Located at the northern end of the town of Luxor, Karnak Temple has three main sacred areas that honour three gods: Montu, an ancient local warrior god; Amun, the chief god of Thebes; and the goddess Mut, wife of Amun. Amun, Mut and their son, Khonsu, were members of the sacred family known as the Theban Triad.
The construction of Karnak Temple began in the Middle Kingdom and was completed during the New Kingdom, some 1,600 years later. Every successive king of this era added to the temple, which covers two hectares (five acres) of land. It is a complicated site with four courtyards, ten pylons, a sacred lake and many buildings.
An avenue of sphinxes with curly-horned rams' heads leads to the entrance to the first pylon. The sphinxes represent a form of the sun god, Amun-Re. Between their paws is a small figure of Rameses II, who won the famous Battle of Qadesh against the Hittites in Syria (1274 B.C.).