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The Mosque of Abu'l Haggag
Silver gelatin on glass
23.5 x 29.5 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
The Mosque of Abu'l Haggag at Luxor Temple.
Viewed from the tops of the architraves in the Colonnade Hall, the mosque of Abu'l Haggag dominates the first court at Luxor Temple and aptly demonstrates the continuing adaptation of ancient monuments to modern use. Luxor remained very much intact during the Roman period, when the monument was incorporated within the Roman camp and devoted to the cult of the Roman emperor. Later, the temple was surrounded by churches, and by the late sixth century B.C.E. one had been constructed within the first court itself. Nestled within the ancient walls of the court of Ramesses II, and built on the ruins of earlier Christian basilicas, the mosque of Abu'l-Haggag represents a tradition of continuous worship at Luxor Temple for almost thirty-five centuries. During the festival of this modern Muslim saint, boats are paraded around the temple, perhaps an echo of the ancient procession of the barks of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu during the Festival of Opet.

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