Development and Chronological Changes

The Karnak temple complex experienced more than 1,500 years of construction, destruction, renovation, and modification, resulting in the creation of a confusing web of buildings and courts attributed to a variety of different kings. The patronage of major state building projects was almost exclusively the right of the ruler, and his (and in one case, her) name conspicuously adorns most monuments at Karnak. In a few rare cases, important cult personnel, such as the high priest of Amun or the god’s wife of Amun, gained so much power or prestige that they too sponsored the erection or decoration of buildings within the precinct. But this was unusual, and the development of the temple over time can most easily be understood as linked closely with the succession of national rulers.

The resources in this section provide information on the phase-by-phase development of the temple, the significance of the changes, and the evidence for the reconstructions.


Available Resources

Guide (PDF format) – This document guides you through the videos in this section

Temple Growth and Change – This video presents a reign-by-reign tour of the temple’s development from the Middle Kingdom to the Greco-Roman Period, highlighting the many phases no longer visible at Karnak today. 14min 54sec.