In the western Theban necropolis is Ramesses III’s ‘fortress like’ funerary temple and palace complex, Medinet Habu. Within its inner walls are the Royal Palace, the sandstone mortuary temple, smaller temples and additions, including a chapel built in 700 BCE. There are also storehouses and housing for the priests and temple staff. The sandstone mortuary temple is famous for its outer northern wall tableau of Ramesses III’s final victory over the Sea Peoples. The walls of the inner courtyards and sanctuary areas portray military and scared themes, such as the king destroying the Libyans or paying homage to the gods. The temple is connected to the Royal Palace harem area by a portico, where it is thought Pharaoh greeted the public. The palace’s function is mostly symbolic as it was rarely occupied, though women bathed in the sacred lake at night, praying to Isis for fertility.
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