Nivi's Adventures

Friday, November 10, 2006

Valley of the Kings, Temple of Hatshepsut, Karnak Temple

At one point in Egypt's long history, the kings abandoned building tombs in the Memphis area and headed for Luxor/Thebes . They also gave up building the pyramid style tombs (like the Pyramids of Giza tombs), instead cutting their tombs into the limestone rock. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed.

Entry to the Valley of the Kings

This pic give you an idea of how deep underground the tomb of King Rameses I is

And an example of the intricate, coloured bas relief inside the tomb. Amazing how well preserved it is eh!?! Rameses I died in 1290BC - it's kinda hard to believe that this is more than 3000 years old


Hatshepsut was the only woman that ruled Egypt as a pharaoh, but this only happened through clever use of coalitions and marriage. She was the daughter of Tuthmosis 2, married Tuthmosis 3 and after his death she claimed effective power by marrying infant Tuthmosis 4. Grotty eh? Anyways it meant that she had a pretty big impressive temple built...

Looking up makes you better appreciate just how high these pylons are eh?

Hani showing us how they made the paint (well at least the red paint). Red rocks were crushed into powder to create the dye. It was then mixed with water or ummm was it egg whites... OK so I obviously didn't pay a huge amount of attention...


Karnak temple is not only the largest temple in Egypt, but also the largest religious site in the world. The whole complex is more than 800,000 sq m (200 acres) and the great temple at the heart of Karnak is so big that the St Peter's, Milan and Notre Dame Cathedrals would fit within it's walls...

The main pylon was never completely finished so this photo not only shows Ali's lovely haircut, but also how the pylons were constructed. You can see the mudbrick 'scaffolding' used, which was never cleared away as construction was halted in a hurry.

Much of Karnak was built on a large scale. Some of the columns were quite big and impressive, but our awesome tour guide really brought it home to us by getting us to see how many people would fit around it. He got us to hold hands in a ring around the column (with arms outstretched) and we needed 12 people to encircle the column! 12 people!!!

I can't remember where this was or the name of it, but it was the ruins of some statues, that were moved to this rather random location, basically next to the highway... Anyway, it's kinda impressively tall so I thought I'd stick it on the blog...


  • How deep was the relief Nivi?

    By Blogger Craig, at 10:58 AM  

  • Lol! It was DEEP man! Like so big I could fit my head in it! Anyone got a copy of that photo they can send me? It's quite hard to take a photo of yourself when your head is inside a wall... ;)

    By Blogger Nivi, at 1:48 PM  

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