Amun TempleTheban Temples - Thebes - The Places
The Temple inside the Malkata Palace City Complex is dedicated to the God Amun. It is located to the north of the Palace itself and has an unusual layout compared to other New Kingdom Amun Temples. To learn more about the Malkata Palace City Complex, click here.
Some of the north side ante rooms resemble storerooms rather than any previously found dimensions of rooms which would have held a religious purpose as in other New Kingdom Temples. It may be that Pharaoh Amenhotep III who built the Temple, decided to amend the standardised architecture and these rooms may have housed deities that were needed to celebrate his second Sed Festival Jubilee. It is known that Pharaoh Amenhotep III reused the Amun Temple at Malkata for his third Sed Festival Jubilee.
The Temple is orientated on an East to West Axis and is approx. 184 meters long and 111 meters wide. Built primarily out of mudbrick, many of which have been excavated with either the stamp which says, “the Temple of Amun in the House of Rejoicing” or “Nebmaarta in the Temple of Amun in the House of Rejoicing”. Please note that Nebmaarta was another name by which Pharaoh Amenhotep III was known. Potentially door lintels and columns would have been constructed from stone which has now been robbed away by the local populace after the building fell into disuse and probable disrepair.
Entering through the East, the Front Court, which is often referred to as the Forecourt, is almost a square in shape, was decorated with Blue Wall Tiles that were set into golden gilded plaster.
Running along the Northern side of the Temple are the rooms that have been described as Ante Rooms or Storerooms.
Moving into the rectangular shaped Upper Terrace towards the west, you would have walked up a centrally placed 4-meter-wide entrance ramp as this was on a higher elevation which was divided by a small retaining wall.
Towards the back of the Temple, before the Inner Sanctum which would have held the Statue of the God, is the Ante Chamber which is 6.5 meters long by 3.5 meters wide and is graced with columns and a blue painted ceiling decorated with yellow stars representing the night’s sky.
The final Inner Sanctum of the three Niche’s for the Gods was reached via a set of steps.
To the Northern side is a group of 12 Chambers, this is echoed on the Southern side, bringing a total of 24 Chambers. These would have made up the Sky Map necessary for Pharaoh to follow in order to complete his Heb Sed Festival. Visiting a total of 24 Gods and Goddesses; 12 for the 12 hours of the day and 12 for the 12 hours of the night. Each Deity would require a small sanctuary room each where Pharaoh could complete his offering. For more details about Pharaoh’s Heb Sed Festival at Malkata, please click here.