also see Archaeology, Trips & Activities, links below
When the Macdonalds was first built, one of the golden arches signs could be seen clear through Luxor Temple - so the offending sign had to be removed. This bazaar has so many twists and turns that, without walking vary far, you feel as if you've gone miles! And everyone seems more relaxed than in the rest of Luxor, so you get less hassle to come and spend your money. Another great bazaar is just off Karnak Temple Street (near Luxor Museum).
In the tourist bazaar, Sharia el Karnak, leather goods, sandals, Egyptian cotton T-shirts, copies of archaeological treasures from the tombs and paintings on papyrus all sell like hotcakes.
Architecture of Egypt
See our special feature
for more about Hassam Fathay and Luxor's ancient villages
Dier el-Medina is still being excavated. The greatest mummy-discovery ever happened here in 1881. It was triggered by tomb robbers whose activities attracted the attention of the authorities, inadvertantly leading to the uncovering of a massive shaft filled with 40 mummies of pharoahs, Kings and Queens. The Egyptian film "The Mummy (Al Mumia)", made in 1975, brings this episode to life in a stunning way.
Gourna (syn. Gurna, Kurna, Gourna, Qurna or Qurnah) can refer to a single village, or to a group of three villages in the Theban Hills - Gourna, Sheikh 'Adb el-Qurna and New Gourna.
'Old' Gourna is a collection of bright mudbrick dwellings in 'the village of tomb-robbers' - a community which established itself over the royal necropolis, specifically to make a living from - in James Steele's words -
their own crude but lucrative version of amateur archaeology - tomb robbing.
New Gourna lies on main road to the Theban Necropolis, between the Colossi of Memnon and el-Gezira on the Nile. The village represents Hassan Fathy's pioneering reintroduction of appropriate technology for building in Egypt. From 1946-1953, the renowned architect worked with the Antiquities Department which had decided to displace the inhabitants of the Old Gourna out of 'the Antiquities Zone'. He designed and supervised the building of a completely new village to enable a forced relocation of the inhabitabs of Old Gourna.
In the end, however, the Gournis strongly resisted efforts to relocate them to their new village - they preferred to stay put and continue their preferred way of earning a living.
New Gourna has since been redesigned several times, as a tourist complex.
A little farming village, where you can see water being delivered by donkey and cart.
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