Notes on the Geography of Egypt: Ramesseum
Ramesseum is a modern name, assigned by Jean-François Champollion to the memorial temple of Rameses II. When built, the temple was called the Temple of Millions of Years of User-Ma'at-Ra United with Thebes in the Estates of Amen West of Thebes.
The first pylon--its entrance blocked--is made of sandstone instead of the usual mud brick. Internal staircases at either end lead to the top.
A view from left to right of the second pylon, the second court, the hypostyle hall, and the sanctuary.
Toppled at the second pylon: this is the colossal statue of Rameses II that inspired Shelley's "Ozymandias."
The figure apparently stood for well over a thousand years: Diodorus Siculus in the First Century A.D. claims to have seen it intact.
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair." The statue, showing the deified Rameses, was originally 57 feet high.
Colonnade of second court.
Columns in the hypostyle hall.
The walls of the temple are decorated with both secular and spiritual images.
Soldiers use ladders to attack the Hittite fort at Dapur, a location not precisely identified but likely in modern Syria, Lebanon, or Israel.
Here, on the back side of the second pylon, Rameses II devastates the Hittite Army. Traces of blue indicate the Orontes River, where the battle took place.
Egyptian soldiers watch the slaughter.
Meanwhile, Rameses II kneels before the Theban triad, Amun-Ra, Mut, and Khonsu.
He sits before a Persea tree, while Amun-Ra writes the king's name on its leaves. The tree (Mimusops schimperi) was associated with the rising sun.
Amen-Ra and Mut at the coronation of Rameses.
On the left, the king is escorted by Atum and Montu; on the right he kneels before them; below, the king's sons.
A closer view of the escort party. On the right, the ibis-headed Thoth, scribe of the gods, pen in hand.
Priests carry the sacred barque.
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