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Friday, June 29, 2007

violaine and Jim on the boat trip to the west bank.
It’s Friday, and most of us are taking a trip to the west bank of Luxor to visit a couple of spots. It’s a treat to live in Luxor over time because you can visit the monuments at a slow enough pace for them to each have a special impact for you. As we start out on the ferry ride, Jim and Violaine chat with Jessica, and a few minutes later Salima and Violaine begin to joke around. The two of them are off to Malkata, the mud brick palace of Amenhotep III located to the south of the temple of Medinet Habu.
Sarah on the boat to the west bank.
Salima and Violaine on the boat.



Funerary temple of Seti I at Qurna.
Betsy, Adam, Sarah and Jim walking on the temple grounds.

The rest of us take off to the funerary temple of Seti I at Qurna. It’s a lovely spot beautifully restored by the German mission that excavated it. A feeling of the whole environment has been retained by the preservation of the mud brick storage buildings and the support areas to the temple, as well as the palace located outside the temple proper. The style of the building is reminiscent of Seti’s Abydos temple, being broad but not overwhelmingly monumental. The breadth accommodated a variety of functions within the temple, including the king’s funerary cult and also yearly festivals, such as the Beautiful Feast of the Valley.



Betsy and Jim in the temple entrance hall.
Adam reading a guide book.

We all develop our own ways of looking. Betsy and Jim stand in the graceful entrance hall of the temple while discussing a bit of the temple’s design before separating to look on their own. Adam has brought along his guide book (Kent Weeks) and reads about what he may see here, while Jessica heads into a side room to look.



Jim looking at the monument.

It’s all about spending time with the monuments, and Jay caught this great silhouette of Jim as he was doing just that.



Adam climbs the ramp to get view from above.

Adam went up on the very helpful mud brick ramp built around the rear of the building by the German mission as a means of visiting things and seeing them from above. Among the many things he might see is this wall in the court to the north of Seti’s central rooms. Ramesses II, the son of Seti I, was included in the earlier design of the building and was shown on the south end of the temple celebrating his father’s divinity and his own coronation. Here, however, he just takes over the temple decoration and Seti is but an unnamed memory. If you visit Abydos temple you have the same impression. Ramesses II added his own pillared hall decoration and exterior relief in front of Seti’s elegant monument.

Wall in the court.



Visiting Ahmed Suleiman.
We visited two other fine places – the tombs of Roy and Shuroy at Dra Abu el-Naga and the temple of Merneptah, and then it was time to head for a friendly space to relax. So we visited my good friend Ahmed Suleiman’s hotel, Amon al Gazira. Sitting in his “tropical garden” in the heat of the day, we were happy and refreshed. Jessica sips a fresh lemon, and Betsy hears the latest family news from Ahmed (his daughter Manal is expecting her second child).
Sarah sips a cool drink.
Ahmed Suleiman.



Pidgeons in the garden.

Could not resist this one. Jay snapped these pigeons in the trees in Ahmed’s garden. This is more a painting than a photograph. Just exquisite!



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