On May 17th, 2010 the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt announced it had discovered a possible avenue of colossal statues leading from the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III to the banks of the Nile River. Eighty statues have already been uncovered at the site famously marked by the Colossi of Mammon.
The term “mortuary temple” has been used to describe a number of important buildings related to Pharaohs from Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty. The term “mortuary temple” is misleading and it is not translated directly from any Egyptian term. Western influence in archaeology has shaped our perception of theses buildings. Modern funeral arrangements are usually focused on the physical internment of the deceased. Whereas the rituals surrounding the death and afterlife of an Egyptian Pharaoh involved a sustained effort with a constant flow of supplies being sent to the temple to provide sustenance for the dead king.
The Egyptian word for the this sustenance is transliterated as K3. The original structures that we designate as mortuary temples were simply called “K3-houses.” By the time of Amenhotep III, during the middle of the fourteenth century BCE, these structures had assumed monumental proportions. Although the current temple site contains few remnants of the once great structure, it is believed to have been larger than the temple of Karnak which can still be seen across the river at Thebes.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Finds at mortuary temple of Amenhotep III indicate possible avenue
Suite101 (Robert McRoberts)