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Luxor

At the height of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom (1549—1069 BC) its capital, Thebes (Luxor), was a city of over a million people. The pharaohs that ruled over this kingdom were made wealthy by military successes that expanded their influence south into Nubia, west along the Mediterranean, and east into modern day Syria.

This wealth and the huge workforce at their disposal made it possible for the New Kingdom pharaohs to commission great building projects, attempting to immortalize their influence through the buildings they left behind. Today in Luxor we still admire the efforts of these pharaohs to preserve their legacies in the great temple and funerary complexes that still stand on either side of the Nile at the site of ancient Thebes.

Luxor is often referred to today as the ‘world’s largest open-air museum’. This name comes from the fact that the modern city is located at the same site as ancient Thebes. It has literally been built upon and around the treasures of the Old Kingdom, which are still being unearthed to this day.

Surrounded by modern construction, Luxor Temple and the massive Karnak Temple Complex are two of Egypt’s most impressive sites. Their impact is only enhanced by the contrast of their ancient stone architecture with the modern construction that surrounds them.

Additionally, the area around Luxor and the opposite bank of the river are dotted with a wealth of other temples and tombs. It can take several days to explore all of the significant archeological sites within only an hours drive of Luxor with each one displaying something unique that will add to your understanding of this ancient civilization that flowered here.

 

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