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Avenue of ram-headed sphinxes (a symbol of the god Amun) leading to the first pylon at Karnak. Karnak is part of the ancient city of Thebes ( built in and around modern day Luxor).The building of the Temple complex at Karnak began in the reign of the Pharaoh Senusret I who ruled Egypt from 1971 -1926 BC. Approximately 30 Pharaohs contributed to the building of the complex and in so doing made it the largest ancient religious site in the world. The ancient name for Karnak is Ipet-isut (Most select of places).