7th Pylon


The seventh pylon began the Amun-Ra temple’s southern processional route. It was located just north of the eighth pylon of Hatshepsut. Two colossal statues of Thutmose III flanked the pylon’s doorway on the south side. Two rose granite obelisks stood just south of the statues. See webpage for Obelisks of Pylon 7 for more information on these monuments.
Measurements: The pylon reached a height of 26m. It was 63.2m in length and 10.6m in width.

Phases of Construction

Thutmose III

Thutmose III erected his pylon between the existing pylon of Hatshepsut (the eighth) and the southern entrance to the “festival court” of Thutmose III. According to inscriptions on the one of the king’s chapels, he replaced a mud brick pylon that originally stood on the spot.

The southern face of the both pylon towers was decorated with relief scenes of the Thutmose III in the act of “smiting” a group of cowering captives.

The court of this pylon has been called the “court of the cachette,” as some time in the Greco-Roman period, a huge quantity of stone and metal statues were buried here within a huge pit. They were discovered in 1903 CE during excavations at the temple by Georges Legrain.

Construction materials: sandstone

About the reconstruction model of Thutmose III

The model of the pylon was based on the plan given by Carlotti (1995: pl. XXII).

Images of the south side of the pylon towers taken at Karnak were applied to the model. These scenes were blended into a simple sandstone block pattern.

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, 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.

Laskowski, Piotr. Cline, Eric and David O’Connor (2006),Monumental architecture and the royal building program of Thutmose III. Thutmose III : a new biography. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 183 – 237.