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  Luxor

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General Info
Luxor , one of the greatest capitals of the ancient world, has often been called the world's greatest open-air museum, used to be known as " Thebes " capital of Egypt during the ancient Egyptian period. It was the seat of power for about 1350 year.
It has been a tourist destination since the beginning of tourism.  Even in ancient times, during the late Dynasties of the Greek and Roman periods, the area drew tourists, and has been doing so ever since.
Today, Luxor is well equipped to accommodate tourists & to serve people from many countries that descend on this area of the Nile Valley every year
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Tourist Info

The East Bank
 
Charming and evocative, with the Nile banks lined with modern hotels, the feluccas that sail along the quiet water of the river, the small silent streets of the Bazaar that come to life in the evening with their colors, sounds and lights. This is the great, ancient city of Thebes , capital of the Egyptian empire for almost one thousand years, which Homer referred to in the IX canto of the Iliad as " Thebes with one hundred gates".
River Nile split Luxor into two sides. The East side where you find Karnak and Luxor temples is called the living city during the ancient times. The West side where the Sun sets is called the city of the dead. That is why you will find all the Tombs and the funeral temples located on the West Bank of Luxor .
The first temple you will see is the funeral temple of Amonophis III , father of King Akhenaton. His temple is used as a quarry to rebuild other temples that is why you will find some ruins and the two big colossi which are called now. The colossus of Memnon; they are made of sandstone and weigh nine hundred tones. Representing the king looking to the rising Sun . 
 
Karnak Temple

At about three kilometers from the Temple of Luxor stands the vast monumental area of Karnak . The archaeological site includes three divided areas separated by a rough brick boundary. The largest is the central area covering thirty hectares,
enclosing the dominion of Amon; to the south, still unexplored for about  half its extension.
This was the greatest place of worship in history. It includes many singular temples, dedicated to Amun, his wife (Mut), and their son (khonsu), the moon deity. Since the Arab conquest, it became known as "al-Karnak" (The fort). The temple starts with the avenue of the Rams, representing Amun: symbol of fertility and growth.
In time, the dimensions of each complex changed and the Pharaohs who succeeded to the throne left their mark by extending the temple or adding halls and chapels. The structure of the three holy complexes remains the same .
In the center of each enclosure stands the main temple dedicated to the god and along-side lies the sacred lake for ceremonies. It is the largest temple with columns in the world and according to distinguished historians, it could contain Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in its entirety; Leonard Cottrell affirmed that it was such a vast monument that "it could cover almost half of the Manhattan area "! 

Luxor Temple 
 
Built by the two pharaohs: Amenhotep III and Ramses II. The temple was dedicated to Amon-Ra, whose marriage to Mut was celebrated annually, in a sacred procession by boat from Karnak to Luxor Temple.

In Memphis era it was a small village where the God of War Montu was worshipped and its temples marked the boundaries of the territory. As from the X Dynasty, thanks to its geographical position and political grounds, its importance started to increase considerably until the military successes of its princes made it a great power. God Amon was worshipped in great splendor in the triad in Mut and Khonsu. It was the age of great victories and triumph in Asia Minor , Nubia and Libya . It was a happy period - perhaps the happiest in Egyptian history.

Thebes then lost its political, spiritual and military supremacy. Subsequent dynasties originally came from the delta replaced it as capital of Egypt .

Thebes prey to the Assyrian army. Lastly, it was completely razed to the ground in 84 B.C. by Ptolemy to the extent that during the roman era it was a mass of ruins visited by wayfarers; the few remaining townsmen settled in what remained of the temples and the tombs were reduced to stables.

The temple of Luxor was joined to that of Karnak by a long stone-paved path, flanked by sphinxes with rams heads which were then replaced with sphinxes with human heads
 
Temple of Amon Ra
 
Built to the glory of king of the gods Amon ra. Brought back to light in 1883 by Gaston Maspéro, the temple is 260 metres long and its construction was basically commissioned by two Pharaohs, Amonophis III who started it in the XIV century B.C. and Ramses II who completed it adding the courtyard with its axis moved eastwards.

The avenue ended at the entrance to the temple of Luxor, marked by the large pylon erected by Ramses II, which features a 65-metre front decorated with bas-reliefs illustrating scenes of the military campaigns of the Pharaoh against the Hittites. 

In ancient time, the pylon was preceded by two obelisks, two seated colossi and two standing colossi. Today, only the left 25-metre high obelisk is still standing: the other was taken to Paris in 1833 and placed by the engineer Lebas in Place de la Concorde on the 25th October 1836 . The two colossi in granite represent the Pharaoh seated on his throne, fifteen and a half metres in height on a base of about one metre. Of the other four statues in pink granite leaning against the pylon, one was to represent Queen Nefertari and another decrepit one to the right, his daughter Merit-Amon. 

Having passed through the triumphal entrance, one enters the court of Ramses II, with its double row of columns with closed papyrus capital and statues of Osiris in the inter columns. To the north-west of the courtyard one can admire the temple-deposit of the sacred boats built by Thot-Mosis III and dedicated to the triad Amon, Mut and Khonsu. 

Then follows a colonnade of two rows of bell-shaped columns 52 meters long that take us to the second courtyard of Amonophis II, surrounded on three sides by two rows of columns with closed papyruses, a real, highly evocative forest. From here, across a transversal hypostyle hall, one enters the last sanctuary, the most intimate and sacred part, which gave the temple its name of "Adytum of the south" theatre o the final moment of the festival of Opet, the largest and most solemn held during the year.

The festival, which lasted little more than fifteen days, started on the nineteenth day of the second month of the flood, which is towards the end of August. The highlight of the ceremony came when out of the temple of Karnak came the sacred boat of Amon-Ra which was carried by thirty priest and followed by those of Mut and Khonsu, covered the whole avenue of sphinxes and arrived at the temple of Luxor; here the boats were closed in the sanctuary for a couple of days, before returning to the temple of karnak, always accompanied by a rejoicing crowd singing and dancing. 

Luxor museum 

Recently built, this Museum displays countless interesting finds relating to the history of ancient Thebes .

The museum it self contains a hall for showing the mummification operation, measures about: 360M2.

The mummification museum considered to be one of the most important specialized museums in the world, cause it's contains every thing belongs to the mummification process in the ancient Egyptian history.

It was opened in 6/5/1997AD, by the Egyptian president Mohamed Hosny Mubark and the first lady of Egypt Mrs. Suzan Mubark, and with some other guests and ministers.

Visiting time: the museum works two shifts:

     Summer: from 9:00 am to 1:00 PM and from 5:00pm to 10:00 PM .
     Winter: from 9:00am to 1:00pm and from 4:00pm to 9:00pm

     
 
The West Bank 

The west bank at Luxor is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world which is referred to as the Valley of the Kings , in fact, many good books on the west bank at Luxor are titled, "Valley of the Kings", even though they cover the entire area. It can be a bit confusing for the novice, particularly considering the actual conceptual scope of the religious concept. If one looks at just the Valley of the Kings , one only sees tombs, but the tombs were an integral part of larger mortuary complexes.  Indeed, the whole west bank is honeycombed with tombs, not just of the ancient Egyptian Kings, but of their families and the noblemen who served them.
The west bank necropolis can be divided into a number of zones and sub-zones, of which the Valley of the Kings is only one zone.  The northern sector of the west bank closest to the Nile River is often referred to as the Tombs of the Nobles , but it can be divided into about five different sub-zones.  Farthermost north is an area known as el-Tarif, where large, row tombs were dug during the late Second Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom.
Just south of el-Tarif is Dra Abu el-Naga, which is a hillside with about 80 numbered tombs, most belonging to priests and officials of the 17th through 20th dynasty, including some rulers of the 17th dynasty. Just southwest of Dra Abu el-Naga is an area called El-Assasif , where there are 40 tombs, mostly from the New Kingdom and later.  Just south of El-Assasif is El-Khokha, a hill with five Old Kingdom tombs and 53 numbered tombs from the 18th and 19th dynasty.  
  
Directly west of El-Khokha is Sheikh Abd el-Qurna. This hill was named for a mythical Muslim sheikh, and has 146 numbered tombs, most of which are from the 18th Dynasty.  Here one finds some of the most beautiful private tombs on the West Bank . 

Just north of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna is Deir El-Bahari , well known for the northernmost temples in the Valley, including that of Hatshepsut and Mentuhotep.

Finally, south of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna and near the Temple of Merenptah is Qurnet Murai, a hill with 17 numbered tombs mostly dating to the Ramesside period.  Where there are probably thousands of tombs in these areas, Egyptologists have only explored and numbered a total of about 800 of them.  

Further west is the highest of the peaks in the Theban range of hills.  This is Qurn, which can be translated in Arabic to mean "horn", or "forehead".  At this mountains northern base, fairly well separate from the other burials in the West Bank , is the Valley of the Kings .  Along with a number of unfinished tombs, 62 numbered tombs are known to Egyptologists.  This was the final resting place of many of the New Kingdom rulers.
 
South of the Valley of the Kings , and closer to the Nile lies the Valley of the Queens .  This area is inappropriately named, because it houses family members of the kings, including both males and females, and even some high officials.  There are about 80 numbered tombs in this area, probably the most famous of which is that of Queen Nefertari .

Just southeast of the Valley of the Queens is Deir El-Medina , the ruins of a village that housed the craftsmen and workers who dug and decorated the tombs and other Theban monuments.  It is a very important area to Egyptology, because it has revealed many of the facets of ordinary life in Egypt , and there are some wonderful tombs in its Necropolis .

All along the border between the fertile section of the Valley and the hills we find Temples and one palace. The southern most temple is that of Ramesses III located at Medinet Habu . The palace, one of the southernmost monuments in the Valley, is at Malkata , just south of Deir el-Medina, and belonged to Amenhotep III , but was probably also inhabited by a few of his successors.  At one time, it was a huge complex. The northernmost temple is that of Seti I , which at one time also probably served as an administrative center on the West Bank . 

The Temples of Millions of Years
 
The temples within the Valley, each built by individual kings or queens, were collectively known by the Egyptians as the "Temples of Millions of Years". Early Egyptologists referred to them as funerary or mortuary temples, but in fact they were temples built for the worship of the deceased kings, and were even used for his worship while he lived.  There were originally many more temples then one finds today, and those that remain are in much ruin.  

Amun was the principle deity worshiped at Thebes , and the Pharaoh was considered his son. Celebrating this union, each year a celebration was held called the Beautiful Feast of the Valley , where the royal power was renewed and strengthened.  Also, on the 30th year of the pharaoh's reign, the sed-festival took place in order to renew the king's strength, as well as the vitality of all Egypt .  These celebrations took place in the Temples of Millions of Years, and so activity on the Theban West Bank was centered around the Temples , while the tombs themselves were for the most part off limits.

The temples were meant to honor the dead king, perhaps through eternity.  In fact, they might more resemble a modern foundation or trust.  They were intended to keep the king's cult alive, guaranteeing him eternal deification, and not simply through festivals.

For example, the storerooms of the Ramesseum were capable of storing enough grain for 15 to 20 thousand people.  In effect, the temples were endowed with property and assets by the king before his death, so that after his death, the temple could continue to fund exploits and building projects in his name.

The Big Picture
 
Typically, tourists to the West Bank will spend a day there, or even a half day.  They are shown a few tombs, including several in the Valley of the Kings , and perhaps one in the Valley of the Queens , and they visit several of the temples, most notably those of Deir El-Bahri.  To an extent, this provides something of an overall picture of the West Bank , but its complexity and size are often not realized.
 

Valley of the Queens
 
The Valley of the Queens is located on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes ). There are between 75 and 80 tombs in the Valley of the Queens , or Biban al-Harim.  These belong to Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties.  These include

The Tomb of Khaemwese (Tomb 44): Scenes in Khaemwese's tomb show him being presented to the guardians of the gates to the afterlife along with his father.  He is making an offering in the scene, and is dressed in a robe, wearing a necklace and the sidelocks of youth.

The Tomb of Queent Titi (Tomb 52): She is probably the queen of a 20th Dynasty.  She is depicted with the sidelocks common to the Egyptian young of the period and in the presence of the gods Thoth , Atum , Isis and Nephthys .  In the next chamber the queen is shown making offerings to Hathor the cow, and in the last chamber the gods Neith , Osiris , Selquit, Nephthys and Thoth.

The Tomb of Amenhikhopeshef (Tomb 55) : Amenhikhopeshef was a son of Ramesses III and scenes show him with his father and the gods Thoth, Ptah and others. He was probably about nine years old when he died.  Scenes show him being presented to various gods, including Anubis , the Jackal-headed god of the dead, by his father, Ramesses III . A premature baby was also found in to tomb. This belonged to this mother, who aborted upon learning of Amenhikhopeshef's death.

The Tomb of Nefertari (Tomb 66): One of five wives of Ramesses II , Nefertari was his favorite and the tomb here has been is said to be one of the most beautiful in Egypt .  The tomb is completely painted with scenes though out.  In most of these, Nefertari, known as 'the most beautiful of them', is accompanied by gods.  She is usually wearing a golden crown with two feathers extended from the back of a vulture and clothed in a white, gossamer  gown. Be sure not to miss the side room where one scene depicts the queen worshipping the mummified body of Osiris.  Near the stairs to the burial chamber is another wonderful scene with Nefertarti offering milk to the goddess Hathor . 

Valley of the Kings
 

Typically, tourists to the West Bank will spend a day there, or even a half day.  They are shown a few tombs, including several in the Valley of the Kings , and perhaps one in the Valley of the Queens , and they visit several of the temples, most notably those of Deir El-Bahri.  To an extent, this provides something of an overall picture of the West Bank , but its complexity and size are often not realized.
 
 
Tombs of the Pharaohs
 
The Egyptian belief that "To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again" is certainly carried out in the building of the tombs. The king's formal names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with his images and statues. Beginning with the 18th Dynasty and ending with the 20th , the kings abandoned the Memphis area and built their tombs in Thebes . Also abandoned were the pyramid style tombs. Most of the tombs were cut into the limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed. Construction usually lasted six years, beginning with the new reign. The text in the tombs is from the Book of the Dead , the Book of the Gates and the Book of the Underworld.
 
 
Rameses IV 
 

Three white corridors descend to the sarcophagus chamber in this tomb . The chambers ceilings depict the goddess Nut. The lid of the pink granite sarcophagus is decorated with Isis and Nephthys , which were meant to serve as guardians over the body. Their duties fell short, however, as the tomb was robbed in ancient times. Originally the priests placed the sarcophagus in Amenhotep II 's tomb in order to hide the body, which was a common practice .
 
 
Ramesses IX 
 
Two sets of steps lead down to the tomb door that is decorated with the Pharaoh worshipping the solar disc. Isis and Nephthys stand behind him on either side. Three corridors lead into an antechamber that opens into a pillared hall. The passage beyond that leads to the sarcophagus chamber.
 
 
Merneptah 
 

The steep descent into the tomb is typical of the designs of the XIX Dynasty. The entrance is decorated with Isis and Nephthys worshipping the solar disc. Text from the Book of the Gates lines the corridors. The outer granite lid of the sarcophagus is located in the antechamber, while the lid of the inner sarcophagus is located down more steps in the pillared hall. Carved on the pink granite lid is the figure of Merneptah as Osiris .
 
Ramesses VI 
 
Originally built for Ramesses V this tomb has three chambers and a 4th pillared chamber was added by Ramesses VI. Complete texts of the Book of the Gates , the Book of Caverns and the Book of Day and Night line the chambers. Portions of the Book of the Dead are located in the pillared chamber, along with scenes of the sky goddess, Nut .
 

Ramesses III 
 

The tomb is sometimes referred to as the "Harpers Tomb" due to the two harpers playing to the gods in four of the chambers. Ten small chambers branch off of the main corridors. These were for the placement of tomb furniture. 
 

Seti I
 
The longest tomb in the valley, 100m, contains very well preserved relieves in all of its eleven chambers and side rooms. One of the back chambers is decorated with the Ritual of the Opening of the Mouth , which stated that the mummy's eating and drinking organs were properly functioning. Believing in the need for these functions in the afterlife, this was a very important ritual. The sarcophagus is now in the Sir John Soane Museum , London .
 

Tuthmosis III
 

The approach to this unusual tomb is an ascent up wooden steps, crossing over a pit, and then a steep descent down into the tomb. The pit was probably dug as a deterrent to tomb robbers. Two small chambers, decorated with stars and a larger vestibule are in front of the sarcophagus chamber, which is uniquely rounded and decorated with only red and black.
 
 
Amenhotep II
 
In this Tomb , a steep flight of stairs and a long unadorned corridor lead to the sarcophagus chamber. Three mummies, Tuthmosis IV, Amenhotep II III and Seti II, were found in one side room and nine mummies were found in another.
 
 
Horemheb 
 

This tomb's construction is identical to that of Seti's I with the exception of some of the inner decorations.
 
 
Tutankhamun
 
Though small and unimpressive, Tutankhamun 's Tomb is probably the most famous, due to its late discovery. Howard Carter 's description upon opening the tomb in 1922 was, "At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flames to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, "Yes, wonderful things."' The royal seal on the door was found intact. The first three chambers were unadorned, with evidence of early entrance through one of the outside walls. The next chamber contained most of the funerary objects. The sarcophagus was four gilded wooden shrines, one inside the other, within which lay the stone sarcophagus, three mummiform coffins, the inner one being solid gold, and then the mummy. Haste can be seen in the relieves and the sarcophagus, due to the fact that Tutankhamun died at only 19 years of age following a brief reign. Though extremely impressive to the modern world, the treasures of Tutankhamun must have paled when compared to the tombs of the great Pharaohs that ruled for many years during Egypt 's golden age.

El-Deir El-Bahari 
 

Hatshepsut is one of the more mysterious figures of ancient Egyptian history. Much is known of her reign as King, yet so many questions remain unanswered. Questions such as why late in the reign of her successor Tutmosis III , 40 years after her death, did he suddenly seem to embark on a campaign to erase her name and memory from the lists of Kings.

In any case, Hatshepsut has left a legacy of architectural and statuary elegance. Her temple built in the area of Thebes , at modern Deir El-Bahri, stands as a beautiful monument to her reign.

Lying directly across the Nile from the Great Temple of Amun at Karnak, the rock amphitheater of Deir el-Bahri provides a natural focal point of the west bank terrain and an inviting site for the temples of many rulers. The natural rock amphitheater, a deep bay in the cliffs, was an important religious and funerary site in the Theban area. The remains of the temples of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II , Hatshepsut, and Tutmosis III, as well as private tombs dating to those reigns and through to the Ptolemaic period can be found here. The most important private tombs at Deir el-Bahri are those of Meketra, which contain many painted wooden funerary models from the Middle Kingdom, and even the first recorded human-headed canopic jar , and the tomb of Senenmut, Hatshepsut's adviser and tutor to her daughter..

An 11 th Dynasty shaft tomb at the southern end contained a cache of forty royal mummies from the Valley of the Kings . The bodies had been re-interred there by 21st Dynasty priests, probably to safeguard against further attempts at robbery. The cache included the mummies of King Seqenenre Taa II , Ahmose I , Amenhotep I , Tutmosis I , II and III , Seti I and Ramesses II , III , and IX , Pinudgjem I and II and Siamun . Later on, a cache of 153 reburied mummies of the priests themselves were also found in a tomb here.

The first monarch to build here was the Middle Kingdom ruler Nebhepetre Mentuhotep, whose temple became a template for similar later structures such as the much larger mortuary temple of Hatshepsut . 

Temple of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep
 
 
Nebhepetre Mentuhotep was the first ruler of the 11 th Dynasty in the Middle Kingdom, and is often listed as I or II on modern dynastic king-lists. The Theban kings of the family Inyotef came to power as Egypt was once again unified after the First Intermediate Period. The Inyotef Kings have left almost no remains of temples associated with their cults. Nebhepetre continued his predecessors' practice of combining cult structures with tomb.

The temple is called Akh Sut Nebhepetra , "Splendid are the places of Nehepetre". It was the first to be built in the great bay of Deir el-Bahri, just south of the tombs of his ancestors. The temple was discovered in the 1860's and was excavated after the turn of the century. It continued to be studied later on.

The temple is smaller and not so well-preserved as is the later temple built by Hatshepsut. Unlike the later mortuary temples it also functioned as a tomb, and differed from them in its multi-level construction and plan. A processional causeway led up from a small valley temple to a great tree-lined court beneath which a deep shaft was cut. This shaft led to unfinished rooms believed to have originally been intended as the king's tomb. Howard Carter found a wrapped statue of the king there.

The front part of the temple was made of limestone and was dedicated to Montu-Ra, local deity of Thebes before Amun. The rear of the temple was made of sandstone and was the cult center for the king.

The sides of the ramp leading to the upper terrace were colonnaded, and the upper terrace itself was given a colonnade on three sides. Octagonal columns surround a large squire structure, a funerary chapel. The enclosure also contained six chapels and shaft tombs for his wives and family members.

The inner part of the temple consists of a columned courtyard, beneath which the entrance to the king was's tomb cut into the rock. At the level of the terrace, the hypostyle hall contained the sanctuary of the royal cult. A statue of the king stood in the niche carved into the rock face.
 
 
Temple of Tutmosis III 
 

Tutmosis III , the successor to Hatshepsut, built a temple complex here. It was only discovered in 1961, when restoration and cleaning work between the monuments of Mentuhotep and Hatshepsut was underway. The complex, perched on the rising rock of the cliffs, was built to Amun , as was a chapel to Hathor . The structure was probably intended to receive the barque of Amun during the Feast of the Valley , and thus would have replaced the temple of Hatshepsut .

After a landslide seriously damaged the temple at the end of the 20 th Dynasty, it was apparently abandoned. It then became a quarry, and later, a cemetery for the nearby Coptic monastery.
 

Temple of Hatshepsut 
 
The temple of Hatshepsut is the best-preserved of the three complexes. Called by the people Djeser-djeseru, "sacred of sacreds", Hatshepsut's terraced and rock-cut temple is one of the most impressive monuments of the west bank.

Situated directly against the rock face of Deir el-Bahri's great rock bay, the temple not only echoed the lines of the surrounding cliffs in its design, but it seems a natural extension of the rock faces.

The temple was little more than a ruin when first excavated in 1891, but it has led to a great deal of successful reconstruction. The temple took 15 years to build and was modified throughout that time. The approach to the temple was along a 121-foot wide, causeway, sphinx-lined, that led from the valley to the pylons. These pylons have now disappeared 

 
It consisted of three broad courts separated by colonnades, probably imitating the earlier funerary complex of Mentuhotep to its south. These terraces were linked by ascending ramps, and bounded by dressed limestone walls. Hatshepsut recorded that she built the temple as "a garden for my father Amun," and the first court once held exotic trees and shrubs brought from Punt .

Its portico was decorated on its northern side with scenes of the marshes of Lower Egypt , and on the south side, with scenes depicting the quarrying and transportation of the great obelisks in Upper Egypt . The portico on the second court was carved on its southern side with relief scenes of the exploits of her soldiers on the famous trading mission to Punt, and on the north side of this portico are depicted the birth scenes showing Hatshepsut's divine conception as daughter of Amun himself.

The site of Deir El-Bahri was traditionally connected with the goddess Hathor , chief deity of the Theban necropolis, and long sacred to the goddess. At the southern end of the second colonnade is a complete Hathor chapel, originally with its own entrance. The chapel contains a vestibule with the characteristic Hathor-headed pillars, a 12-columned hypostyle hall and inner rooms also decorated with various scenes of Hatshepsut and Hathor. At the northern end of the same colonnade is a somewhat smaller chapel of Anubis , again with a 12-columned hall and inner rooms.

The upper terrace had an entrance portico decorated with Osiride statues of the female king, that is, statues of Hatshepsut sculpted to appear as the god Osiris, before each pillar, though most of these statues have been destroyed. The portico opened to a columned court flanked on the left with a chapel dedicated to the royal cult, and on the right by a chapel of the solar cult, with open court and altar.

Eighteen cult niches, nine on each side, flank the rock sanctuary of Amun, which was the focus of the entire complex. During the Amarna period, many of the images of Amun were destroyed

During the Ptolemaic time the sanctuary was expanded to include the cults of architects Amenhotep son of Hapu, who oversaw works for Amenhotep III , and Imhotep , who designed the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara . In the 7 th century ACE, the temple area became the site of a Coptic monastery, from which the Arabic name Deir el-Bahri is derived.

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