Ramesseum Archaeological Site is an ancient archaeological site
constructed by Ramesses II the Great as a mortuary temple complex
dedicated to the great pharaoh. Ramesseum stands on the opposite
side of the Nile river across modern city of Luxor in Luxor
Governorate, Egypt. Its construction began in 13th century BC and
was continued by the subsequent generations.
The ancient complex is ruined, but its size is
impressive. The architectural performance is similar to the late
temple in Medinet Abu, but the scale is more impressive. The
Ramesseum stood in the center of a residential block surrounded by a
clay wall. To the left of the temple was the pavilion of the
pharaoh, and to the right and behind were countless small buildings
with semicircular roofs, which served as housing for workers,
workshops and warehouses. A channel led to the Nile.
temples, like the pyramids, were built during the life of the
pharaohs. The monarch himself compiled his biography, a list of
virtuous acts and commanded them to be carved on the stone walls of
temples. Ramses II apparently considered the battle of the Kadesh
and the Hittites the main feat of his life, although, according to
historians, it was not at all a triumph of the Egyptian army. On
both pylons of the Ramesseum, scenes of this battle and the
"Pentaurus Poem" are depicted, both in the Luxor and Karnak temples
and in Abu Simbel.
In the first courtyard separating the
pylons, on the ground lies the upper part of the statue of Ramses
II. She, apparently, was 18 m high with a pedestal, and weighed
about 1000 tons. In a huge hypostyle hall, 29 columns were preserved
(originally there were 48) supporting the remains of the vaults.
Behind the hall are two rooms. In the first of them is a ceiling
with the image of heavenly bodies. Warehouses made of bricks behind
the temple (they can be easily seen from the hillock near the road)
served as barns. They are clear evidence that the Ramesseum was
surrounded by vast lands.