Middle Kingdom Court

Related Features

Originally built by Senusret I – 1971 BCE to 1926 BCE

Modified by Amenhotep I – 1525 BCE to 1504 BCE

Other works initiated by Senusret I:

Middle Kingdom Court, White Chapel, Enclosures and Gates

Other works initiated by Amenhotep I:

Middle Kingdom Court, Amenhotep I Calcite Chapel, Amenhotep I Limestone Chapel


A large, virtually empty square space stands in the center of Karnak today, as very little remains of the Middle Kingdom temple that once marked the heart of Amun-Ra’s cult. Only a series of rose granite doorway sills and a large calcite alter from the original temple can still be seen today. This area is now called the “Middle Kingdom court.”
Measurements: The temple measured 38m by 38m and stood 6m high; The rectangular chapels of Amenhotep I were 3.1m high, 2.6m wide and 3.65m deep; the small chapels along the court’s bisecting wall were 1.1m wide, 1.3 deep and 1.75m high.

Phases of Construction

Senusret I

Senusret I built a limestone temple dedicated to the god Amun-Ra at Karnak, probably replacing a much smaller sandstone temple on the same location. As reconstructed by one scholar, a 3m deep portico lined with twelve pillars fronted the western side of Senusret’s temple. The pillars, the bases of which were made from reused sandstone, were adorned with engaged statues of the king in the pose of Osiris. Behind the front portico was a large, open-air courtyard with a single row of pillars on each side. After crossing a series of red granite thresholds into the temple’s sanctuary, a 90-degree turn to the left gave access to the naos (supported by the calcite altar) where the cult statue of Amun-Ra was housed.

Construction materials: limestone, rose granite, sandstone, calcite

About the reconstruction of Senusret I

About the Model:The model of the Middle Kingdom temple was based on the hypotheses of Gabolde (1998; 1999). He based his reconstructions on excavations made in the “Middle Kingdom court” and study of the remaining blocks from the Senusret I temple.

The model was given a plain white limestone pattern. Unfortunately, representations of the Osiride pillars on the portico of the Middle Kingdom temple were not included on the model. The altar holding the god’s naos was given a calcite pattern taken from photographs of that feature from Karnak today.

It should be mentioned that François Larché has recently challenged the size and orientation of Gabolde’s reconstruction of the Middle Kingdom temple area (2007). He suggested that the temple covered a much smaller area and may have faced east, towards a now disappeared Nile channel.

Amenhotep I

While possibly leaving most of the Middle Kingdom Senusret I temple as it stood, Amenhotep I drastically renovated the area around it. Two short walls were appended to the Senusret temple’s western façade, limiting access to the aisles flanking the temple. The middle and eastern sections of the Middle Kingdom mud brick wall were removed and replaced with a limestone enclosure and a series of rectangular chapels. The chapels opened onto the court before the Senusret temple. The court was delimited on its western edge by a new high limestone wall and gate, and bisected into a western and eastern section by another stone wall. Along one of these walls, the king placed sixteen small limestone chapels (eight on each side of the wall’s central doorway) opening to the east. The northern line of chapels appears to have held cult statues of the god Amun-Ra. In the central area of this new court stood one of the king’s bark chapels. Recent study suggests this may have been a wooden chapel, not the king’s well-known calcite chapel. See the webpage Amenhotep I calcite chapel for more information on this feature. Nine-meter long screen walls flanked this chapel on its northern and southern sides. These walls were covered with relief scenes of the king’s jubilee festival and other cultic rituals.

Outside of the court, the king may have constructed a small mud brick pylon. A brick wall between this pylon and the court may have been fitted with a limestone door or gate.

Construction materials: limestone, calcite

About the reconstruction model of Amenhotep I

The reconstruction of the Amun temple during the reign of Amenhotep I is based on the text and plans of Graindorge (2002: Abb. 1-2). Not all of her suggestions were included on the model: she reconstructed a small court to the south of the southern line of chapels and also hypothesized that the central chapel was made of wood, with the king’s calcite chapel located in one of the courts to the west (the model shows the king’s calcite chapel as the central shrine). See the webpage Amenhotep I calcite chapel for more information on the position of the chapels. Graindorge’s reconstruction is based on her work piecing together 800 blocks found in the Karnak magazines. The exact layout of the structures therefore remains hypothetical, and the understanding of Amenhotep’s work here may change as research at the temple continues.

The additions to the temple were given a plain limestone pattern. The mud brick pylon was given a mud brick pattern based on photographs of the remaining mud brick walls at the temple today.

Destruction: Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut removed the Middle Kingdom temple’s portico of Osiris pillars to make room for her new temple sanctuary, the “palace of Ma’at.”

The rest of the Middle Kingdom temple may have stood until the 4th century AD when the temple was closed and the blocks were removed for new building projects by the inhabitants of the city.

Modern Site Photos


Gabolde, Luc. (1998),Le “grand château d’Amon” de Sésostris 1er à Karnak : la décoration du temple d’Amon-Ré au Moyen empire. Mémoires de l’Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres. Paris: Diff. de Boccard, tome 17, 204 p., xl p. of pla.

Gabolde, Luc. (1999),Aux origines de Karnak : les recherches récentes dans la “cour du Moyen Empire”. Bulletin de la société d’égyptologie. Genève: La Sociétévol. 23 , 31-49.

Larché, François. (2007),Nouvelles observations sur les monuments du Moyen et du Nouvel Empire dans la zone centrale du temple d’Amon. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. XII , 407-592.

Ullmann, Martina. (2007),Thebes: Origins of a Ritual Landscape. Sacred space and sacred function in ancient Thebes. Chicago: Oriental Institue of the University of Chicago, 3-25.

Graindorge, Catherine. Beinlich, Horst (2002),Der Tempel des Amun-Re von Karnak zu Beginn der 18.Dynastie. Ägyptologische Tempeltagung : Würzburg, 23.-26. September 1999. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 33vol. 5 , 83-90.

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.

Charloux, Guillaume. (2007),Karnak au Moyen Empire, l’enceinte et les fondations des magasins du temple d’Amon-Rê. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. XII , 191-225, 809-813.

Graindorge, Catherine and Philippe Martinez. (1989),Karnak avant Karnak. Bulletin de la Société française d’égyptologie. vol. 115 , 36-55.

Graindorge, Catherine and Philippe Martinez. (1999),Programme architectural et iconographique des monuments d’Amenophis I a Karnak. annales du service des antiquités de l’Égypte. vol. 74 , 169-182.

cbd gummies for male ed spectrum gummies for ed best cbd gummies for male enlargement why dont penis enlargement pills work sexy time gummies fish oil pills for male enhancement king kung male enhancement buy pills ed gummies near me bioscience male enhancement gummies cost walgreens natural male enhancement pills generic male enhancement pills penis enlargement pills dr oz what male enhancement pill makes you hard peak cbd gummies male enhancement pills 2024 starts with a v keoni cbd gummies good for ed it works gummies strongest cbd gummies for sex gummies that enlarge your penis male enhancement pill ratings

roman male enhancement pills male energy enhancement pills acv for health gummies how to make hemp oil gummies male enhancement pills sydney what are side effects of penis enlargement pills stores that sell male enhancement pills rlx male enhancement pill cbd penis gummies flo gummies reviews cbd gummies review do penis enlarging pills actually work herbal male enhancement pills in india do the oprah gummies work what is the strongest male enhancement pill best gas station male enhancement pills 2024 bio lyfe gummies male enhancement european male enhancement pills male enhancement pills that are blue red male enhancement pill reviews penis enlargement pills ebay hot flow gummies super cbd gummies 300 mg for sex male enhancement pills nz

hair growth cbd gummies cbd gummy bears extreme strength buy shark tank cbd gummies cbd sour gummy worms manufacturer is cbd gummies safe for pregnancy cbd gummies high mg regan cbd gummies reviews hemp oil cbd gummies buy shark tank choice cbd gummies cbd gummys birmingham purecane cbd gummies reakiro cbd gummies cbd gummy retailers cbd gummies effect thc vs cbd gummy best cbd gummies for pain and anxiety 10 mg cbd gummies side effects vita labs cbd gummies peak cbd gummies and crohns synthetic cbd gummy bears that get you high cbd gummies para diabeticos cbd gummies for quit smoking

cbd gummies richmond va cbc content of just cbd gummies where to buy liberty cbd gummies what is hemptrance cbd gummies is there marijuana in cbd gummies shop cbd gummies in usa cbd gummies for sleep with melatonin maryland what is green cbd gummies keoni cbd gummies diabetes district edibles cbd gummies dr oz gummy cbd i love cbd gummies cbd gummies feel like cbd oil gummy bear free sample cali cbd gummies 500mg essential cbd male enhancement gummies cbd gummies drug screening chongs choice cbd gummies review just cbd gummies para que sirve what cbd gummies good for halo gummies cbd nu spectra cbd me gummies fruit punch cbd gummies rapid relief cbd gummies skittles cbd gummies gummy bear cbd with thc in colorado what are the benefits of eating cbd gummies cbd gummy packaging bliss blitz cbd gummies canada is it okay to take a cbd gummies every night spectrum cbd gummies for diabetes reviews hhc cbd gummies

keto sour gummy bears try turbo keto gummies keto luxe gummies side effects oprah winfreys diet gummy bears goxtra acv keto gummies kim kardashian royal keto gummies side effects reviews on fast keto acv gummies best keto acv gummies reviews gummies apple cider vinegar shark tank acv gummies review gomitas para bajar de peso slimming gummies health effects acv gummies chocolate gummies keto gum weight loss gummies did shark tank invest in diet gummies review royal keto gummies keto gummies recipes tea usa keto gummies 3ds rapid fit keto acv gummies review gummy bear cleanse diet dragons den weight loss gummies episode marilyn denis weight loss gummies keto boost gummies dietworks apple cider vinegar gummies stores buy goli apple cider vinegar gummies keto fitastic gummies diet gummies for weight loss pura vida keto gummies review

do apple cider vinegar gummies help with acne keto gummies candy does keto gummy work 6 pack keto acv gummies website goketo gummies price how do you use keto acv gummies ketonaire acv keto gummies thermal keto acv gummies oprah on weight loss gummies dr rivera keto gummies simply fit keto gummy keto gummies with k3 spark mineral probio apple cider vinegar gummies pro burn ss keto gummies reviews great result acv keto gummies reviews ultra fast diet keto gummies slimming gummy berry juice reviews wawa apple cider vinegar gummies ketosis gummies shark tank keto life gummies where to buy myni selfcare diet gummy review keto flow gummies rebel wilson apple cider vinegar gummies what do they do weight loss gummies hydroxycut nutra blend apple cider vinegar gummies what is keto gummies good for do diet gummies work uk does ntx keto gummies really work