In Egypt's New Kingdom, this was where creation began.
In the beginning the primeval mound rose from the chaotic, timeless waters of Nun and there emerged the creator god who brought the universe into being.
At Thebes, the creator god was Amun, and Medinet Habu, directly across the Nile from Luxor Temple, was imagined to be the location of that original primeval mound of creation.
This was particularly holy ground and in the 18th Dynasty, the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, built a temple dedicated to Amun, which was enlarged in Roman times. The temple became the focus of a pilgrimage made every ten days by the sacred statue of Amun from his 'home' at Karnak so that he could be renewed at the sacred site.
Three centuries later, ca. 1,170 B.C., Ramesses III chose the spot for his memorial temple and enclosed the earlier Amun temple within his complex. No doubt Ramesses wanted to tap into the site's powerful regenerative properties to boost his chances of a glorious resurrection in the afterlife.
Most of the New Kingdom pharaohs chose to be buried in the perceived safety of the Valley of the Kings and built great, separate, memorial temples to honour their memory and to host the cult that connected them with the gods.
Medinet Habu is the best-preserved - but least visited - of the New Kingdom memorial temples and still bears the vibrant colours it was painted with over 3,100 years ago. Pictured is the beautifully-decorated terrace which stands between the Second Court and Hypostyle Hall.