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Malkata Palace

Malkata Palace City - Thebes - The Places

Malkata, the House of Rejoicing

Pharaoh Amenhotep III built the Palace Complex at Malkata for his own, and his family’s, personal use. Constructed during the New Kingdom, around year 11 to year 29 of his reign, unusually he built it on the West Bank of the River Nile in Thebes when abodes for the living were usually fabricated on the East Bank, the side of the living.

The Palace was built primarily from Pharaonic marked mudbricks with stone only being used for the bases of the Columns, the door lintels and some of the floors. For more details on how the Palace would have been built and using what tools and materials, click here.

The decorations were muted on the exterior to white, probably also in consideration to the heat of the desert, whilst the interior was bright with colours. To learn more about the Artisans who would have created these designs, click here


The Pharaoh’s Palace

As with all Pharaonic Palaces, it included:

  • Family Apartments for each section of the Royal Family
  • Hall for Audiences with Pharaoh
  • Separate Halls for Audiences with officials
  • Courtyards
  • Gardens
  • Large Pleasure Lake
  • Kitchens
  • West Villa structures which were where the Administrative Offices were located
  • Official’s Apartments
  • A Causeway which runs from Pharaoh’s Heb Sed Festival Platform next to the waterside, now known as Kom el-Samak, past the western side of the Palace to Pharaoh’s Mortuary Temple now pinpointed by the Colossi of Memnon

The Royal Family’s Rooms
The Royal Family’s rooms appear to have been centered around the Central Banqueting Hall. Queen Tiye, Amenhotep’s Great Royal Wife had her own smaller Suite diagonally across from Pharaoh, this is thought to have been called the South Palace. Archaeological remains have shown that the Royal bedchamber’s ceiling was decorated with paintings of Goddess Nekhbet, while the Walls were decorated with wildlife scenes, including flowers and animals in the marshes.

Other Rooms the Royals used
A large Hall of Audiences which could be described as the Throne room with separate Halls coming off to the side for the Audiences which would have been needed with different Officials. It could be considered as the Office and workspaces of the working daily Court.

The Central Banqueting Hall was supported by its own columns and was 50m long by 25m wide. It was decorated with a Nile theme; the birds, the fish and the plant life of the nearby Nile were all reflected within the room.

Administrative Rooms
West Villa structures which were where the Administrative Offices were located. The day to day working spaces for the Vizier and other High Officials. For details about the Viziers and their work, click here

Workers and Artisans were thought to have been awarded homes and workspaces within a Village to the South of the Palaces, known as the South Village. Whilst the Officials had their homes somewhere near the Palace, perhaps in the North Village.

Later History

Pharaoh’s son and regal successor, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, left the Palace complex when he relocated the Capital City from Thebes to Amarna and changed his name to Pharaoh Akhenaten. For more details about Amarna, Pharaoh Akhenaten, and his wife Great Royal Wife Nefertiti, click here

Egyptologists believe that Pharaoh Akhenaten’s son, Tutankhamen, may well have used the complex when he restored the traditional religion and its Theban Religious Capital.  Furthermore, the next two Pharaohs, Ay and Horemheb respectfully, may well have also used the Palace complex, even if only a little briefly.

By the time of Pharaoh Ramesses II, roughly 10 years later, the Palace Complex had been downgraded to a minor Residence. Although the area appears to have been in somewhat continuous use until the Roman Period when they built the Isis Temple at Deir el-Shelwit. 


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