located on the East Bank at Thebes, is
one of Egypt’s largest surviving
temple precincts. Founded in the Middle
Kingdom, it had become Egypt’s principal
religious center by the New Kingdom. It
was devoted primarily to the god Amun,
a local Theban god joined with the sun
god Re to become king of the Egyptian pantheon.
Kings from the Middle Kingdom through the
Roman era dedicated architectural elements
such as pylons (monumental gateways), courts,
temples, and shrines to the precincts of
the Theban triad: Amun, his consort Mut,
their son Khonsu, and the war god Montu,
creating the sprawling zone we see today.
Amun precinct at Karnak is approached
from the Nile along an avenue lined with
ram-headed sphinxes. The first pylon,
in the Late Period or Ptolemaic era,
protects a courtyard containing a triple
dedicated to the Theban triad by Seti
II and a small temple of Ramses III. Beyond
the second pylon is the Great Hypostlye
Hall, which holds 134 colossal columns
in the shape of papyrus bundles. The
and fourth pylons lead to the principal
temple area. From the area of the third
pylon, a second axis, oriented north-south,
leads through a series of pylons and
along another avenue of ram-headed sphinxes
the Mut precinct. Inside the enclosure
wall of the Amun precinct are also several
smaller temples and a large sacred lake.
The Montu precinct lies to the north.
walls of the pylons, courts, and temples
were extensively decorated; the
here include depictions of cult activities,
religious festivals, coronation ceremonies,
and military campaigns.
at Karnak have yielded numerous examples
of both royal and
private statuary, the
remains of votive images set up here
in honor of the gods. Some of the
of these come from the Court of the
Cachette, where salvage work in the
century uncovered over 700 statues
and statue fragments
and more than 17,000 bronzes.
Daily, 6 AM – 5:30 PM
Egyptian: 2 LE
Foreign: 50 LE
50% reduction for bearers of International Student ID Card
The site is 2.5 km north of central Luxor.
BY PLANE: Luxor has an international airport
serviced by EgyptAir and many other airlines.
BY BUS: Buses run regularly into Luxor.
TAXI: From within Luxor, ask for maabd
the precinct of Amun (SCA Archives)
of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, from
the Court of the Cachette (Kenneth