The Taharqo kiosk was located in the first court of the temple. Two rows of five large open papyrus form columns, connected by low screen walls, formed the free-standing structure. The huge distance between the two aisles suggests it must have been unroofed. Only one column now stands complete today. A calcite shrine, in situ at the center of the kiosk, must have once supported the bark of the god. The area was paved with rose granite stones. Doorways in the screen walls open to all four sides of the court.
Measurements: The building measured 20.5m wide by 29m deep. The columns were 2.99m in diameter and stood 21m high.
Phases of Construction
Taharqo erected an impressive limestone kiosk in the middle of the Shoshenq I court. Excavations suggest it replaced an earlier wooden kiosk on the same location. The alabaster altar is thought to pre-date the Taharqo construction, and would have belonged to this earlier building.
Later, Ptolemy IV added decoration to the kiosk’s screen walls. These included scenes of the minor deities of the regional areas of ancient Egypt, called “nomes.” The north side presented a line of nome-gods making offerings, led by the king in the red crown and the goddess of the West. The south side depicted a parallel scene; this time the king (wearing the white crown) led a procession of nome-gods accompanied by the goddess Neith. It may have been at this time the rose granite paving was added to the area.
The function of the Taharqo kiosk unclear, but due to its position in an open-air court, some scholars believe it functioned in the “union of the disc” ceremony. This yearly ceremony entailed bringing the cult statue of Amun-Ra out from his naos out into the sunlight to unite with the solar disc and be re-energized.
Construction materials: limestone, rose granite, calcite (“Egyptian alabaster”)
About the reconstruction model of Taharqo
Modern Site Photos
Lauffray, Jean. (1970),La colonnade-propylée occidentale de Karnak dite “kiosque de Taharqa” et ses abords. Kêmi: revue de philologie et d’archéologie égyptiennes et coptes. vol. 20 , 111-164.
Lauffray, Jean. (1975),La colonnade proplyée occidentale de Taharqa à Karnak et les Mâts à emblème. Cahiers de Karnak. vol. V , 77-92.
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.
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