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Development and Chronological Changes

Development and Chronological Changes - The Development of...

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Unformatted text preview: The Development of the Temple Temple of Karnak1 The Karnak temple complex experienced more than 1,500 years of construction, destruction, renovation, and modification, resulting in the creation of a confusing web of buildings and courts attributed to a variety of different kings. The patronage of major state building projects was almost exclusively the right of the ruler, and his (and in one case, her) name conspicuously adorns most monuments at Karnak. In a few rare cases, important cult personnel, such as the high priest of Amun or the god s wife of Amun, gained so much power or prestige that they too sponsored the erection or decoration of buildings within the precinct. But this was unusual, and the development of the temple over time can most easily be understood as linked closely with the succession of national rulers. The following essay is split into two sections. Section I lists the structures added (+) and removed (-) by each king, with a brief description of the architecture of new or renovated buildings. Only limited explanation is provided. Section II offers more in-depth information on the development of the temple, including discussions of the significance of the changes and the evidence for the reconstructions. Karnak as it exists today. I. Phase-by-Phase Summary of Temple Growth and Change Karnak Temple in the Middle Kingdom Senusret I (Kheperkara) 1971-1926 (+) Senusret I built a limestone temple, pierced by four doorways with red granite thresholds. It was fronted by an impressive portico of square pillars with statues of the king in the pose of the god Osiris. One reconstruction of the building suggests it had a rectangular, open peristyle court, leading to a series of inner chambers via a central axis. The sanctuary of the god lay off this axis, and could only be reached by making a ninety-degree turn to the left from the central line of rooms.2 A calcite ( Egyptian alabaster ) altar, found at Karnak reused in a different location, stood inside the room and held a shrine for the statue of AmunRa.3 Model rendering of Karnak in the reign of Senusret I. 1 This narrative is based on the author’s submission on the topic to the online UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE). Some sections have been directly excerpted from that publication. Gabolde 1998: 18-21 Lauffray 1979: 124; Ullmann 2007: 2 3 The Development of the Temple of Karnak (+) The king s famous limestone white chapel was a square-shaped structure raised on a short platform. Its pillars were decorated with finely carved scenes of the king interacting with Amun-Ra and other gods. The chapel probably stood outside the main temple, possibly along a north/south processional route.4 (+) A rectangular mud brick wall encircled the Middle Kingdom temple of Senusret I, and the precinct can be imagined to have extended west at least to the position of the present fourth pylon.5 Karnak Temple in the Early 18th Dynasty Amenhotep I (Djeserkara) 1525-1504 (+) Along the Middle Kingdom forecourt s north and south sides, Amenhotep I put up two lines of stone chapels and storage rooms. (+) A calcite ( Egyptian alabaster ) bark chapel was added to the forecourt of the temple, bounded by two large protecting walls. (+) The king also added a line of small chapels that possibly divided the forecourt into western and eastern halves. (+/-) The mud brick wall and door to the Middle Kingdom forecourt were removed and replaced by a high wall and gate with a double columned portico. (+) At the temple s main western door, a new large gate or pylon was erected. (+/-) The brick enclosure wall surrounding the north, east, and south walls of the Senusret I temple was torn down and replaced with a limestone enclosure.6 (+) Amenhotep s second bark shrine, an exact copy of Senusret I s limestone white chapel, was added to the temple. It, like the white chapel, probably remained outside the temple s western gate.7 Thutmose I (Aakheperkara) 1504-1492 (+/-) The fourth and fifth pylons were added, as well as their corresponding stone enclosure walls, which still form the core area of the temple.8 The construction of the fourth pylon must have necessitated the removal of the earlier feature of Amenhotep I on the same location. (+) Thutmose began construction on a new hall between the fourth and fifth pylons. This was built in two phases: in the first phase, a line of rectangular niches was inserted in the east wall of the fourth pylon for the placement of statues of the king in the pose of the god Osiris. In the second phase, a second group of larger Osiride statues were placed lining the wall between the niches. Fluted Sullivan 2008, Development. Digital Karnak. 2 A model rendering of Karnak in the reign of Amenhotep I. The white chapel of Senusret I. The Amenhotep I calcite chapel which originally stood in the Middle Kingdom court. 4 5 6 7 8 Lacau and Chevrier 1956 Gabolde 1998; Charloux 2007: pl. IV Graindorge 2002 Björkman 1971: 58 Björkman 1971: 61 The Development of the Temple of Karnak sandstone columns with inscriptions of the king were added to the four sides of the hall, forming a covered peristyle to protect the exposed statuary.9 (+) Two red granite obelisks were raised in front of the fourth pylon, the temple s main western entrance at the time. Only the central inscriptions on this obelisk are original to the king, the slightly smaller later inscriptions, carved by Ramesses IV and VI, flank his on all four sides of the monument.10 Thutmose II (Aakheperenra) 1492-1479 (+/-) Another new pylon was added to the temple, this one placed west of the fourth pylon, enclosing the obelisks of Thutmose I and creating a deep festival hall of the king. Walls along the hall s north and south sides connected the new pylon to the fourth, and a small pylon entrance led out of the hall on its south. The pylon was later removed, so it does not figure into the numbering system of the temple.11 Hatshepsut (Maatkara), Queen 1473-1458 (+/-) The queen extensively renovated the hall of Thutmose I between the fourth and fifth pylons. She removed his stone columns, replacing them with five gilded-wood papyriform wadj columns, giving the hall its name: Wadjet. The northern and southern areas of the hall were roofed with wooden ceilings supported by these columns.12 (+) Two red granite obelisks were erected within the Wadjet hall. The obelisks were covered with small scenes of the queen (depicted as a male pharaoh) making offerings to the gods.13 (+) The queen erected a pair of red granite obelisks commissioned by her late husband, Thutmose II. The 27-28 meter tall monoliths were almost surely placed in his festival hall, west of the pair of Thutmose I.14 (+/-) Hatshepsut may have disassembled the Osiris portico of the Middle Kingdom temple. According to one scholar s reconstruction, she appended a suite of rooms called the palace of Ma at to the front of the remaining structure.15 (-) The queen removed the bark shrine, chapels, and gateway of Amenhotep I to make room for her new palace. (+) Within or somewhere in front of the palace, she placed a beautiful tworoomed bark chapel of rose quartzite and black granite, the red chapel. 16 (+) In east Karnak, Hatshepsut placed another pair of obelisks outside the Thutmose I stone enclosure walls.17 A model rendering of Karnak in the reign of Hatshepsut. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Carlotti and Gabolde 2003: 284-286 Habachi and Van Siclen 1977: 57-59 Gabolde 1993 Carlotti and Gabolde 2003: 289-291 Habachi and Van Siclen 1977: 60-63, 68 Gabolde 1987: 149-150 and pl. II Gabolde 1998, 1999. Lacau and Chevrier 1977: 23-25; Larché and Burgos 2006 Habachi and Van Siclen 1977: 60-63, 68 A model rendering of Karnak in the reign of Thutmose I. A model rendering of the Thutmose II “Festival Court” and pylon. Sullivan 2008, Development. Digital Karnak. 3 The Development of the Temple of Karnak (+) A new sandstone pylon, the eighth, was built to the south of the temple, along what appears to have been the previously established north/south temple processional route. Thutmose III (Menkheperra) 1479-1425 (+) One of the king s greatest changes to Karnak was the addition of a huge temple, called the Akhmenu, placed behind Karnak s then eastern wall. The structure had a large pillared hall with beautifully painted columns carved in the shape of tent poles. Its ceiling was covered in yellow painted stars on a blue ground. In one of the rear rooms, relief scenes depicted the many species of flora and fauna sighted by the king and his men during their foreign military campaigns. (+) A new sandstone enclosure wall was constructed, encircling the Akhmenu within the sacred space of the greater temple precinct. The new enclosure created a long entrance hallway to the Akhmenu s southwestern door. (+) On the east wall of the new enclosure, Thutmose added a small contra-temple. It was bordered on each side by the obelisks of Hatshepsut. These shrines, usually appended to the rear wall of a temple and opening outward, provided a location for those not allowed to enter the temple proper to interact with the divinities. Often statues of the king were located at the contra-temple, and regular people would petition the images to act as intermediaries with the gods on their behalf. The example at Karnak held a large alabaster naos with a statue of the king and the god Amun.18 (+) Between Hatshepsut s pylon (the eighth) and the temple, Thutmose erected another pylon, the seventh. He adorned its south side with two red granite obelisks.19 (+/-) Along the southern processional route formed by the seventh and eighth pylons, the king added a calcite bark shrine surrounded by square pillars. This may have replaced an earlier calcite shrine of Amenhotep I on the same location (placed there by Hatshepsut during her renovations of the core of the temple), as Thutmose III gave his shrine an identical name.20 (+) South of the Middle Kingdom court, Thutmose ordered the digging of a large sacred lake. (+) To the east of the lake, the king added a large mud brick enclosure wall with exterior bastions. The extent of the wall at this time period, both to the north and the south, has not yet been determined. (+/-) Renovations of the Wadjet hall continued. Possibly due to damage incurred from heavy rainstorms, Thutmose III determined to completely roof the space. A Sullivan 2008, Development. Digital Karnak. 4 18 19 20 Brand 2007: 60-61; Varille 1950: 23 Habachi and Van Siclen 1977: 60-63, 68 Björkman 1971: 58; Blyth 2006: 35-36 The contra temple at Karnak as it exists today. A model rendering of Karnak from the later part of Thutmose III’s reign. The Development of the Temple of Karnak stone gateway was erected around the obelisks of Hatshepsut, completely encapsulating their lower portions. The queen s wooden wadj columns were removed for replacement with six sandstone columns in the north half of the hall, eight in the south. The interior walls of the court were covered with a skin of stone, obscuring the original statue recesses of Thutmose I. Before his death, it appears that the king only had time to roof the northern part of the hall with sandstone slabs, supported by his network of pillars, court walls, and the new gateway. Amenhotep II, the next pharaoh, finished the work21 (although the entire roof is added to the model under Thutmose III). (+) The sixth pylon was erected in the area in front of the palace of Ma at, and a small, pillared court created to both its sides. (+) Along the sides of these reworked courts, he replaced the limestone chapels of Amenhotep I with sandstone replicas.22 (+) Walls were appended to the east faces of the fifth and sixth pylons, creating a corridor along the temple s central axis to the palace of Ma at. (-) Hatshepsut s red chapel was removed and dismantled, with the front and rear doors reused in an interior wall of the palace s suite of rooms and the new corridor behind the sixth pylon.23 (+) The red chapel was replaced with a new granite shrine, of similar size and shape, and a new entrance portico was designed for the palace of Ma at. 24 (+) The king raised his own pair of granite obelisks between those of Thutmose I and Thutmose II in the festival hall before the fourth pylon.25 A model rendering of Pylon VII with actual reliefs from Karnak. Karnak Temple in the Mid 18th Dynasty Amenhotep II (Aakheperura) 1427-1401 (+) Amenhotep II finished the construction on the southern section of Thutmose III s Wadjet hall, adding and decorating the southern eight pillars and its roof (shown during the reign of Thutmose III on the model). (+) To the east of this hall, along the narrow corridor leading to the Akhmenu, the king may have added small structure with a central shrine and surrounding square piers. This likely functioned as a station of the king, a place for the king or sacred bark to pause during festival journeys.26 (+) A small calcite chapel, decorated with sunk relief, was placed within the festival hall. This seems to have stood wedged between the two obelisks of Thutmose I in that court. Its single doorway faced east.27 The reconstruction in the Open Air Museum of the Amenhotep II shrine, originally located between the eastern pair of obelisks in the Thutmose II Festival Court. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Sullivan 2008, Development. Digital Karnak. 5 Carlotti and Gabolde 2003: 293-295 Björkman 1971: 77-78 Björkman 1971: 77-78; Dorman 1988: 54-65 Carlotti 1995a; Dorman 1988: 56-65 Gabolde 1987: 151 and pl. II Van Siclen 2005a: 39-41 and figs. 14-15 Larché 2007: 477-480 The Development of the Temple of Karnak Thutmose IV (Menkheperura) 1401-1391 (+) King Thutmose IV added a vividly painted sandstone double peristyle to the court of the fourth pylon.28 (+) The king placed a calcite ( Egyptian alabaster ) bark shrine, quite similar to the calcite shrine of Amenhotep I, within the festival hall. 29 (+) On the east side of Karnak, he raised a giant red granite obelisk, originally quarried by Thutmose III. He added lines of inscriptions around those of his grandfather (the central inscription) and raised it in the area of Karnak particularly focused on the worship of the sun. Unlike all the other obelisks at Karnak, this was intentionally placed alone.30 Amenhotep III (Nebmaatra) 1390-1352 (-) The king s most drastic change at Karnak consisted of tearing down the pylon erected by Thutmose II. (-) He also destroyed most of the festival hall west of the fourth pylon, removing the western half of Thutmose IV s peristyle and his calcite bark shrine, the limestone white chapel of Senusret I, the calcite chapel of Amenhotep I, and the loose blocks of the red chapel of Hatshepsut. (+) All these removed structures were then used as building material for the construction of a new pylon, the third, slightly east of the destroyed pylon of Thutmose II.31 (+) Amenhotep III also began construction on another pylon, the tenth, extending the southern processional route towards the Mut Temple. With only a few courses completed on the pylon, the king must have died, as construction halted and was not to be resumed again until the reign of Horemheb.32 Above: a model rendering of Karnak in the reign of Amenhotep III. Below: a model rendering of the Gempa-Aten which no longer exists today. The reconstruction of the Thutmose IV peristyle hall from the Thutmose II “Festival Court” in the Open Air Museum. Karnak Temple in the Late 18th Dynasty Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten (Neferkheperura Waenra) 1352-1336 (+) A vestibule was appended to the front of the third pylon and decorated in the beginning of Amenhotep IV s reign.33 28 (+) In east Karnak, a huge temple called Gem-pa-Aten was built using small, easily portable sandstone ( talatat ) blocks.34 The western part of the building formed a rectangular open court lined by a covered colonnade with square piers.35 Huge androgynous statues of the king and his wife, queen Nefertiti, stood against each column.36 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Sullivan 2008, Development. Digital Karnak. 6 Bryan 1980: 222-224; Letellier 1979, 1991 Bryan 1980: 228 Bell 2002: 23-25; Habachi and Van Siclen 1977: 112-114 Lauffray 1979: 49 Azim 1982 Sa’ad 1970 Redford 1984: 63 Redford 1984: 102-105 Arnold, Dorothea 1996: 18-19 The Development of the Temple of Karnak Tutankhamen (Nebkheperura) 1336-1327 (+) The boy king ordered that a series of ram-headed sphinx statues be placed along the processional route from the Amun precinct s southern gate to the temple of Mut (not shown on the model, but visible on the maps).37 Horemheb (Djeserkheperura) 1323-1295 (-) Horemheb commanded the tearing down of Akhenaten s Karnak structures. The Gem-pa-Aten temple was demolished block-by-block and used as building fill for his new constructions at Karnak.38 (+) The ninth pylon, situated along the southern processional route, was added. (+) Construction on the tenth pylon, abandoned unfinished by Amenhotep III, was completed. (+/-) Between the king s new ninth and tenth pylons, a building with a pillared façade was erected atop a low platform. This building, the edifice of Amenhotep II, was composed of blocks reused from a series of structures in an earlier court along the southern processional. The buildings and the court belonged to Amenhotep II, all of whose constructions in the area were swept away for Horemheb s additions.39 (+) A new western entrance to the temple was added, the second pylon.40 A model rendering of Karnak in the reign of Horemheb. Karnak Temple in the 19th Dynasty Ramesses I (Menpehtyra) 1295-1294 (+) A small station of the king, a kiosk in which the king could stand during cult rituals within the temple, was appended to the second pylon during the king s short reign.41 Sety I (Menmaatra) 1294-1279 (+) Sety constructed a massive hypostyle hall between the third and second pylons. Twelve sandstone columns in the shape of open papyrus plants, each 21 meters (70 ft) high, supported a raised central hall. The bordering side aisles were forested with 122 papyrus bud columns, each 12 meters (40 ft) tall. The central nave was lined with stone grills that allowed light to filter into the hall.42 Pylon II with the hypostyle hall behind it. 37 38 39 40 41 42 Sullivan 2008, Development. Digital Karnak. 7 Cabrol 2001; Murnane and EatonKrauss 1991 Redford 1984: 228 Lauffray 1979: 143; Van Siclen 2005a: 42 Azim 1982; Lauffray 1979: 111, 147 Van Siclen 1986: 41-42 Brand 2004 The Development of the Temple of Karnak (+/-) The western wall of the third pylon was covered over as part of the construction of the new hypostyle hall. Renovations were made to the vestibule as well, covering the unfinished Akhenaten scenes. (+) On the north exterior wall of the hall, the king s battles against numerous foreign foes were memorialized in a series of monumental relief scenes. These show Sety I triumphing over people from Syria, Libya, and Nubia, among others. As the conquering pharaoh, the king dwarfs all the other figures in the relief, and he is instantly recognizable within his chariot or smiting his foes.43 Ramesses II (Usermaatra Setepenra) 1279-1213 (+) In the eastern section of Karnak, Ramesses II added a small shrine before the single obelisk of Thutmose IV. The shrine, called the temple of Amun-Ra, Ramesses, who-hears-prayers, consisted of a gateway and pillared hall with a central false door. Two lateral doors led to the object of veneration, the unique obelisk.44 Like the contra-temple of Thutmose III, this shrine offered a place for regular people to approach and petition the divine image to act as an intermediary with the gods.45 (+) The king also added an entrance to eastern Karnak, marked by two red granite obelisks and a pair of sphinxes.46 (+) Ramesses II finished the decoration of the interior of the hypostyle hall, left incomplete by Sety I. (+) On the hall s south exterior wall the king added his own series of monumental battle scene reliefs. Sety II (Userkheperura Setepenra) 1200-1194 (+) West of the new temple...
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