Ancient Egypt / Cities and Villages /
Egyptian: Weset, Newt
The name "Thebes" is Greek, while the Egyptian name for the city as "Apet" or "Apit".
Thebes lied on the east side of the Nile, in the centre of today's Egypt, 700 km south of modern Cairo. Luxor and Karnak now lies where Thebes once was.
The city became important during the 11th Dynasty (21st century BCE) when the local governor gained control over the entire Egypt, and Thebes stayed on as capital until the 14th century BCE, when Akhenaten became Pharaoh.
This absence of importance lasted only 2 decades, after which it was restored as capital. With the attack of the Assyrians in 661, Thebes was sacked. In Ptolemaic times, it remained important, but it was destroyed by the Romans around 30 BCE, and lost its importance forever.
Thebes has some of the best preserved monuments of Ancient Egypt, even if the old settlement is now covered by modern houses. At Karnak, the temple of Amen lies. This was constructed for the first time around 2000 BCE, but was built on for 2000 years. The temple that lies in modern Luxor centre, was begun in 1417 BCE.
On the western side of the Nile lie many more important monuments. These include the colossi of Memnon, the Ramesseum of Ramses 2, the temple of Ramses 3, and the temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the necropolis. The necropolis has many funerary temples, among them the one of Tutankhamon.
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