symbols of Creation. The reliefs in the northern half are from the time period of Seti I and are obviously better done than those completed under his son Ramesses II, which are located in the southern half. While not as detailed, Ramesses II’s reliefs are cut much deeper than those of Seti’s, which gives a much more dramatic light and shadow effect.
The outer walls of the Hypostyle Hall are covered with scenes of battle. Over time, the scenes have lost their color and the outlines of the scenes have been blurred by the centuries of wind and sun. It is unclear whether the scenes of battle are based on historical fact or of ritual significance. It is thought that when the battle details are very precise, real events are most likely involved. Seti’s battles take place in Lebanon, southern Palestine and Syria. The southern walls of Ramesses II have hieroglyphic texts which actually record details of the Hittite king and Ramesses II signing a peace treaty in the twenty-first year of Ramesses reign. This is the first evidence found for a formal diplomatic agreement and is certainly historical.
Leaving the hypostyle hall, there is a narrow court where there once stood several obelisks. One of the obelisks was erected by Tuthmosis I, who was the father of Hatshepsut. This obelisk stands 70 feet tall and weighs about 143 tons. During the centuries between Tuthmosis I and Ramesses VI, it was common practice to dismantle older structures and reuse the pieces for new temples and buildings. Amazingly, this obelisk was never touched. The original inscription was left in place however two kings did add their inscription on either side of the original.
Beyond this obelisk is the only remaining Obelisk of Hatshepsut. It is 97 feet high and weighs approximately 320 tons. Hatshepsut was a woman who considered herself a Pharaoh, thus challenging the tradition of male kingship. After her death, her name and memory suffered systematic obliteration.
The top of Hatshepsut’s obelisk was visible for 50 miles. The pink granite for the obelisk was quarried at Aswan, which is located several hundred miles south of Karnak. The stone was moved several miles over to the river and shipped down to Thebes. The setting of the stone is shown on reliefs as the pharaoh raising it with a single rope tied to its upper extremity. This is most probably symbolic, but may have been done this way with several hundred workers pulling together.
Tuthmosis III was Hatshepsut’s successor. When he came to power, he constructed a high wall around her obelisk. This wall hid the lower two-thirds but left the upper towering above. It has been thought that this was an easier and cheaper way of destroying her memory than actually tearing it down and removing it.

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