Egyption History & Travel - 2010

Attached to the Nubian Museum was a terraced garden with circular stairways leading to views of the city and its surroundings. Directly in front of the Museum and our hotel as well was an old Muslim cemetery and beyond that was a New Kingdom stone quarry. From the top of the Museum's gardens we could see an unfinished obelisk still in situ at that quarry. The obelisk was being carved out during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut for her building project at Karnak in Luxor. According to archeologists of the period, the stone cracked during the quarrying process, so the projected obelisk was abandoned. Still today, it is fairly easy to make out the huge stone block in its position even though the female Pharaoh (Queen) Hatshepsut lived and ruled from 1479 to 1457 BC. That whole site really made a huge impression on all of us. We could see in our mind's eye the rock carvers swarming around the huge granite stone, patient digging and carefully bracing and supporting the rock as it took shape. And then to have it crack before it could be removed from its “birth site” had to have been devastating.

The extant Temples at Karnak and Luxor Temple were all New Kingdom structures although Alexander the Great also had an impact on Karnak much later in its history.


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