10th Pylon

Related Features

Originally built by Amenhotep III – 1390 BCE to 1352 BCE

Modified by Horemheb – 1323 BCE to 1295 BCE

Other works initiated by Amenhotep III:

10th Pylon, 3rd Pylon

Other works initiated by Horemheb:

2nd Pylon, Edifice of Amenhotep II, 9th Pylon, 10th Pylon


The tenth pylon is the furthest pylon south on the temple’s southern processional route leading to the Mut temple and Luxor temple.
Measurements: The pylon was 66.6m long, 12m wide, and reached a height of 21m. The rose granite doorway was 15.62m high.

Phases of Construction

Amenhotep III

Amenhotep III began construction on the tenth pylon, but only the lowest courses were completed before his death.

About the reconstruction model of Amenhotep III

In order to show that the pylon was begun but not completed during this reign, the model was left mostly transparent, with the exception of the completed area at the base


Horemheb finished the construction of the pylon, and added sandstone walls connecting the monument to his ninth pylon. The court of the tenth pylon functioned as an intermediate space between the sacred and the profane; to the east, a doorway led to the administrative quarters, storehouses and priestly living quarters. 

The upper sections of the pylon towers were filled with “talatat” blocks from the east Karnak temples of Akhenaten. These were systematically destroyed by Horemheb as part of his renewal of the traditional Egyptian cults. The pylon towers depicted Horemheb in the classic Egyptian style, “smiting” his enemies. The walls of the court were inscribed with scenes showing Horemheb making the journey to an exotic foreign land called Punt and returning with fabulous treasures.

Construction materials: sandstone.

About the reconstruction model of Horemheb

The model of the tenth pylon is based on the plan of Carlotti (1995: pl. XXVI) and the plan and axial drawings of Azim (1982: fig. 5). The location and size of the court enclosure walls are based on the published plan of the temple in Carlotti (2001: pl. 1).

When the pylon was completed under Horemheb, the entire pylon becomes solid on the model. A simple sandstone pattern was added to the pylon to reflect the appearance of the stone.

Large wooden flagstaffs have been added to the pylon towers. These would have been topped with colorful cloth banners. The tall poles stood on stone bases, and were arranged within square notches left in the pylon’s exterior masonry. Clamps secured to the pylon itself (not shown on the model) further stabilized their upper portions. The form and size of the flagstaffs were based on representations of these features found at temples and tombs. These show the poles as reaching above the height of the pylon and tapering as they rise (Azim and Traunecker (1982: fig. 4).

Modern Site Photos


Azim, Michel. Centre Franco-Égyptien des temples de Karnak (1980),La fouille de la cour du Xe Pylône Rapport préliminaire. Karnak. Le Caire: Le Centre Franco-Égyptien d’Étude des temples de Karnakvol. VI , 153-165.

Azim, Michel. (1982),La structure des pylônes d’Horemheb a Karnak. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. VII , 127-166.

Azim, M. and C. Traunecker. (1982),Un mât du IXe Pylône au nome d’Horemheb. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. VII , 75-92.

Carlotti, Jean-François. (2001),L’Akh-menou de Thoutmosis III à Karnak : etude architecturale. Paris: Recherche sur les civilisations

Carlotti, Jean-François. (1995),Contribution à l’ étude métrologique de quelques monuments du temple d’Amon-Rê à Karnak. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. X , 65-127.

Kozloff, Arielle, Betsy Bryan and Lawrence Berman. (1992),Egypt’s Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and His World. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art