KarnakKarnak - Karnak was the religious center of ancient Egypt.  It was a large complex of temples, shrines and chapels dating all the way back to the Middle Kingdom and the reign of Sesostris I.  Construction at the complex continued, though, all the way through the Ptolemaic Period.  Most of the buildings which survive to this day were built during the New Kingdom.  While Karnak was its own distinct site, it actually was a district of the southern capital of Thebes, situated on the east side of the Nile.  Also nearby is the Luxor site, which is often confused with Karnak.