Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Karnak before the XVIIIth Dynasty.

Contribution to the study of the mud-brick remains of the first temples of Amun-Ra

by Guillaume Charloux

(DIGITAL BOOK IN FRENCH: Karnak avant la XVIIIe dynastie. Contribution à l'étude des vestiges en brique crue des premiers temples d'Amon-Rê) 2011.
Co-authored with Romain Mensan
With two articles by Michel Azim & Antoine Garric
With the participation of Shimaa Montaser Abu al-Hagag

Soleb. Collection "Études d’égyptologie" directed by Nicolas Grimal, professor at the Collège de France.

DIGITAL FORMAT. 568 pages (21 x 29,7 cm).
ISBN 978-2-9523726-9-5.

The Temple of Amun-Ra at Karnak, as now visited by thousands of tourists, is the largest religious sanctuary still preserved in Egypt. Yet our knowledge of its origin and its development is still very patchy, despite two centuries of French archaeological research.

In 2002, fortuitous mud-brick remains exhumed during the study of the foundations of New Kingdom constructions has revived the debate about its origin. This was the start of a large-scale geomorphological and archaeological operation conducted by a multidisciplinary research team. Courtyards of the fourth, fifth and sixth pylons, the so-called "courtyard of the Middle Kingdom", neighboring aisles, and Thutmose III’s Akhmenou have been the focus of soundings to recover mud-brick construction and lower sedimentation levels.

The results suggest that the first religious complex at Karnak was built on a hill and it gradually developed to the west. It was also determined that the first temple certainly dates back from the eleventh dynasty (ca. 2160-1991 BC) and cannot be earlier.

The Temple of the New Kingdom, as we now see it, was present in almost identical proportions during the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period. This earlier religious complex, of which there remain only minor leveling courses of mud-brick, was most likely one of the largest sanctuaries in Egypt in the first half of the second millennium BC.

Dr. Guillaume Charloux received his Ph.D. from the University Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne). He is a research engineer in the UMR 8167 Orient et Méditerranée of the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research).

Roman Mensan is an associate researcher at the UMR 5608 Traces of the CNRS .

No comments:

Post a Comment