2nd Pylon

Related Features

Originally built by Horemheb – 1323 BCE to 1295 BCE

Other works initiated by Horemheb:

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


The second pylon stands east of the later Shoshenq court and acts as the western wall of the later hypostyle hall. The second pylon is decorated with scenes of the king in the company of the gods. A large gateway fronts the pylon on its west face. This would have served as the main gate to the temple until the construction of a new court and western gate by Shoshenq I.
Measurements: The pylon’s original height is unknown. The bases of the towers were of 46.4m long and 14.6m wide. The height of the gate’s opening was 29.5m.

Phases of Construction


Horemheb significantly extended the Amun-Ra temple to the west by the construction of a new pylon and gateway. During the time of its construction, it fronted an open court that led to the third pylon of Amenhotep III. Ramesses I later completed the decoration of Horemheb and then replaced all of Horemheb’s cartouches with his own. After the gate of the second pylon was severely damaged during a fire, its interior western face was completely rebuilt and redecorated by the artists of Ptolemy VI. Along the eastern section of the pylon’s passageway, damages caused by falling ceiling blocks were also repaired under the king. This time, the artists tried to respect the original 19th Dynasty scenes of Ramesses I (and Ramesses II, who usurped many of the scenes of his grandfather). They recreated as much of the relief decoration as possible, choosing a style that echoed that of the New Kingdom and even carving the Ramesside names into the royal cartouches.

About the reconstruction model of Horemheb

The model of the second pylon was based on the plans of Carlotti (1995: pl. XVIII) and the plan and axial drawing of Azim (1982: Fig. 1).

A plain sandstone pattern decorates the pylon on the model. An attempt was made to recreate the size of the stones with the pattern. None of the scenes on the towers nor the gate were recreated.

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


Sourouzian, Hourig. (1995),Les colosses du II pylon du temple d’Amon-Rê à Karnak, Remplois Ramessides de la XVIIIe Dynastie. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. X , 505-543.

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

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. (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