The Necropolis of Thebes

Luxor, Upper Egypt

From Valley of the Kings

Egyptians believed that the world emerged from water, and if the balance of good and evil was not maintained, it would drown in water again. A warning for these times of rising oceans, they might say. They believed that when the sun set, it crossed that vast primordial ocean and rose in the Land of the Dead to light their day. Then it set there, crossed the vast ocean again, and rose here in the land of the living. Thus ancient Egyptians tended to live on the East Bank of the Nile, closer to the rising sun, and buried their dead on the West Bank, closer to the setting sun and the journey into eternity. Today we crossed over the river to the West Bank to see some of the funerary complexes of the Necropolis, or City of the Dead.

From Valley of the Kings

Colossi of Memnon
They’re not Memnon. They represent the Pharaoh Amonhotep III who built a now destroyed temple that once stood at their backs, but the Greeks later named them after Memnon, an Ethiopian king who was a hero at Troy.

From Valley of the Kings

The Temple of Hatshetsup
Egypt’s most successful female pharaoh, she ruled for 22 years, won many military campaigns, and built many monuments. This one has a Temple of Hathor, goddess of beauty, on the left. On the right wing is the Temple of Anubis. The center right gallery is the “Birthing Room,” telling the story of how Hatshetsup’s mother made a deal with the Sun God Amon to bear a pharaoh, thus rendering Hatshetsup divine. (It helps one’s legitimacy as pharaoh!) The center left gallery tells of Hatshetsup’s campaign to conquer the land of Punt, which was probably in Somalia judging by its depictions in the temple.

From Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings
Sadly, they have now banned cameras in this valley altogether, not just in the tombs, so I can only leave you with the Internet for visual interest!

And then we loosed our moorings and set off upstream! I put together this little video to show you a few of my pictures, and a little stop-motion capture of the locks we passed through at Esna, because I thought my father would especially appreciate that (both the locks and the stop-motion cinematography!)

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