The lecture this week was about Karnak, one of my favourite sites. The area under discussion was the Ipet-sout and the two young lecturers were Romain Mensa and Shaima Abo El Hajaj. The Ipet-sout is the area between the 4th pylon and Tutmosis III festival hall. This area is the earliest part of the temple and there is actually mention of some 4th dynasty kings in a king list of 61 names implying that they probably worshipped Amun. But there are no structural remains earlier than the New Kingdom.
The work at Karnak has been ongoing since the beginning of the 20th centaury when there was some 3 to 7 meters of rubble inside the temple. In 1967 the French committed themselves to Karnak and the team is currently lead by François Larché. Currently one of the projects is to try and date the structures and they are looking at the north and south chapels of Tutmosis III. The decoration shows the king receiving royal offerings and reuses blocks from Amenhotep I.
One of the ways to find out more about a structure is to find the foundation deposits; these are generally laid at the corners and the axis’s of the structure. Laid in small pits they can consist of miniature tools, pottery offerings, copper tools, finance bowls, bronze figures. The start of temple building would be the digging of foundations and the placing of clean sand at the bottom of these foundations. These foundation deposits were laid at the same time. The ones found by the team have the hieroglyphics of Tutmosis III and Hatshepsut on the same copper blade. There are also foundation blocks show Senemut hieroglyphics. There is a lot more work needed to find all the foundation deposits but the implications of these discoveries on the relationship between Tutmosis III and Hatshepsut/Senemut are tantalizing. I know many scholars dismiss the feud scenario and these latest discoveries only serve to further discredit that old idea. Obviously it was a lot more complex than that.
Posted by Jane: - 12:49 pm - Edit| 1 Comment »
January 14th, 2006