Pharaoh Hatshepsut's Red ChapelPrecinct of Amun Ra - Karnak Temple - Theban Temples
Ipet Sut, “Most Select of Places”
The Precinct of Amun Ra
Commissioned and built for Pharaoh Hatshepsut in a distinctive red stone, hence “the Red Chapel, it was originally located inside the Precinct of Amun Ra; in the area near to her Obelisks although no one can be certain. Its Walls are Red quartzite whilst its Base and Doorways are made of either Gray Diorite or Black Granite. It stands at over 17 meters long and 6 meters wide, with 3 doors which are slightly higher at just over 7 meters.
Egyptologists believe that it was probably not completed within Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s reign and may have been finished by her stepson successor, Pharaoh Tuthmose III, before he turned to be the dismantler of her building projects.
Pharaoh Amenhotep III used the dismantled blocks from this Chapel as filler when he had the Third Pylon erected. These were discovered after the Pylon’s destruction and an investigation commenced to find out what the blocks were. The pieces were re-erected in Karnak Temple’s Open-Air Museum in the early 2000’s.
The Chapel is known to have been used as the home of the Sacred Barque of Amun Ra. To understand the details of what a Barque Shrine was and how this was a vital part of Temple life, click here.
Internally the Chapel is arranged into 2 Chambers with the Plinth that the Barque would have rested on in situ and underneath is a drain which would have been used to wipe away the water and any oils that were used to purify the Statue of God Amun Ra on a daily basis.
The decoration is of Pharaoh Hatshepsut and her successor, Pharaoh Tuthmose III, working with and making offerings to the Deities. Pharaoh Hatshepsut had the decoration reflect her rule:
- Her Divine Birth
- Her enthronement as Ruler
- Recording of her Nome divisions that she ruled. To learn about Ancient Egyptian Nomes or Nomos, click here
- Scenes of the Opet Festival