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The Ramesseum is the name given the temple, built by Ramses II, that lies between the desert and the village of Gurnah. While much of it is in ruin today it is still a majestic site to visit. At one end are the Osiriac pillars, statues of the pharaoh as Osiris, and nearby the remains of the syenite statue of Ramses II sitting on his throne. This statue, in pieces today, must have been truly spectacular with it large size, about 50 feet high, and weighing an estimated 100 tons.

Ramesseum with Osiriac pillars
The Ramesseum with the Osiriac pillars (left)

Hieroglyphs on the facade of the Ramesseum
Elaborate carvings on the facade of the Ramesseum

Anne and I between the Osiriac statues of Ramses II
Anne and I standing between the Osiriac statues of Ramses II

Syenite statue of Ramses II
The remnants of the syenite statue of Ramses II
sitting on his throne

Hieroglyphs on the facade of the Ramesseum
Carvings at Ramesseum

The Ramesseum is decorated to show the exploits of Ramses II who stopped the Hittites. There are also scenes showing the festivities to honor Min, the prehistoric god of fertility, in whose honor Ramses sacrificed a white bull. Another interesting artifact of the Ramesseum is that one wall of the hypostyle hall contains the names of Ramses' sons and daughters shown in order of succession. Mineptah, shown in the 18th position, succeeded Ramses II. Ramses II had over 100 children and outlived many of them living to the age of 87 and being on the throne for 67 years. He was without doubt one of Egypt's most powerful and majestic pharaohs.

Now, let's continue to the Deir El-Bahari, the funerary monument built by Queen Hatshepsut for herself and her father, Tutmose I.

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