6th Pylon and Court


The small sixth pylon was located between the court of pylon five and the “palace of Ma’at.” The sandstone pylon’s gate was made of granite and covered in electrum. Relief decoration depicted Thutmose III adoring the god Amun-Ra. The court was lined on its north, west, and southern edges with a portico of twelve closed papyrus form columns, six to the north and six to the south. Small chapels extended from the northern and southern sections of this court towards the east.
Measurements: The small pylon measured 15.7m long, 4.2m wide, and rose only 12.50m high. The chapels of Thutmose III were 3.1m high, 2.6m wide and 3.65m deep.

Phases of Construction

Thutmose III

The model of the fourth pylon was based on the plan of the monument by Carlotti (1995: pl. XX) and the axial drawing by Gabolde (1993: V-VII). The location and thickness of the enclosure wall was based on the published plan of the temple by Carlotti (2001: pl. 1).

A simple stone pattern approximating the general size of the actual blocks was used on the model. The limestone casing on the fourth pylon was not specifically represented.

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).

Reconstruction Model

The model of the pylon was based on the plan by Carlotti (1995: pl. XXIab) and the axial drawing of Golvin (1987: 44).

The partition walls 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).

A simple stone pattern was placed on the pylon and the partition walls. The western door from the model of the “red chapel” was copied and moved to the court. Photographs of the standing papyrus-form columns at the temple were used to recreate their appearance on the model. The portico is shown with a flat wooden roof in the model. The roof may instead have been stone.

Excavations at Karnak have identified foundation deposits dating to the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III in association with the sandstone chapels. It is possible that the replacement of the limestone chapels of Amenhotep I with sandstone chapels was conceived of or started during that period (Mensan 2007). Since it is not clear the chapels were completed at that point, they are associated with Thutmose III in the model.


Arnaudiès-Montélimard, Emmanuelle. (2007),L’arche en granit de Thoutmosis III et l’avant-porte du VIe pylône. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. XII , 107-190.

Björkman, Gun. (1971),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. (2001),L’Akh-menou de Thoutmosis III à Karnak : etude architecturale. Paris: Recherche sur les civilisations

Golvin, Jean-Claude and Jean-Claude Goyon. (1987),Les bâtisseurs de Karnak. Paris: Presses du CNRS

Mensan, Romain. (2007),Tuthmoside foundation deposits at Karnak. Egyptian archaeology . vol. 30 , 21-25.