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Thebes and Luxor, Egypt
Thebes was the capital of the ancient Egyptian empire at its heyday. The modern town of Luxor, 675 km south of Cairo, occupies part of the site. Ancient Thebes was about six miles square; the main part of the city was situated along the Nile's east bank, where the Temples of Karnak and Luxor are; the west bank had "the city of the dead"-- an area containing the Egyptian kings' mortuary temples and the houses of those priests, soldiers, craftsmen, and laborers devoted to their service (one of their villages was at Deir al-Medina).
Although there are a number of tombs dating from the 3rd millennium BCE on the west bank, the earliest monuments that have survived at Thebes itself date from the 11th dynasty (2081-1939 BCE), when Thebes became the royal capital of Egypt and was called Nowe, or Nuwe ("City [of Amon]"), after its chief god. The height of Theban prosperity was reached in the 14th century BCE during the reign of pharaoh Amenhotep III. Apparently, the Greek name Thebes (Thebai) was derived from Ta-ope, the ancient Egyptian name for Luxor.
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