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Karnak: Hypostyle Hall (photo: Beato 1864)

Fig.1: Hypostyle Hall at Karnak (photo: Beato 1864).

Karnak, part of Thebes, contained a vast (1.5 by 0.8 km) complex of temples first built during the 18th Dynasty (1550-1307 BC) when Thebes became the center of dynastic administration, then rebuilt over more than 2000 years through the Graeco-Roman era.

This silver albumin print by Italian photographer Antonio Beato from 1864 gives a sharply focused view of hieroglyphs and other relief carvings on the massive columns and lintels of the Hypostyle Hall. Earlier, colored lithographic drawings of similar subjects were made in the 1840s by Roberts and Lepsius.

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