ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CITIES
The ancient Egyptians had many great cities. Some of their remains are still present to keep us bewildered on how amazing the ancient Egyptian civilization was. Some cities however have now vanished, but still the presence of very fine monuments give us a clue of how wonderful these cities were.
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Many of the egyptian cities were developed when certain pyramids or other large building works were constructed. The capital moved from site to site depending on the Pharaoh. The first reason for this is the internal peace which existed in Egypt from the earliest times. A second reason directly related to the first - given urban mobility each successive pharaoh was free to spend his reigning life on earth preparing his tomb for the life after death in a different location to that of his predecessor.
Egyptian Pharaohs would move to other sites when resistance to change in current capital cities was too great to accomplish their goals.
Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the period of the Middle and New Kingdoms. With the temples and palaces at Karnak and Luxor, and the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, Thebes is a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height.
This is the great, ancient city of Thebes, capital of the Egyptian empire for almost one thousand years, for Egyptian inhabitants it was Uaset, meaning "the chief town" and Niut, "the City" it was later on called Diospolis Magna. Its present name of Luxor comes from the Arab El Qousour, translation of the Latin "Castra" with which the ancient Romans indicated the city where they had installed two encampments.
Luxor and Karnak now occupy parts of its site. The city developed at a very early date from a number of small villages, particularly one around modern Luxor (then called Epet), but remained relatively obscure until the rise of the Theban family that established the XI dynasty (c.2134 B.C.). The city rapidly became prominent as the royal residence and as a seat of the worship of the god Amon. At Thebes, also, was the necropolis in the Valley of the Tombs where the kings and nobles were entombed in great splendor in crypts cut into the cliffs on the Nile's west bank. The city's greatest period was that of the empire, when it served as a reservoir for the immense wealth that poured in from the conquered countries. As the empire began to decay and the locus of power to shift to the Nile delta, Thebes went into decline.
Thebes was sacked by the Assyrians in 661 B.C., the army lead by Assarhaddon, Assurbanipal's army deported the townsmen before turning them into slaves and stripped the town of its statues and treasures. Lastly, it was completely razed to the ground in 84 B.C. by Ptolemy Lathyros to the extent that during the roman era it was a mass of ruins visited by wayfarers; the few remaining townsmen settled in what remained of the temples and the tombs were reduced to stables.
The Romans sacked it in 29 B.C., and by 20 B.C. there was only a few scattered villages seen. The temples and tombs that have survived, including the tombs of Tutankhamen and of Ramses II's sons, are among the most splendid in the world.
Temple of Amon Ra
In Luxor, all that remains of its glorious past is the temple that the ancient Egyptians built to the glory of Amon ra king of the gods, and which they called "Southern harem of Amon".
Brought back to light in 1883 by Gaston Masp