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rounded by naked women, who play tambourines, and bring him fruit and flowers, and play draughts with him.
The Great Temple of Rameses III. is one of the most interesting of the funerary chapels on the western bank of the Nile at Thebes, and was built by this king to his own memory; its length is nearly 500 feet, and its width about 160 feet. The upper parts of the towers of the first pylon have neither texts nor sculptures, but the lower parts have both. The reliefs on both sides of the doorways are, substantially, the same.
Here we see Rameses III. clubbing a number of representatives of vanquished peoples, and near these are 86 captives with their names enclosed within ovals upon their bodies. It is clear from some of the names that the peoples here represented lived in Syria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, and parts of Africa. Here also is the god Thoth, who inscribes the king's name upon the leaves of a tree, probably a kind of celestial acacia, for the cult of which the neighbourhood was famous ; and close by are Åmen, Mut, and Khonsu, before whom the king kneels. The text on the north side is a poetical description of the king's conquest of the Libyans. To the right of one of the flag-pole channels, on the south side, is a stele, dated in the 12th year of the king, in which his benefactions to the temples are extolled, and a speech of the god Ptaḥ is reported.
The door leading to the First Court is decorated with reliefs in which Rameses III. is seen adoring various gods. The first court (A), which measures III feet by 136 feet, contains two porticoes; that on the right has seven rectangular pillars, in the front of each of which is a statue of the king, nearly 20 feet high, in the form of Osiris, and that on the left has eight columns. On the back of the pylon leading into this courtyard the defeat of the Libyans and the triumph of the Egyptians are depicted; in one portion of the relief on the right side the
hands of the dead are being cut off, and the numbers of men killed and mutilated, as well as lists of the spoil, are set forth with evident care. The accompanying text of course describes the battle, and the great valour of Rameses III. The seven rectangular pillars of the north portico are ornamented with battle scenes and representations of the king making offerings to the gods, etc. ; in the statues the king has all the attributes of Osiris, and by the side of the legs are small
Court at Madînat Habû. (From a photograph by A. Beato, of Luxor.) statues of the sons and daughters of Rameses III. The eight columns with cup-shaped capitals of the south portico have each a double relief representing the king slaying prisoners in the presence of Amen-Rā or Menthu. On the north side of the face of the second pylon is a long inscription recording the triumph of the king over some tribes of Western Asia, and on the south side is a representation of Rameses III, reviewing his army and battle scenes, etc.
The Second Court (B) is about the same size as the first, and on each of the four sides is a portico; on the north and south sides the roof is supported by five columns with lotus capitals, and on the east and west sides by eight rectangular pil lars, each of which had a statue of the king as Osiris in front of it.
The walls on the south east side are decorated with reliefs of battle scenes, among them being : --The Theban triad giving the
king victory over the invaders of Egypt ; defeat of northern tribes by the Egyptians; counting the hands (3,000 !) cut off from dead enemies; Rameses leading three rows of captives; and captives being offered to Amen ; the accompanying text celebrates the king's victories.
On the north-east are representations of religious processions at the festival of Seker, the festival of Åmen, and the festival of Åmsu; these reliefs are of great interest. This courtyard was turned into a church by the Copts, who removed the middle column of the northern portico, and built an altar against the wall behind it. On the west wall are figures of a number of the king's sons. Passing into the Hall of Columns (c) it is seen that this part of the temple is not as well preserved as the First and Second Courts, for of the 24 columns which supported the roof, only the bases remain. This damage is said to have been wrought by the earthquake of B.C. 27, and the portions of the overthrown columns were probably used by the Copts and Arabs to make stones for corn mills. This hall measures about 87 feet by 62 feet. On the walls are reliefs in which the king is seen making offerings of various kinds to the gods of Thebes. On the south side are five small chambers wherein the treasures of the temple were kept. After the Hall of Columns come two small chambers, each with eight columns; the first, the reliefs of which are destroyed, measures about 56 feet by 27 feet. On each side are numbers of small chambers, the walls of which are decorated with mythological, astronomical, and other scenes, and some were clearly set apart for the service of special gods ; in most of them are sculptured figures of the king adoring the gods. The spaces left hollow by the foundation walls, and commonly called crypts, were often used as tombs. On the outside of the temple walls are series of reliefs which refer to :-), Calendar of Festivals (South Wall); 2. Wars against the people of the Sûdân, etc. (IVest Wall); and 3. Wars against the Libyans and peoples of Asia Minor (North Wall and part of West Wall). For a full account of the temple, see M. Daressy's excellent Notice Explicative des Ruines de Medinet Habou, Cairo, 1897.
V. The Temple of Queen Hātshepset at Dêr alBahari was built by order of Hātshepset in terraces on a wide, open space, bounded at its further end by the semicircular wall of cliffs which divides this space from the valley of the Tombs of the Kings; it is approached from the plain on the western side of the river through a narrow gorge, the sides of which are honeycombed with tombs. It was called
by the Great Queen, “Tcheser Tcheseru” bu
i.e., "Holy of Holies.” At the end of the XVIIIth century (1798) MM. Jollois and Devilliers visited it, and made a plan of the ruins as they found them; they declared that the approach from the plain was by an Avenue of Sphinxes, and that the avenue was about 42 feet wide, and 437 yards long, omitting to count a break of 54 yards; but they, apparently, did not know the building, which they imperfectly described, by the name it now bears, “Dêr al-Baħarî,” i.e., the Northern Monastery. In 1827 Wilkinson made excavations on the site, and Lepsius seems to have done the same, but no serious clearance of the ruins was begun until Mariette began to work at them in 1858, in which year he uncovered the bas-reliefs which depict the Expedition to Punt. At an early stage in his labours he recognized that ħātshepset's temple was, like many another temple on the western bank of the Nile at Thebes, a funerary temple, and that it must be classed with buildings like the Ramesseum and the great temple at Madînat Habû. In other words, the temple of Dêr al-Baħarî was a huge private chapel which was built by the great queen for the express purpose that offerings might be made to her ka, or “double," on the appointed days of festival, and to that of her father, Thothmes I.