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Selected photos of existing state

Image resource: Photograph of Palace of Ma
Image resource: Photograph of Palace of Ma
Image resource: Photograph of Palace of Ma
Image resource: Photograph of Palace of Ma
Image resource: Photograph of Palace of Ma
Image resource: Photograph of Palace of Ma


Model renderings: 2
Photographs: 44
Archival images: 0
Videos: 0
Object catalog: 0

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The "palace of Ma'at" served as the central sanctuary of Karnak. It was located within the Thutmoside core of the temple and protected the successive central bark shrines of Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, and Philip Arrhideaus. The rectangular structure was comprised of a series of small rooms with a large central hall for the placement of the central bark. The walls of the palace were covered with carved and brightly painted relief scenes of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III.

Measurements: The palace of Ma'at measures approximately 40m across by 20m deep.

Phase: Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut erected her palace of Ma'at as part of a series of major renovations to the Amun temple during her reign. The queen tore down a number of structures of Amenhotep I on this location, moving his calcite bark shrine as well. The queen may have dismantled a portico of Osiris statues from the Middle Kingdom temple of Senusret I (possibly located just east of the palace of Ma'at) to connect her new sanctuary to the ancient cult center.

At some point, Hatshepsut added a beautiful red quartzite bark shrine, her "red chapel," to the center of the palace of Ma'at. The addition of this large shrine necessitated the removal of a number of interior walls of the palace.

The palace of Ma'at functioned for storage of cult equipment as well as providing an offering place for the divine cult.

Construction materials: sandstone

About the reconstruction model of this phase

Image resource: Rendering of Palace of Maat, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Palace of Maat, by UCLA

The basic form of the palace and its interior layout were modeled on the plans of Carlotti (1995:pls. V-VI); the exterior appearance of the palace was also based on the 3-D model reconstructions of Larché and Burgos (2006). A simple sandstone pattern was added to the model of the palace.

Phase: Thutmose III

Thutmose III (late in his sole reign) ordered the desecration of the images of Hatshepsut within the palace. Thutmose III covered a number of her panels of decoration with fresh sandstone blocks, inscribing them with his "Annals," a list of goods that he donated to the Temple of Amun-Ra. The "Annals" also depict the obelisks he erected before the seventh pylon. As part of the reworking of the palace, the king dismantled the "red chapel" of Hatshepsut and reused one of its black granite doorways in the entrance to the northern suite of rooms. He replaced the "red chapel" with a granite bark shrine of his own (See the webpage Central Bark Shrine for more information on this structure). During this process he designed a new entrance portico for the palace of Ma'at.

Construction materials: sandstone, black granite

About the reconstruction model of this phase

During the Thutmose III phase and after, the black granite doorway taken from the "red chapel" is visible on the door to the northern suite of rooms' southern jamb.

Little information on the size and height of the Thutmose III portico or the renovations of the portico during the reign of Philip Arrhideaus was available. Therefore, the form and appearance of this portico was based on the plans of the temple and the height of the surrounding buildings. The viewer should understand that these are general approximations and do not likely represent the actual size of those features.

Bibliography and Sources Used for Model Construction

Carlotti, Jean-François (1995), “Mise au Point sur les dimensions et la localisation de la chapelle d'Hatshepsout à Karnak.” Cahiers de Karnak, vol. X, 141-166.

Larché, François and Franck Burgos (2006), La chapelle Rouge: le sanctuaire de barque d'Hatshepsout/1: Fac-similés et photographies des scènes. Paris: Recherche sur les civilisations.

Further reading

El-Hegazy, Sayed (1993), “Le 'Palais de Mat' et la 'Place Favoirte d'Amon'.” Les dossiers d'archaeologieno. 187, 54-63.