Karnak

3d model and reconstruction

Karnak

The reconstruction of the large walls around Amon and of the monuments it incoludes allows us to enter the heart of the sanctuary. The images show the courtyard with the pillar and the inside of the hypostyle hall whose columns, with inscriptions and drawings, were painted.

Of fundamental important for this reconstruction were the Description de l’Égypte tables, published in Paris between 1809 and 1829.

Apart from the images in the viewer, on request, it is possible to have other videos or other images from different perspectives.

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Short history of

Karnak

The monumental remains of Karnak extend about 3 km to the north-east of Luxor, on the eastern bank of the Nile. It is the largest archaeological complex in Egypt (about 1.5×0.8), most of which is enclosed by the Amun walls. A short distance away there are three other rows of walls: to the south the one dedicated to the god’s bride, Mut, to the east the one dedicated to Khonsu, the couple’s son, and to the north to Montu, the original deity of the whole Thebes area.

In the olden days Karnak was known as Ipet-isut, “the most selected of sites”, and it was the sacred sector of Thebes, capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom and shrine-city of Amun also during the Third intermediate period and the beginning of the late age. The temple of Amun was the most important religious institution in Egypt, both from an ideological and economic viewpoint: it has been suggested that between the XIX and the XX dynasty more than two thirds of the lands owned by Egyptian temples belonged to Amun and that he was the beneficiary of three quarters of the offerings given by the pharaohs to the deities.

The large Amun row of walls in Karnak has the shape of a trapezoidal quadrilater measuring about 500×600 meters; the surrounding wall, made of raw bricks, is 8 m thick. Inside it there is the large temple dedicated to the Thebes god, a temple of Khonsu, a smaller temple of Opet, a chapel of Ptah, as well as other small temples and chapels, and a sacred lake. The gates were reached through eight stone walls: to the north-west the first pylon of the Amun temple was the main entrance; there was another monumental entrance to the south, at the level of the tenth temple pylon looking towards the Mut row of walls; to the north towards the Montu row of walls, and to the east towards that of Khonsu, there were two sandstone gates. There were two more access points on the south-west corner of the row of walls, one at the level of the gate built as an entrance to the Khonsu temple, the other as an entrance to the Opet temple. Finally, another gate was built on the south-east, to reach the buildings behind the sacred lake, and a last one on the north-west.