El Qurn

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The peak of al-Qurn

El Qorn (Arabic: القرن‎ lit. "the horn"), is the highest point (420 m) in the Theban Hills, located on the western bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, modern Luxor. Its ancient name was Ta Dehent, or "the peak."[citation needed] It has an almost pyramidal shape when viewed from the entrance to the Valley of the Kings, and it is for this reason that some Egyptologists believe the valley was chosen as the location of a royal necropolis.

The area was associated with the goddess Hathor and also the cobra goddess Meretseger. Near the highest point is a plate-shaped rock formation projecting a few meters from the side of the hill. It is very easy to see as the spreading hood of a cobra.

Cliffs of al-Qurn along Deir el-Medina route

The peak can be reached on foot from two directions, starting the climbing from the Valley of the Kings or near Deir el-Medina. The climbing takes an hour to an hour and a half and the same time to get back.

The Deir El Medina route is easier in that sense that 75% of the route is laid with concrete stairs, but on the other hand the rest 25% may be a bit more difficult so that at one point even hands must be used in climbing (still, no specific climbing skills are needed and it is suitable for the elderly). Two manned guarding posts (buildings) are located on the Deir ElMedina route. The cobra-shaped rock formation is on the Deir El Medina route but it can easily be reached from both directions.

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Coordinates: 25°44′11″N 32°35′46″E / 25.736417°N 32.596039°E / 25.736417; 32.596039