Thebes: some 'mortuary temples' of New Kingdom kings
Old and Middle Kingdom pyramids were
the largest part of a royal cult complex; similarly, a king's tomb in the
Valley of the Kings was a reliquary in a larger religious unit. In the New
Kingdom the tomb of a king and its temple complex were separated. The tomb
where the body of the king was laid to rest was cut into the rock in the Valley
of the Kings. For each tomb there stood at the edge of the fields a temple
where the king was worshipped during his life and into eternity. The best
preserved are the temples of Hatshepsut
(Deir el-Bahari), Sety I (Qurneh),
Ramesses II (Ramesseum) and Ramesses
III (Medinet Habu). Petrie excavated at the Ramesseum and six destroyed
temples in the series (published in Petrie
1897); the latter are reconstructed on Digital Egypt for Universities.
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