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The Pylons

On the face of the great pylon are carved episodes from the Battle of Kadesh, when Ramesses and his army defeated the forces of the Hittites and their allies. The obelisk is one of a red granite pair which Ramesses erected in front of the pylon; its twin now in the Place de la Concorde, in Paris. On the pedestal are carved the four sacred baboons who were the first to greet the morning sun. Three lines of vertical inscription on every face of the obelisk repeat the names and titles of Ramesses the Great: The Horus, Mighty Bull, Exalter of Thebes, Favorite of the Two Goddesses, establishing monuments in Luxor for his father Amun, who placed him upon the throne; Golden Horus, seeking excellent things for him who fashioned him; King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Usermare, Chosen of Re." It is of interest to note that when the one obelisk was lowered, in order to be transported to France, Ramesses name was also found inscribed on the bottom. Pharaohs were notorious for usurping other pharaohs monuments, and Ramesses was determined that this was to remain his own. The pyramidal tip of the tall shaft was covered in sheet gold which flashed in the sunlight, symbolizing the sungod Re in his brilliance. Colossal seated statues of Ramesses flank the gateway.

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