The Same But Different
Nothing says power, superiority, importance, command like size. The bigger, the better when it comes to religion, government, or a combination of the two. Ancient Egypt was one of the first civilizations to demonstration the power represented in size.
One of the things that surprised me most in Egypt was how quiet the Nile River is. Few if any motors or engines, puffed sails, and the countryside passing by while sailing. This shot was taken from my balcony of our small cruise ship while we were docked at Luxor. When I need to go to a calm place, I think about the river.
An avenue of sandstone sphinxes stretches over 1.5 miles from the Temple of Luxor to the Temple of Karnak. At one time, over 1300 statues lined the road, which was used annually for the Opet Festival honoring the ancient Egyptian god Amun, his wife Mut, and their son Khonsu. The the sacred pathway was used as early as the 15th century BCE. The pharaoh Nectenabo I (380-362 BCE) built the existing avenue and lined it with sphinxes bearing his name. Most of the sphinxes have human heads, but some earlier statues near Karnak have rams heads. In 2004, the Egyptian government began a massive excavation and restoration project to restore the road and its sphinxes, many of which had deteriorated, been buried in the sand, or used for other projects by the Romans and others. Large sections of the avenue linking the two temples have been completed.
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The Temple of Isis is one of the structures in the original Temple of Philae. Submerged after the construction of the first Aswan dam in 1902, the Temple of Philae was salvaged in the 1970s, following completion of the Aswan High Dam. The temple compound was drained, dismantled and reconstructed on a new island (Agilkia) in a reservoir of the Aswan low dam. While not on Lake Nasser, Philae is considered a major success as part of the rescue of Nubian monuments and sites. Philae was said to have been one of Egypt’s most beautiful temples. It drew visitors well into the 20th century, even after parts were flooded. Unfortunately, submersion in water and river silt has removed the painted surfaces.
The relief carvings of gods/godesses and pharaohs were deface during the period Philae was converted to a Christian church.
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