Ancient Egypt / Religion / Cult centres /
Ancient Egyptian: Djamet
Although "Medinet Habu" is the name of this area, it is almost always used as the only name of the mortuary temple of 20th Dynasty king, Ramses 3, from the 12th century BCE. The temple was dedicated to Amon.
According to ancient beliefs, this temple was the ground where the first primeval gods, the Ogdoad, were buried.
The temple is about 150 metre long, and has many structural similarities with the Ramesseum, the mortuary temple of Ramses 2 of the 19th Dynasty.
The temple is set inside a fortified enclosure, about 300 x 200 metres, with entrance towers, migdol, which were a copies of a Syrian-type fortress. This was the point were for the ceremonial quay, linking the temple with to the Nile by a canal.
The temple itself is set inside a structure on either side, with a palace on the southern side of 1st Pylon and several large magazines. The palace was decorated with glazed tiles which now are on exhibit in the National Museum in Cairo. In front of the temple itself, a few small temples were built long after Ramses 3.
The temple has a standard layout, with about half its length given to two open-air courts. And as always, the inner and most sacred section has numerous smaller rooms.
On the walls of the temple are interesting reliefs showing Libyans and the Sea People. There are also representations of religious festivals like Min and Sokar.
The temple was never finished, reflected in the unfinished columns on one side in the first court, the other side has colossus of Ramses 3 as Osiris.
Ramses called his temple, the "House of Million of Years."
Medinet Habu was the administrative centre of western Thebes for a long period of time.
The first temple structure at the site was small and built by the command of Queen Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis 3 in the 15th century.
The Copts turned part of the temple into a church. The Osiride statues in the second court were hacked away by Christians, when a Coptic church was established right in this room.
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