Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hidden Karnak

Everyone knows there is a lot more to Karnak than the usual tour guide will show you. The site is huge and there lots of areas that hardly ever see a tourist. That is inside but on the outside there is a huge excavation going on which most people don't notice.

This is a picture showing the wooden bridge that is part of the exit and most people just walk over it. But you can see that it is actually over a huge embankment.

In later times the Nile has moved leaving this embankment and the area in front of Karnak free for building. It seems to have been considered special in some way and baths for cleansing/healing or similar were built.

Discoveries are still being made, this pots have just been discovered, aren't they wonderful.

This one still has its stopper in place.

The Ptolemaic baths are two circles where the user would have sat in the cubicle with his feet on a granite stopper. Behind him was a shelf with his towel.

OK I could resist not posing but actually I am sitting on the edge of the cubicle not inside it. There was some restoration there that I felt safe to sit on lol

If you look at the detail of the mosaic you can see the fish are actually outlined in lead.

You can see how close all this is to the first pylon. Salah was explaining that their latest thinking that the small lake shown in the tomb of Neferhotep was actually under the hyperstyle hall and that this embankment shows how far the Nile has shifted.

This is a much higher level and shows the Roman baths, built centuries later. Salah speculates that this might mean there is a third bath system which was used in the intervening period.

Finally decent pictures of the Useramun steele, I did publish a picture before but the sun was in completely the wrong place and you could not see a thing, these pictures are so much clearer. He is the uncle of Rekhmire and what on earth his stele is doing on the East bank is anyone's guess

1 comment:

Stuart Tyler said...

A very exciting read,

Thank You for that,