5th Pylon and Court


Located on the main, east/west temple axis, Pylon 5 formed the east wall of the Wadjet hall. The pylon led to a large, open court with a columned portico. The pylon was connected on its north and south extension walls to the temple’s new enclosure wall. A limestone casing covered the pylon’s interior sandstone core on the upper sections of the pylon, replaced at the base with a casing of red granite.
Measurements: The base of the pylon measured approximately 36.4m by 7.7m. The towers rose 19m.

Phases of Construction

Thutmose I

The fifth pylon and its court connected to the new stone enclosure wall surrounding the temple. Like the fourth pylon, rectangular niches were originally built into the east face of the stonework for the placement of small Osiride statues of Thutmose I. Standing sandstone statues of Thutmose I were placed between each niche. These measured 3.15m tall. Sixteen fluted sandstone columns created a covered portico on the court’s north, west and south sides.

About the reconstruction model of Thutmose I

The model of the pylon towers were based on the plan drawing by Carlotti (1995: pl. XXIa) and the plan and axial drawings of Carlotti and Gabolde (2003: figs. 8a-b).

The height and design of the columns were based on the plan and axial drawings by Carlotti and Gabolde (2003: figs. 9a-b). The seated statues in the pylon niches were based on the axial drawings and photographs of the statues published by Larche (2007: pls. XLVII-XLIX and LXXXII). The model’s statuettes are a much simplified form approximating a seated Osiris statue and do not closely represent the actual appearance of the pieces at Karnak.

A simple stone pattern was added to the pylon towers and walls. The limestone and red granite casing on the fifth pylon were not represented. The portico is shown with a flat wooden roof in the model. The roof may instead have been 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).

Thutmose III

Thutmose III added a series of sandstone partition walls and a sandstone and red granite gate in the central section of the court of the fifth pylon. The partitions sectioned the court off into main corridor flanked by two pillared courts on the north and south. This addition, along with the king’s roofed connecting walls between Pylon VI and the “palace of Ma’at” and the gateway around the Hatshepsut obelisks in the Wadjet hall, created a narrow corridor from the “festival court” to the temple’s sanctuary.

About the reconstruction model of Thutmose III

The gate and partition walls added to this stage were based on the published plan of the temple by Carlotti (2001: pl. 1) and the axial drawings of Golvin and Goyon (1987: 40, 41). The recent study and axial reconstruction of the sandstone and red granite gate done by Arnaudiès-Montélimard (2007) was not available at the time the model was built, so this material was not incorporated into the model in this area.

A simple sandstone pattern was added to the walls and gate. No indication was made of the red granite doorjambs on the model.

Modern Site Photos


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

Larché, François. (2007),Nouvelles observations sur les monuments du Moyen et du Nouvel Empire dans la zone centrale du temple d’Amon. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. XII , 407-592.

Barguet, Paul. (1962),Le temple d’Amon-Rê à Karnak; essai d’exégèse. Le Caire: Impr. de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale, xix, 368 p..

Björkman, Gun. (1971),Kings at Karnak. A study of the treatment of the monuments of royal predecessors in the early New Kingdom. Uppsala: Universitet

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.

Carlotti, Jean-François and Luc Gabolde. (2003),Nouvelles données sur la Ouadjyt. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. XI , 255-338.

Blyth, Elizabeth. (2006),Karnak: evolution of a temple. London: Routledge

Arnaudiès-Montélimard, Emmanuelle. (2007),L’arche en granit de Thoutmosis III et l’avant-porte du VIe pylône. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. XII