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Precinct of Montu

Karnak Temple - Theban Temples

Ipet Sut, “Most Select of Places”

Precinct of Montu

Who built the Precinct?

The Precinct was started when Pharaoh Amenhotep III commissioned the building of the Temple of Montu during the 18th Dynasty. This was in remembrance of the older and localised God, Montu who was one of Egypt’s War Gods and thought to be the highest worshipped Deity before God Amun Ra rose to his prominence.

As with all of Karnak Temple, a part of the Temple would be erected and then added to or remodelled completely by subsequent Pharaohs or Priests.

My Plan of Karnak Temple

The Temple to the God Montu

When and Who built it?

The majority of the Temple of Montu was at least begun by Pharaoh Amenhotep III during the 18th Dynasty and appears to have been built to replace an older sanctuary. His builders reused blocks from previous Pharaohs, including:

  • Pharaoh Amenhotep I
  • Pharaoh Hatshepsut and her stepson Pharaoh Tuthmose III
  • Pharaoh Amenhotep II
  • Pharaoh Tuthmose IV

 

Montu Temple’s Plan

Originally, the Plan for the Temple was for a square building with Columns in 2 rows either side of the Ramp which faced North. However, presumably on orders of the visiting Pharaoh Amenhotep III or his Vizier, the Temple was extended via its:

  • Southern Wall to include a host of additional rooms
  • Entrance which was expanded to include a Courtyard that swallowed the original Ramp entrance into its foundations
  • The new Entrance now had a further new Ramp which was abutted by Obelisks
  • The original Sanctuary now became additional rooms, and a new Sanctuary was added directly behind and one to either side of it

The Temple was aligned on the same axis to its sister Temple in Medamud which could be reached using the columned Avenue and the Canal, via the River Nile.

 

Additions made

Pharaoh Ramses II added a forecourt and 2 Obelisks, whilst Pharaoh Tutankhamun rectified the damage that had been made by his father’s Aten worshippers and added a copy of his Restoration Stela. Click here to learn more about the Removal of the Deities.

Click here to discover how the Restoration of the Deities occurred and to read about the Restoration Stela.

Later Pharaohs added further additions: Pharaoh Taharqa added a new main entrance and courtyard which had 20 columns inside it enclosing the previous entrance and Pharaoh Amenhotep III’s Obelisks.

Finds
Statues of Amenhotep II and Amenhotep III in Heb Sed Festival outfits

Temple to the Goddess Ma’at

When and Who built it?

This Temple is in such a ruined state that we are not currently aware without doubt which Pharaoh constructed this. It is only famous as it was used as a Court for the Judges who ruled over the Trials of the Thieves and Robbers who had desecrated the Royal Tombs in the Valleys of the Kings and Queen. Held under Pharaoh Ramses IX at the end of the 20th Dynasty.

Ma’at Temple Plan

Consisted of a Courtyard which followed into a small pillared Hall.

Other Buildings

  • Sacred Lake: to the West of the main Temple
  • High Temple: which very little is known about
  • Enclosure Wall: Pharaoh Ptolemy III replaced the Precinct’s Enclosure Wall which appears to have been added itself by Pharaoh Nectanebo I or Pharaoh Nectanebo II of the 30th Dynasty of Egypt

Temple to Harpra

When and Who built it?

From evidence it is believed to have been constructed under the reign of Pharaoh Taharqa.

Harpra Temple Plan

A Courtyard leads to the Hypostyle Hall and on into the Inner Sanctum

Columned Avenue to the Canal

This was the Pathway between the Temple of Montu inside the Precinct of Montu and its sister Temple in Medamud which was aligned on the same axis

Gateway of Pharaoh Ptolemy III and Pharaoh Ptolemy IV

It is one of the most recognisable pieces remain in the Precinct of Montu.

6 Chapels to God’s Wives of Amun

These were Priestesses who were given the Title God’s Wife of Amun and were usually connected to the Royal Family i.e., a Royal Queen or Princess. The Chapels were

  • Chapel of Nitocris, from the reign of Pharaoh Psamtik I;
  • Chapel of Amenirdis, from the reign of Pharaoh Shabaka;
  • 2 Chapels who have not yet been identified with a God’s Wife of Amun;
  • Chapel of Karomama, from the reign of Pharaoh Takelot II;
  • A Chapel to a God’s Wife of Amun who is not yet identified, from the reign of Pharaoh Taharqa