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Medinet Habu, Mortuary temple of Ramesses III (1857 photo)
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Ruins of the mortuary temple at Medinet Habu (Frith 1862).


The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu is located on the West Bank of the Nile, across from Luxor in Egypt. The temple  resembles the nearby mortuary temple of Ramesses II at Luxor, called the Ramesseum. Overall, the temple precinct extends  210 by 300 meters with extensive wall reliefs. Among these are reliefs depicting the advent and defeat of the Sea Peoples during the reign of Ramesses III.

The original entrance is through a fortified gate-house.  Just inside the enclosure, to the south, are chapels of Amenirdis I, Shepenupet II and Nitiqret.

Medinet Habu was first described by Vivant Denon in the French Expedition of 1799-1801. Champollion also visited and described the temple in 1829 (Lettres de M. Champollion le jeune, 18th letter). The Egyptian Department of Antiquities, led by Mariette, made the first excavations at Medinet Habu. Besides clearing the temple, various Coptic buildings were removed or destroyed. Later work at the site by the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute has gone on since 1924.

This image by Frith from his 1857 expedition shows standing walls of the mortuary temple of Ramesses III.


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