Thebes in Egypt

Wednesday, 12 October 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome (Sceptre nome) and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city during many periods of ancient Egyptian history. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found. In 1979, the ruins of ancient Thebes were classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Thebes was located along the banks of the Nile River in the middle part of Upper Egypt about 800 km south of the Delta. It was built largely on the alluvial plains of the Nile Valley which follows a great bend of the Nile. As a natural consequence, the city was laid in a northeast-southwest axis parallel to the contemporary river channel. Thebes had an area of 93 km² (36 sq mi) which included parts of the Theban Hills in the west that culminates at the sacred 420-meter (1,378-foot) al-Qurn. In the east lies the mountainous Eastern Desert with its wadis draining into the valley. Significant among these wadis is Wadi Hammamat near Thebes. It was used as an overland trade route going to the Red Sea coast. Nearby towns in the fourth Upper Egyptian nome were Per-Hathor, Madu, Djerty, Iuny, Sumenu and Imiotru.

The archaeological remains of Thebes offer a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height. The Greek poet Homer extolled the wealth of Thebes in the Iliad, Book 9 (c. 8th Century BC): “… in Egyptian Thebes the heaps of precious ingots gleam, the hundred-gated Thebes.”

More than sixty annual festivals were celebrated in Thebes. The major festivals among these, according to the Edfu Geographical Text, were: the Beautiful Feast of Opet, the Khoiak (Festival), Festival of I Shemu, and Festival of II Shemu. Another popular festivity was the halloween-like Beautiful Festival of the Valley.

Thebes Necropolis © Steve F-E-Cameron/cc-by-3.0

Thebes Necropolis © Steve F-E-Cameron/cc-by-3.0

Eastern Thebes:

  • Ancient built-up area
  • Great Temple of Amun at Karnak (Ancient Egyptian Ta-opet). Still the second largest religious building ever built, it is the main house of worship for Amun, Thebes’ patron deity, and the residence of the powerful Amun priesthood. What differentiated it from the many temples of Egypt is the length of time it was built over (more than 2,000 years, starting in the Middle Kingdom). The main features of this temple are its ten large pylons, the Great Hypostyle Hall, a sacred lake, sub-temples, numerous shrines and multiple obelisks. It was the most important temple for a majority of Ancient Egyptian history.
  • Luxor Temple (Ipet resyt). Unlike the other temples in Thebes, it is not dedicated to a cult god or a deified version of the king in death. Instead, it is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship; it may have been where many of the pharaohs of Egypt were crowned. It is a centerpiece of the “Opet Festival”, where the sacred barque of the Theban Triad travels from Karnak to Luxor temple highlighting the godly significance of the pharaoh’s re-coronation.
  • Temple of Khonsu
  • Precinct of Mut
  • Precinct of Montu
  • Avenue of Sphinxes

Western Thebes:

The two great templesLuxor Temple and Karnak—and the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are among the greatest achievements of ancient Egypt. From 25 October 2018 to 27 January 2019, the Museum of Grenoble organized with the support of the Louvre and the British Museum, a three-month exhibition on the city of Thebes and the role of women in the city at that time.

Read more on EgyptToursPlus.com – Thebes Egypt – The Majestic Capital Of Ancient Egypt, UNESCO.org – Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis, Wikivoyage East Bank of Luxor, Wikivoyage West Bank of Luxor and Wikipedia Thebes (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Technion in Haifa

Technion in Haifa

[caption id="attachment_236671" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Aerospace Faculty © first_div[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is a public research university located in Haifa, Israel. Established in 1912 under the dominion of the Ottoman Empire, the Technion is the oldest university in the country. The Technion is ranked as one of the top universities in both Israel and the Middle East, and in the world's top 100 universities in the 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities. ...

[ read more ]

GEOMAR in Kiel

GEOMAR in Kiel

[caption id="attachment_220172" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Andreas Villwock/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), former Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (German: Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften, IFM-GEOMAR), is a research institute in Kiel, Germany. It was formed in 2004 by merging the Institute for Marine Science (Institut für Meereskunde Kiel, (IFM)) with the Research Center for Marine Geosciences (GEOMAR) and is co-funded by both federa...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Belgium - Ypres in West Flanders

Theme Week Belgium - Ypres in West Flanders

[caption id="attachment_159809" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Grote Markt, the market square © Tony Grist[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ypres is a Belgian municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. Though Ieper is the Dutch and only official name, the city's French name, Ypres, is most commonly used in English due to its role in World War I when only French was in official use in Belgian documents, including on maps. The municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Brielen, Dikkebus,...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Queensland - The Great Barrier Reef

Theme Week Queensland - The Great Barrier Reef

[caption id="attachment_24332" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Coral Outcrop © Toby Hudson/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's bigg...

[ read more ]

European Heritage Label

European Heritage Label

[caption id="attachment_233989" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Andrijana F/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The European Heritage Label is a recognition awarded by the European Union to buildings, documents, museums, archives, monuments or events which are seen as milestones in the creation of today's Europe. The program is managed by the European Commission. The European Heritage Label started as an intergovernmental initiative between 17 individual EU member states during a meeting in Granada, Spain on 28 Ap...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Alentejo - Beja

Theme Week Alentejo - Beja

[caption id="attachment_233255" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Castelo de Beja © Concierge.2C/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Beja is a city and a municipality in the Alentejo region, Portugal. The population in 2011 was 35,854, in an area of 1,146.44 km² (442.64 sq mi). The city proper had a population of 21,658 in 2001. The municipality is the capital of the Beja District. The municipal holiday is Ascension Day. The Portuguese Air Force has an airbase in the area – the Air Base No. 11. The Castle of Beja o...

[ read more ]

La Réunion in the Indian Ocean

La Réunion in the Indian Ocean

[caption id="attachment_160973" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Saint-Denis © B.navez/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Réunion (previously Île Bourbon and Île Bonaparte) is a French island with a population of 84,000 inhabitants. The island is located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island. Réunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues form the Mascarene Islands. The collective title is derived from the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas, who first vis...

[ read more ]

Portrait: Alexei Navalny, opposition leader, lawyer, documentary filmmaker, anti-corruption activist and political prisoner murdered by the fascist Putin regime

Portrait: Alexei Navalny, opposition leader, lawyer, documentary filmmaker, anti-corruption activist and political prisoner murdered by the fascist Putin regime

[caption id="attachment_240121" align="aligncenter" width="590"] in 2020 © flickr.com - Michal Siergiejevicz/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Alexei Anatolyevich Navalny was a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption activist, and political prisoner. He organised anti-government demonstrations and ran for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, and against President Vladimir Putin and his government. Navalny was a Russian Opposition Coordination Council member. He was the leader of the Russia of th...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Italian Riviera - Portofino

Theme Week Italian Riviera - Portofino

[caption id="attachment_160840" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Portofino Panorama © Andi Buchner[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Portofino is a small Italian fishing village, comune and tourist resort located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbour, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast. Other nearby beaches include Camogli, Chiavari, Lavagna, and Sestri Levante. Portofino has inspired a re-creation of the sea side town around the h...

[ read more ]

Mardin in Turkey

Mardin in Turkey

[caption id="attachment_233358" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © panoramio.com - Ben Bender/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Mardin is a city and seat of the Artuklu District of Mardin Province in Turkey. It is known for the Artuqid architecture of its old city, and for its strategic location on a rocky hill near the Tigris River. The old town of the city is under the protection of UNESCO, which forbids new constructions to preserve its façade. The city had a population of 129,864 in 2021. The city is located n...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
LGBTQ Pride Flag Market Street and the Castro © flickr.com - tedeytan/cc-by-sa-2.0
The Castro in San Francisco

The Castro District, commonly referred to as the Castro, is a neighborhood in Eureka Valley in San Francisco. The Castro...

© Giovanni Dall'Orto
Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan

Santa Maria delle Grazie ("Holy Mary of Grace") is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy, and a...

Malaga Cove © Cardinalngold
Palos Verdes Estates in California

Palos Verdes Estates (Palos Verdes, Spanish for "Green Sticks") is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated...

Schließen