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Karnak Temple

Work begins at the Mut Temple again tomorrow, but Jay and Elaine spend their Friday off visiting Karnak Temple, one of Egypt’s most famous monuments. The temple is huge, as pharaoh after pharaoh added to the constructions of their predecessors. Here you can see the temple from behind its own sacred lake.

Karnak Temple wall

Elaine is dwarfed by the huge exterior wall of the temple. Pharaoh is shown on the wall relief in a typical temple pose, smiting his enemies.

Relief at Karnak Temple

Elaine attended a lecture in Cairo a few weeks ago given by Dr. Peter Brand of the University of Memphis, who spoke about the very relief she now stands before. One of the most exciting parts about working in Egypt is viewing the art works often discussed in books and lectures.

Elaine at Karnak Temple   Relief at Karnak Temple

Elaine mimics the position of the bound foreign prisoners on the famous gate of Pharaoh Sheshonq. Each bound prisoner has the name of the town he represents encircled by a jagged line representing that city’s fortifications. Scholars have attempted to match the names of these places with actual ancient towns, and even recreate the military campaign of the king.

Interior roof of Festival Hall of Thuthmosis III   Detail from interior roof of Festival Hall of Thuthmosis III

Despite thousands of years, the beautiful painted colors of the interior roof of the “festival hall” of Tuthmosis III still remain. You can even see the stars in the night sky.

Festival Hall of Tuthmosis III

Even on her sixth trip to Luxor, Elaine is amazed by this monument.

Reliefs of obelisks

Jay captures a gorgeous relief of two inscribed obelisks, merely a few steps away from the actual ones erected in the temple.


Even the hieroglyphs were carved as works of art in Karnak Temple. As the physical house of the god, everything needed to be perfect and eternal.

Hatshepsut's Red Chapel

Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s “Red Chapel” has been reconstructed in the Open Air Museum at Karnak. The contrasting red and grey granite makes for a stunning building.

Jay at Karnak

Finally! A shot of Jay (our photographer) at the ram-headed sphinx alley way leading up to the temple’s entrance pylon. Thanks for documenting our day!

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