Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Hidden Thebes – Ted Brock

Mummification Museum lecture 20th Dec 2008
Hidden Thebes – Ted Brock
Lost and Unknown Monuments Outside Karnak Temple

Ted was on two projects which revealed hidden parts of Karnak. The first was a sewage project and the second the dewatering. Both these projects involved doffing down into the foundations of Luxor he dug test pits along the line of the proposed work and then during the actual work. Both of these revealed that what we call Karnak is only a part of the Middle Kingdom, New kingdom and Late Period complex.

Three projects have resulted in objects and monuments being found.
The sewage project to provide Luxor with a sewage system
The Chevier ditch. This was an early project to remove water from Karnak. It was not affective but they are hopeful will be much better. Removing the water is dealing with the symptoms not the cause which is the increased agricultural activity. This has resulted from the constant water supply from the Aswan dam allowing farmers to have 2 or 3 crops a year. They flood irrigate the fields and the water table has risen as a result.
The new dewatering project.

During these projects various elements of Karnak

East Karnak in front of the 1st pylon
There are various unknown monuments outside Karnak. The enclosure walls created in the 30th dynasty by the Ptolemy’s give you a false impression of the area. Before this various monuments were scattered all over the Karnak area.
In the south east there is a mound which is the foundation of an offering chapel. Temple C east of Karnak which is connected to Khonsu. The stele of the princess sending the healing statue. Redford discovered a new chapel of Osiris. West inside the enclosure wall only foundations remain. West of Montu temple there is a chapel to Osiris.
The village of Bahawa there is an extension of the sphinx avenue which extended as far as the Nile. Remains of gateway of Ptolemy XII the father of Cleopatra VII

The Akhenaton temple was discovered by Chevrier who found many statues. Redford has continued excavation for 15-20 years and delineated the west part of the temple. Gem Pa Aten. During the sewage project they dug test pits but could not find anything in the expected place. But the excavation itself they found the north and east walls. The east wall was very significant and gave them dimensions and it was 200 sq meters. Almost as large as the Amun complex. After Akhenaton they dug out the temple to its very foundations and reused the blocks in the building of the late 18 dynasty pylons.

Their trench went through the north wall and either side there are loads of blocks, statue pieces, which they could not investigate. They also found offering tables with names of Akhenaton and Nefertiti show the name change from Amenhotep.

They found rows of storage jars below the foundations the purpose of which of which is unknown. Ted’s theory that these were temporary walls (a bit like sand bags).

The East wall has foundations of reused pillars, statues, parts of the colossal statues, lots of knee caps. They also found sphinx pieces; beard with blue pigment, the bases of the statues has bound foreign captives going against the view of Akhenaton as a pacifist pharaoh.

Due east of the Mut temple found reused 25th dynasty material in Persian period monuments, column fragments. In the south east there was a large late period stone wall with reused blocks and statues. An Osiris figure of Amenhotep III probably from the statue from a ram head sphinx and a possible XII dynasty stele

At south el Baharwah there is a Ptolemy dedicated to Khonsu Waset Neferhotep

So it seems that north Karnak had Osiris and east had Khonsu

They found some uraeii that might have come from a lintel and the top of a screen wall

Malqata north Karnak
Columns and door jambs of Nitocris, an Osiris Parmares temple, within the village columns of a colonnade from 25th dynasty God’s wives of Amun Shepenwepet II. A Hathor capital

In the north west by the Thoth gate there is a Ptolemaic temple Lepsus designated it temple F. They found a block with gilded decoration. The SCA found more blocks when creating a wall. The Thoth gateway had columns and screen wall of Ptolemy IV.

The conclusion is that there is a huge potential of future work. When doing his various projects they have left signposts for the archaeologists of the future to investigate.

Next lecture 3rd January TT120 Layla Pinch

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