Thebes and Karnak

During the Middle Kingdom, 2040 to 1783 BCE, when Thebes was the capital of Egypt, the supreme state deity of Re was merged with the ram headed local god Anum to become Anum-Re, king of gods. Karnak was the state temple where he lived with his wife Mut and their child Khonsu. Anum means "the hidden one" and was only seen by the general population during festivals. The temples with the massive columns and still visible paintings are unbelievable and must have been even more impressive when the complex was roofed and dimly lit. One of Queen Hatshepsut's obelisks is still standing and our guide told us since her son hated her because she kept him off of the throne and became pharaoh herself, he cut her name out of the obelisk. Queen Hatshepsut was smart though, she had the bottom of the obelisk covered, about six feet of it incased in a base so the bottom of the obelisk looked like it was situated on a granite slab when in fact it was six feet below the fake base. Not many years ago during restoration the bottom was uncovered and there were the hieroglyphs of her name and her rein! This obelisk is the tallest one in Egypt, erected in the 16th year of her reign and was carved from a single block of pink Aswan marble of the finest quality. It weight around 323 tons and was quarried, transported, and erected within a period of only seven months.

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