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PLEASE create your visit log in English.
Karnak Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile 3 km north of the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes) within the Nile valley. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders.
Concern has long been expressed that ancient Egyptian temples alongside the Nile deteriorate with time. Deteriorations were usually associated with annual inundations. When flood waters receded, salt deposits attacked the porous sandstone, reducing it to sand, and thus destroying the foundations.
Stone work at the temple of Karnak has been increasingly harmed by groundwater and invasive moisture. Salt accumulation and degradation of the surface of stone architecture and monuments unfortunately occur along the lower courses and foundations of walls (temple of Ramses III at Karnak north exterior wall).
Water is and was part of temple precincts as each would have a well, sacred lake and often a stepped Nilometer with which to record the height of the Nile. Water was vital to ceremonies and the Nile water was sacred and its floodwaters issued the New Year. As temples were built often in the Nile's floodplain, sacred lakes as basins for water and rituals served as Nilometers as well. These pools have long been stagnant and harbour biochemical problems, which has enhanced the effect of the stone degradation.
The River Nile originates to the south of Egypt: the Nile proper begins in the Sudan, near the city of Khartoum. It is the result of the joining of three rivers. The White Nile emerges from Lake Victoria in Uganda. The Blue Nile receives most of its water from Lake Tana in Ethiopia, and it, along with the Atbara which is the third river, is filled is silt and vegetation from the monsoons that cover the region every summer. Because of the increased precipitation every summer, the Nile regularly overflows it's banks, and completely covers its floodplain, depositing a layer of rich fertile alluvium. The flooding and the layer of silt and vegetation that it provides allows for agriculture in the middle of a land that would otherwise be desert.
The Nile River Valley provided all that the Egyptians needed to survive and then some. There are local sources of alabaster, copper, natron, granite, and limestone, just to name a few of the natural resources that were exploited by the Ancient Egyptians. One foreign ruler once remarked that gold in Egypt was like the sands of the desert, it was so plentiful.
If you are staying in Luxor for more than a day it is well worth seeing the temple at night when it is lit up as well as during the day when you can see more of the fantastic art work. The sound and light show here although not as exciting as the one in Cairo or Abel Simbel may well provide you with that missing piece if information you did not hear your tour guide tell you!
To complete this cache have your photo taken at the scarab stone preferably with your GPS and email me the answers to the following quiz questions:
1. What is the type of rock which dominates the valley structure in this area ?
2. At the 7th ram in the avenue from Luxor, what is the 1st symbol on the 3rd row of the stele?
3. At the first Pylon, what is the ramp built out of at the main gate?
4. All that’s left outside the chapel of his name!! What colour are the feet of Ramesses III and what rock are they made from?
5. At the base of Ramesses II statue by his chapel, what has been done to the Ashanti prisoners?
6. Who is standing at the side of his throne?
7. Which crown is Hatshepsut wearing on the obelisk point on its side by the sacred lake?
8. How many times round the scarab stone?
9. Who was Ahhotep I ?
Best of all enjoy yourself finding out about these clues!
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum