Originally built by Nectanebo I – 380 BCE to 362 BCE
Modified by Ptolemy III – 246 BCE to 221 BCE
Other works initiated by Nectanebo I:1st Pylon, Contra Temple, Opet Temple, Shoshenq I Court, Enclosures and Gates, Bab el Amara Gate, Other Processional Ways
Other works initiated by Ptolemy III:Bab el Amara Gate, Opet Temple
The gate is situated within the enclosure wall of Nectanebo I, south of the Khonsu Temple. To the south of the gate stood a sphinx-lined alleyway. The ceiling was decorated with a motif of flying vultures. The interior walls were covered with the hieroglyphic symbols for “all life, prosperity, and health,” a common wish for the pharaoh. A winged sun-disk adorned the center of the gate’s lintel. The north face of the gate is covered with relief scenes of the king interacting with divinities.
Measurements: The gate measures 21m high. The opening is 14.0-14.4m high and 5.6m wide.
Phases of Construction
Nectanebo I or his successor Teos planned to front the Khonsu Temple with a new gate and pylon. The king began construction on the flanking pylon towers, 28.2m long each. The project was never finished and the foundations of these towers were left incomplete.
Construction materials: stone
Ptolemy III erected a huge stone gateway between the planned pylon towers. The gate was inscribed with texts and relief scenes mentioning the king.
About the reconstruction model of Ptolemy III
The Ptolemy III gate was designed based on the axial drawings of Zignani (2003: fig. 5-9, 16).
Photographs of the gate as it appears at Karnak today were placed on the north exterior and the interior sides of the model. The south side, not photographed, was done with a generic stone pattern.
Unknown Ptolemaic King
Sometime after the addition of the Ptolemy III gate, a mud brick wall was built up against the gate to close off the area between the Nectanebo I enclosure wall and the gate. The planned pylon towers were covered by this new wall.
Construction materials: mud brick
About the reconstruction model of Unknown Ptolemaic King
The model of the incomplete pylon towers and the location of the later mud brick wall over these towers was based on the plans of Laroche-Traunecker (1982: fig. 10) and Lauffray, Sauneron, et al. (1975: fig. 11).
Modern Site Photos
Lauffray, Jean, Serge Sauneron, and Sa’ad Ramadan. (1975),Rapport sur les travaux de Karnak. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. V , 1-42.
Zignani, Pierre. (2003),Observations architecturales sur la porte d’Évergète. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. VI , 711-743.
Laroche-Traunecker, Francoise. (1982),Données nouvelles sur les abords du temple de Khonsou. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. VII , 313-337.