Originally built by Thutmose III – 1479 BCE to 1425 BCE
Modified by Ramesses II – 1279 BCE to 1213 BCE
Other works initiated by Thutmose III:Akhmenu, Contra Temple, Wadjet Hall, 7th Pylon, Thutmose III Shrine, Enclosures and Gates, Sacred Lake, 6th Pylon and Court, 5th Pylon and Court, Obelisks of 7th Pylon, Station of the King and Corridor, Obelisks of Festival Hall Center Pair, Central Bark Shrine, Palace of Ma’at, Obelisks of Wadjet Hall, Pylon and Festival Court of Thutmose II, East Exterior Wall
Other works initiated by Ramesses II:Obelisks at Eastern Gate, Ramesses II Eastern Temple, South Exterior Wall, Hypostyle Hall, East Exterior Wall
The present-day east exterior wall of the temple includes the east section of the enclosure wall encircling the core temple and the Akhmenu festival hall (built by Thutmose III).
Measurements: The wall extends approximately 97m in length along the temple’s east side.
Phases of Construction
Thutmose III destroyed the mud brick enclosure wall encircling the Amun temple of the time and built a new sandstone wall to incorporate his new festival hall, the Akhmenu, into the greater temple precinct.
Construction materials: sandstone
Ramesses II slightly modified the enclosure wall of Thutmose III by adding in four registers of deeply cut sunk relief.
The preserved sections of the wall show that it was covered with 2 registers of scenes: the lower register (the better preserved) depicted the king wearing various crowns making offerings to a series of deities; the upper register is mostly destroyed. Below these was a line of large cartouches and titles of the king, calling him “Ramesses-god-ruler-of-Heliopolis.”
About the reconstruction model of Ramesses II
The location and width of the wall were based on the published plan of the Amun temple by Carlotti (2001: pl. 1). The actual height of this wall was unavailable; on the model it was designed to approximate the height of the Akhmenu festival hall which the wall enclosed on its eastern side.
Modern Site Photos
Brand, Peter. Dorman, Peter and Betsy Bryan (2007),Veils, votives, and marginalia: the use of sacred space at Karnak and Luxor. Sacred space and sacred function in ancient Thebes. Chicago: Oriental Institue of the University of Chicagovol. 61 , 51-83.
Carlotti, Jean-François. (2001),L’Akh-menou de Thoutmosis III à Karnak : etude architecturale. Paris: Recherche sur les civilisations