The ancient Egyptians were a polytheistic culture like most ancient cultures and one way that they revered and honored these deities was by worshipping them at their historical temples. During the New Kingdom Era within Egypt, Pharaohs Tuthmosis, Amenhotep and Rameses had expanded the temple complex at Luxor and Karnak. Rameses is supposed to have been the greatest pharaoh of all the Egyptian dynasties and his expansion efforts on the temples were supposed to have been the best. People within ancient Egypt worshiped their gods at both of these complexes. Karnak was located at Thebes, and this ancient city was once a very important part of the Egyptian kingdom. The reference to the temples at Thebes is located on the Bible Timeline during the 12th century BC.
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Many people came from all over the kingdom to pay homage to gods such as Ra, Amun, Mut, and Montu. In ancient times, Thebes was also considered the city of Amon. Ipet-isut was the area of Karnak that was first developed for worship and their area was also called the Temple of Amon Ra. In time, the complex was expanded to contain four more sections. The Precinct of Mut, the Precinct of Montu and the Temple of Amenhotep. Other temples were also included in the complex that was built for the goddesses and sanctuaries were built around the four walls of the complex.
The temples of Luxor were also located inside of ancient Thebes, and they too had temples that were designed to worship the many gods that were a part of the Egyptian’s lives. The two temple areas at Thebes were an extremely important part of a pharaoh’s rule. People viewed the pharaoh as a living deity who was a connection with the ancient Gods. The Pharaoh had many priests that aided him in performing the ceremonies and giving worship to the gods.
The religious center at ancient Thebes was regarded as the most important center for worship during ancient times. According to historians and Egyptian scholars, this temple complex could be compared to the Catholic Church’s Vatican City. Many people from all over the Middle East and Mesopotamian region came far and wide to worship at and visit the temple complexes.
The temple complexes within Thebes were built over 3000 years. A pharaoh from each generation continued to build and increase the size of the temple areas during the time of their rule. Many of the pharaohs that added onto the temple also engraved images of themselves within the complexes. The temples were also used to record battle victories by Egyptian Pharaohs during their many battles. They also had many different pictures and hieroglyphs about their gods inscribed on the walls and surrounding structures. Massive temples were constructed for each god, and the most famous of these temples was Hypostyle Hall.
Most of the structures in the temple complexes are nothing more than remains. Many of them were destroyed by successive invasions by foreign powers throughout the history of Egypt. Modern day Luxor is now the site where the city once stood, and they are now used as a tourist attraction to generate income for modern day Egypt.
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