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Pharaoh Senusret's White Chapel

Precinct of Amun Ra - Karnak Temple - Theban Temples

Ipet Sut, “Most Select of Places”

The Precinct of Amun Ra

Built by Pharaoh Senusret I out of a light white Limestone, the Chapel was also known as the Jubilee Chapel.

Located inside the Precinct of Amun Ra, thought to be in either the Sanctuary or the Central Court: behind the 6th Pylon but before the Inner Sanctum, but this cannot be confirmed, and the answer may be lost in time.

Pharaoh Amenhotep III dismantled this Chapel when he had the Third Pylon erected using the Chapel’s dismantled blocks as filler for his Pylon. 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 between 1927 and 1930.

The Jubilee Chapel name has stemmed from its presumed use as Pharaoh Senusret’s Heb-Sed Festival. The reasoning behind this is due to the physical evidence of holes in the flooring of the Chapel which would have held up the curtains to obscure the view of Pharaoh enthroned behind them; and the hieroglyphic reliefs which decorated the interior Columns. Later, and the remains which we can see today, the Chapel was converted into a Barque Shrine. To understand the details of what a Barque Shrine was and how this was a vital part of Temple life, click here.

Externally the Chapel has the names and the deities of the different Nomes of Egypt etched into its Walls; the West side has the Nomes of Upper Egypt whilst the East side has the Nomes of Lower Egypt. To learn about Ancient Egyptian Nomes or Nomos, click here.

The Chapel is decorated on its interior Columns with Reliefs showing Pharaoh Senusret being enthroned by the Gods Amun, Horus, Mina and Ptah.