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Mary posing with The Sphinx and two of the three Pyramids at Giza, near Cairo. The pyramid on the right is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the largest in Egypt, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The other is the Khafre Pyramid.

There are over 90 known pyramids in Egypt.

In 1257 BC Pharaoh Ramses II (1279-13 BC) had two temples carved out of solid rock at a site on the west bank of the Nile south of Aswan and known today as Abu Simbel. The site had been sacred to Hathor of Absek long before Ramses II. The temple that Ramses built, however, was dedicated to the sun gods Amon-Re and Re-Horakhte. Because of their remote location near the Sudanese border in southern Egypt, the temples were unknown until their rediscovery in 1813.

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The ancient Egyptians believed that temples were the homes of the gods and goddesses.

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The 5th-dynasty
(c. 2465-c. 2325 BC) pyramids at Abu Sir were poorly constructed and are now in a state of disrepair. The adjoining mortuary temples are notable for their elaborate sculptured wall reliefs and columns in the forms of palm, lotus, and papyrus plants. Near their pyramids a number of the kings, including Userkaf and Neuserre, built sanctuaries with obelisks dedicated to Re, the sun god.

When the Great Pyramid was first built it was cased in white limestone and capped with a gilded capstone.

Temple Hathour at Dendera was first initiated by Ptolemy III with numerous additions by subsequent Roman Ptolemaic rulers. The Ptolemaic period (305 - 30 BC) refers to the period of time in which Egypt was ruled by a succession of fifteen Hellenistic rulers all sharing the name of Ptolemy. Many Egyptian temples, including those at Dendera, Edfu, Esna and Kom Ombo were either rebuilt, repaired or newly founded during this period.

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The oldest know pyramid still standing, the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, was built over 4,600 years ago.

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Inspired by a funerary temple of the Middle Kingdom built by King Mentuhotep (XIth dynasty), the architect of Queen Hatshepsut (XVIIIth dynasty), Senenmout, built one of the most beautiful monuments of ancient Egypt, the style of which was never repeated. It consists of a succession of terraces whose supporting walls are masked by long colonnades divided in the centre by monumental access ramps. On the second terrace a third portico gives entry to a courtyard leading to the sanctuary, which is cut out of the cliff.

Every temple was dedicated to a god or goddess and he or she was worshipped there by the temple priests and the pharaoh.

Dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god, the Temple of Horus was built during the reigns of six Ptolemies, begun in 237 BC by Ptolemy III Euergetes I and finished in 57 BC. This is not only the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but the second largest after Karnak. Current belief is that the original structure housing a statue of Horus on this site was a grass hut built in prehistoric times.

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It took 100,000 people working over a twenty year period to construct the Great Pyramid at Giza, the largest ever built.

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Rick, Mary, one of our guides, and Bonita at the Temple Horus. We are at the entrance to one of several Hypostyle Halls (a Greek term for a room or chamber that has many columns). This type of hall design became a common feature of Egyptian architecture.

A road of polished stones was built in order to slide the huge blocks to the site of the Great Pyramid. This road alone took ten years to build.

The Temple of Karnak is actually three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples. This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. The three main temples of Mut, Monthu and Amun are enclosed by enormous brick walls. The main complex, The Temple of Amun, is situated in the center of the entire complex. The Temple of Monthu is to the north of the Temple of Amun, while the Temple of Mut is to the south. These are the remains of the twelve columns which supported the 82 foot high ceiling of the great Hypostyle Hall.

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Orientation was very important to the Ancient Egyptians. The east signified rebirth while the west signified the empire of the dead.

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Temple Kom Ombo, dating to the Ptolemies, is built on a high dune overlooking the Nile. The actual temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor in the early second century BC. Ptolemy XIII built the outer and inner hypostyle halls. The outer enclosure wall and part of the court were built by Augustus sometime after 30 BC, and are mostly gone. There are also tombs from the Old Kingdom in the vicinity of Kom-Ombo village.

All of the pyramids were probably robbed of their treasures within a couple of hundred years of the burials. The only tombs to escape until modern times were those dug into rock, not placed in pyramids. They belonged to Tutankhamun and Queen Heterpheres.

Unique to Kom Ombo, everything is duplicated along the main axis. There are two entrances, two courts, two colonades, two hypostyle halls and two sanctuaries. There were probably even two sets of priests. Here Mary and Rick are standing in the left, or northern side, which is dedicated to Haroeris (sometimes called Harer, Horus the Elder) who was the falcon headed sky god and the right to Sobek (the corcodile headed god).

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Beneath the rubble of five progressively younger temples at Tell Ibrahim Awad in the eastern Nile Delta are ruins of the oldest-known temple in Egypt which dates back to 3,400 BC.

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Kom Ombo is actually two temples consisting of a Temple to Sobek and a Temple of Haroeris. In ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the river bank near the top of the photo. The Temple has scant remains, due first to the changing Nile, then the Copts who once used it as a church, and finally by builders who used the stones for new buildings.

One of the most mysterious places in ancient Egypt was the inside of a temple. Temples were the homes of the gods and goddesses and very few people were allowed to see the inside.

Many festivals were celebrated in Thebes. The Temple of Luxor was the center of the most important one, the festival of Opet. Built largely by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, it appears that the temple's purpose was for a suitable setting for the rituals of the festival. The festival itself was to reconcile the human aspect of the ruler with the divine office. During the rituals the king and his ka (the divine essence of each king, created at his birth) were merged, the king being transformed into a divine being. The crowd outside, anxiously awaiting the transformed king, would cheer wildly at his re-emergence. This solidified the ritual and made the king a god.

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The Egyptians mummified more than their pharaohs. They also mummified the Pharaoh's pets and buried them in the pyramids to keep the dead kings company.

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Across the Great Court of the Pyramid Complex of Djoser at Saqqara stands the Step Pyramid, the only pyramid of this type completed. This complex represents the first major work in stone, making this one of the oldest of over 90 pyramids in Egypt. It was constructed during the reign of King Djoser (2630 BC-2611 BC), the second king of the 3rd Dynasty.

The first tombs of the pharaohs were large, unimpressive, bunkers called mastabas. They were made from sun dried mud brick and most have long since crumbled to dust.

East end of the Valley of the Kings near where Tutankhamun's Tomb is located. Beginning with the 18th Dynasty and ending with the 20th, the kings abandoned the Memphis area and built their tombs in Thebes. Also abandoned were the pyramid style tombs. Most of the tombs were cut into the limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed.

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Here Are More pages with images of Egypt!

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