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Photographer's Note

This is the mortuary temple of pharaoh Ramesses III. Built during the reign of Ramesses III (between 1182-1151 BC) the temple is the best preserved of all mortuary temples of west Thebes. Most kings who reigned during 18, 19 and 20 dynasties usually built a mortuary temple at west Thebes in order to mantain the cult of the dead king and at the same time sustain the dead king in his after life in the underworld. This kind of temples were dedicated also to mantain the cult of the state god Amun. During the time of Ramesses III the temple complex functioned as the administrative centre of western Thebes, as the place for some religious festivals and some century later due to its high and thick brick walls as a great fortified complex where many inhabitants of the area took refuge during civil unrest. During the Christian era the whole area was covered by a coptic town called Djeme. The temple was called by the ancient egyptians "United with Eternity in the Possession of Amun in Western Thebes". Today the place is called in arabic "Medinet Habu" which means "The City of Habu".
The picture shows part of the second court of the temple. In the centre of the picture, attached to the pillars are the enlarged statues of the king as the god of the dead Osiris. These statues were hacked away by early Christians when the court was converted into a Christian church. At the right you can se a glimse of a column on which the ibis headed Thoth the god of wisdom and healing is depicted giving the king many years and festivals on the throne of Egypt.

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Additional Photos by Christian Stocker (ChristianS) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 968 W: 60 N: 809] (2997)
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