Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Habu Temple

Relief, Ramses smiting Libyan foes
Saturday 5 January: Leaving the Valley of the Queens, I walk back and down to Medinet Habu for lunch. Opposite the restaurant is Habu Temple, the mortuary temple of 20th dynasty king Ramses III, constructed around 3,180 years ago.
Although part-built, altered and extended by many rulers, the most spectacular works were created Ramses III. The twin towers of the first pylon has huge reliefs depicting Ramses victory over his Libyan foes. There's a lot of smiting going on but one gruesome scene shows a scribe counting the severed right-hands of the enemy to get a tally of the dead. Perhaps unhappy with the total, or maybe there was a left-hand or a woman's hand in the pile, Ramses ordered a recount. In the next scene the process is repeated but this time the mound in front of the scribe is a pile of severed Libyan penises. Well, I guess that's one way to do it.
Slideshow of Habu Temple.

No comments:

Post a Comment