Sunday, June 05, 2011

More re discoveries at Temple of Amenhotep III

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

A good summary of the work carried out at Kom el Hittan.

When it was constructed on Luxor's west bank during the 14th century BC, the mortuary temple of the 18th-Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III was the largest temple complex in the Theban area. It stretched over a 350,000-square- metre space, guarded at the main gateway by a pair of gigantic statues of Amenhotep popularly known as the Colossi of Memnon, with smaller statues of Queen Tiye and Queen Mutemwiya at their feet.

Regrettably, these two colossi are almost all that remains of this huge temple complex, since much of the rest of the temple collapsed during a massive earthquake that hit the area in antiquity, while the parts that survived this catastrophe decayed as a result of the high level of subterranean water -- the temple having been built closer to the River Nile than any contemporary mortuary temples. During the 19th Dynasty, Pharaoh Meneptah used several blocks of the Amenhotep III temple to help construct his own mortuary temple, which he built almost 100 metres to the north.

Thanks, however, to traces of the walls and foundations that have survived under the mud, the temple's original shape and plan are well known.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

An extremely good summary!
It makes it clear that there is at present only one team working on the site, not two as previous reports of discoveries had suggested.