A Photo A Week: Lights At Night

Temple Night Lights

Interior Rooms, Temple of Luxor, Luxor, Egypt

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Favorite Places

Variations on a Theme: Places

This week’s WordPress challenge asks us to identify a favorite place to which we return when we can. Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge, at Dutch Goes the Photo, also wants us to identify favorite places. I don’t have a specific favorite place I can select.  I have moved around the US during my working career, and I don’t return to many of the places I visit when I travel. So I have selected some of my favorite buildings and monuments to which I would return if I could. Architecture does speak to me.

Join WPC: Favorite Place

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Color Your World 2018: 120 Days of Crayola – Outer Space

Outer Space Pharaoh

Ancient Egyptian King Mentuhotep II, who initiated the Middle Kingdom when he reunified upper and lower Egypt. He ruled from c. 2061–2010 BCE. Mentuhotep is said to be one of the first pharaohs deified while still living. The dark color of his skin and the crossed arms are references to Horus, the Egyptian god of death, fertility and resurrection.  The painted sandstone statue is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt.

Join Jennifer’s Color Your World 2018: 120 Days of Crayola, a 4 month (January 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018) blogging challenge event. Each day has a new color theme based on a past or current crayon color in Crayola’s box of 120 crayons.

CFFC: Must have the Letter Q

Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut


Queen Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. Born in 1507 BCE, she came to the throne in 1478 BCE on the death of her husband Thutmose II. She was in fact only acting as regent on behalf of her infant stepson Thutmose III. Within seven years, however, she took full power, assumed the title of pharaoh and became co-ruler.  To cement her authority as pharaoh, she ordered that she be depicted as a male in all likenesses, with the ruddy skin and false beard of male pharaohs. With the massive treasury  gained from expanded trade routes, she build vast monuments, including her mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri, near the entrance of what became the Valley of the Kings. The statues on the third level of the temple show Hatshepsut in the guise of a male pharaoh. She governed for about 22 years and is the second historically confirmed female Egyptian pharaoh. After her death, Thutmose III and his son, Amenhotep II, erased her name from monuments and destroyed or defaced her images and statues. She is never mentioned by scribes in later records, and there is a gap in the list of kings for years she ruled. Hatshepsut disappeared into the detritus of history until after 1822, when hieroglyphics were deciphered following the discovery of the Rosetta stone  and scholars finally understand why a female name was combined with a male image.

Join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Letter Q

CB&WC: Fences and Gates

Gateway to the Gods

Pylon Gates, Temple at Luxor, Egypt

Founded about 1400 BC, the Luxor Temple complex overlooks the east bank of the Nile River. During the Middle Kingdom, beginning about 1990 BC, Thebes (Luxor) became the capital of Egypt. Luxor Temple is one of several temple and mortuary complexes in the area.  The complex is the work of several New Kingdom pharaohs:  Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC), Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC), Horemheb (1323-1295 BC) and Ramesses II (1279-13 BC). Ramesses (also known as Ramesses the Great) added the pylon gate and the huge statues of himself. One of an original pair of obelisk recording his deeds flanks the left side of the gate. The matching pink granite obelisk is in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. Over time, with the decline of the ancient Egyptian power, capture and ransacking by rival armies, and the growth of population, the temple complex became surround by and finally overtaken by the city of Luxor. Centuries of rubble, buildings, and sand buried three-quarters of the sandstone structures by the time excavations began in 1884. Conservation, excavations, and restoration continue. The middle statue of Ramesses II on the right has only recently been reassembled and placed in its original site.

Luxor Temple had been an active religious site for over 3,000 years. Theories differ on the original function of the temple. Originally it was thought to be  dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut and their son Khonsu. More recently, it has been suggested that the temple was a sanctuary dedicated to divine kingship. The focus may have changed over time. During the period of Roman rule, it was a center for the Roman emperor cult. Following the introduction of Christianity to Egypt in the first century AD, sections were used as a Christian church. Later, a 13th-century mosque was built inside the temple. When excavations and removal of buildings began, the mosque, which is still active, was preserved.

Join Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Fences and Gates 

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Build

The Great Pyramid

The entrance to the Great Pyramid, Giza, Egypt, 2580-2560 BC

The original entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza is on the north face, about 56 vertical feet above ground. Built by the 4th Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) between 2580-2560 BC, the Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex. It is also the oldest and only remaining  Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. For over 3,800 years it was the tallest man-made structure in the world at 146.5 metres (481 feet). The Great Pyramid consists of an estimated 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite weighing more than 5.5 million tons. Originally, the Great Pyramid was cased in polished white limestone that formed a smooth outer surface; little remains of the casing. Today, only the underlying stepped core can be seen.

Join Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Build

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