Monday, July 13, 2015

Karnak Temple Complex

The origins of Karnak lay at beginning of the Middle Kingdom around 2000 BC with the creation of a modest shrine to Amen-Re. Karnak was a magnificent complex, containing about five temples.

The development of the temple of Amen-Re at Karnak can only be understood as a function of its extraordinary religious significance for the ancient Egyptians.

During the 18th Dynasty (1550-1075 BC)), the period of Egyptian imperial expansion, warrior kings came to Karnak to beg victory from the hands do Amen-Re. Later in thanks for their success, they poured booty plundered from foreign lands into the coffers at the Karnak temple.

Successive kings added to the temple building complex for more than 500 years, until eventually Karnak became so rich and reached gigantic size.

Ramses II (19th Dynasty) also contributed sections, and other pharaohs added chapels to the complex as late as the 26th Dynasty. Enclosing the 247 acre complex and shutting it off from the outside world was a perimeter wall 39 feet high and 26 feet thick.

Having vanished from memory, its true scientific rediscovery would not come until Napoleon’s expedition in 1799.
Karnak Temple Complex

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