Monday, July 15, 2013

Karnak: Temple Complex of Ancient Egypt

Karnak temple is an ancient Egyptian city located on the east bank of the Nile at Thebes (modern Luxor). It covers more than 100 hectares, an area larger than the ancient cities.  

The central sector of the site, which has the largest amount of space is dedicated to Amun-Ra, a male god associated with Thebes. The area immediately around the main sanctuary was known in antiquity as "Ipet-Sun", which means "the most exclusive places."South of the central area is a small enclosure dedicated to his wife, the goddess Mut. In the north, there is another precinct of Montu, the falcon-headed god of war. Also, is there an area - largely destroyed intentionally in antiquity - dedicated to Aten, the sun disk.
Construction began at Karnak in 4000 years and continued until the Romans took control of Egypt, about 2,000 years ago. Each Egyptian leader who worked at Karnak left his own architectural mark. The UCLA Digital Karnak project reconstructed and modeled these changes online. Their model shows a bewildering array of temples, chapels, "towers", the gateway form among many other buildings, which were gradually built, demolished and modified for over 2,000 years.Karnak would have made a great impression on former visitors, to say the least. "The towers and large walls were painted white with reliefs and inscriptions collected in brilliant jewel-like colors, adding to their magnificence," writes Egyptologist Heather Blyth in his book "Karnak: Evolution of a temple "(Routledge, 2006)."Behind high walls, glimpses of obelisks topped gold pierced the blue sky, shrines, small temples, columns and statues, worked with gold, electrum and precious stones such as lapis lazuli must have shimmered in gold dusty heat. " 

Notes Blyth some evidence that the first construction dates to the reign of Karnak Wah-Ankh Intef II, an Egyptian ruler who lived more than 4,000 years ago. A sandstone column "eight faces" of the door the name of Amun-Ra and says: "He [the king] has as its monument to God

This "must surely involve a temple, or at the very least, a shrine dedicated to Amun at Karnak," writes Blyth.'s Team of digital UCLA starts rebuilding their numerical model under the reign of Sesostris I (reigned 1971 to 1926 BC) and shows a limestone temple with a courtyard in the middle, dedicated to Amun-Re. contains 12 pillars at the front whose bases "were decorated with statues of the king engaged in the installation of Osiris [ god of the underworld], "the team wrote. This reconstruction is somewhat hypothetical little remains of the temple today.Karnak remain a small area until the New Kingdom, a period that lasted from about 1550 to 1070 BC, when accelerate work with several of the tallest buildings under construction. 

"The pylons of Karnak" 
From the New Kingdom, and continued in the centuries after the Egyptian leaders have gradually created a series of 10 "towers" at Karnak. Functioning as bridges of all kinds, these towers are interconnected by a network of walls.They were often decorated with scenes depicting the king who built and many of them also had flag staffs of colorful banners that would be flown.At Karnak pylons start near the main shrine and go in two directions. A set of six poles facing west towards the Nile and ends with a driveway lined with a small sphinx entrance. Another series of four towers faces south along a processional route used for ceremonies. 

Wadjet Hall 
According to the draft Digital Karnak UCLA Wadjet room (whose name comes from the style of the columns used) was built by Thutmose I (reigned 1504-1492 BC), near the main sanctuary, between the fourth and fifth pylons. It measures about 246 feet by 46 feet (75 meters by 14 meters) and was used for the coronation of the king and Jubilee Festival (heb-sed).The heb-sed festival usually held 30 years after a king ascended the throne and then every three years thereafter. "During the festival, the king ran around a courtyard heb-sed perform feats of strength to demonstrate its ability to continue to rule Egypt," writes Pat Remler researcher in his book "Egyptian Mythology A to Z "(Chelsea House, 2010). 

Hatshepsut and Thutmose III
Hatshepsut was a female pharaoh of Egypt who reigned from about 1479 to 1458 BC At Karnak, she renovated the main sanctuary at Karnak, creating in its place a "Palace of Maat." It has also created a chapel made of red quartzite hold laptop bark of the god (boat).When Hatshepsut's successor, Thutmose III, ascended the throne, he ordered the destruction of images of the female pharaoh and had a chapel quartzite destroyed and replaced by one of his own.His legacy at Karnak was not destructive as he ordered the construction of Ahkmenu, a pillar built on the side structure of the central sanctuary. It contains a list of Egyptian kings from before the great pyramids were built.He also created a "temple contra" next to the Ahkmenu. "Known as the" Chapel of the ear heard, "the sanctuary allowed the people of Thebes to the petition of a statue of King Amon-Ra" writes the team Digital Karnak. Moreover, the king built a "sacred lake", south of the main sanctuary.

The Great Hypostyle Hall 

Perhaps the most fantastic building at Karnak was the "Great Hypostyle Hall" built just west of the main sanctuary along the main entrance. Built by Seti (Sety also called) I, a king who ruled from 1290 to 1279 BC, it covers an area "large enough to accommodate all of the Notre Dame de Paris," wrote University of Memphis Belle team hypostyle hall project on their website.The building is about 337 feet (103 meters) by 170 feet (52 meters). The researchers note that there are 134 columns in total, the largest of which twelve are 70 feet (21 meters) high and support the central part of the structure. The 122 remaining columns are about 40 feet (12 meters) high.On the exterior walls are scenes showing Seti and his successor, Ramses II, striking the enemies of Libya, Syria and the Levant. Shortly after it was built, the hotel has probably become the scene of coronation ceremonies and heb-sed to replace the Wadjet room in this function. 

Khonsu Temple 
Khonsu was the child of Amun-Ra and the goddess Mut. A temple dedicated to him at Karnak was built, appropriately placed between the main sanctuary of Amun-Re and the southern zone of Mut honored.Built by Ramses III, a king who ruled from 1186-1155 BC, the temple is about 230 feet (70 meters) by 88 feet (27 meters). The columns of the measurement of the room about 23 feet (7 meters) high. "The temple contained not only a suite of rooms for the accommodation of the statue of the god, but also a separate bark (boat) room," the team wrote Digital Karnak. 

Construction continued at Karnak periodically after the end of the New Kingdom. King Taharqa, who ruled about 2,700 years ago, was part of a dynasty of princes of Nubia (modern Sudan) who came to control much of Egypt. He was interested in "sacred lake" Karnak and built the "building of the lake" next to it, a monument partly underground.Today it is severely damaged, though mysterious, "it is a confusing and enigmatic monument that has no parallel," writes Blyth. "It was" committed to reconsider Horakhte [a combination of two gods of heaven], which would explain the solar open courtyard above the ground, while underground chambers symbolized night passage of the sun through the underworld. "Among its features was a" nilometer "a structure used to measure the level of water from the Nile. In this case, the device would have a symbolic use. 

Nectanebo I and the end 
The last major program at Karnak building was constructed by Nectanebo I, king of the 30th and last dynasty of ancient Egypt. He ruled between 380 and 362 BC After his dynasty ended, Egypt was ruled by people descended from Persia, Greece and Rome.Nectanebo built a high wall around the place with an additional temple. He also started the construction of a new pylon at Karnak at the west entrance (although it was not able to finish).The foreign leaders who took control of Egypt continued its work of Karnak in some degree. Ptolemy IV (reigned 221-205 BC) would create a series of ritual catacombs dedicated to Osiris, god of the underworld."The building has functioned as a" tomb, "a place for underground burial. Many of them are known from ancient Egypt, although generally these areas are sacred animals for burial. Example Karnak instead served burial of small statuettes of Osiris, "the team wrote Digital Karnak.After Egypt fell under the control of Rome in 30 BC, the work of Karnak was breathless, the great monument to become the magnificent archaeological site it is today.

No comments:

Post a Comment