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Image resource: Photograph of Pylon III, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Pylon III, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Pylon III, by UCLA

Archive

Model renderings: 5
Photographs: 17
Archival images: 0
Videos: 0
Object catalog: 1

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3rd Pylon

Originally built by Amenhotep III - 1390 BCE to 1352 BCE (Show in timemap)
Modified by Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten - 1352 BCE to 1336 BCE (Show in timemap)
Modified by Sety I - 1294 BCE to 1279 BCE (Show in timemap)

Other works initiated by Amenhotep III:
10th Pylon

Other works initiated by Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten:
Aten Temples

Other works initiated by Sety I:
Hypostyle Hall, South Exterior Wall, North Exterior Wall

Other pylons:
1st Pylon, 2nd Pylon, 4th Pylon and Enclosure, 9th Pylon, 7th Pylon, 8th Pylon, 10th Pylon, 5th Pylon and Court, 6th Pylon and Court

Introduction

The third pylon now forms the east wall of the Great Hypostyle Hall. It is located between the second and fourth pylons along the temple's east/west processional axis. It also marks the intersection of this axis with the north/south processional path.

The inscribed decoration glorifies the jubilee (heb-sed) festival of Amenhotep III and presents the king and the god’s sacred bark on a festival journey to Luxor temple. Originally, some scenes depicted the king’s son accompanying his father, but these depictions of a young Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten were later defaced.

Measurements: Pylon 3 measures 28m tall.

Phase: Amenhotep III

Amenhotep III cleared away the "festival court" of Thutmose II and the numerous pillars, bark shrines and other monuments decorating this space to construct his new pylon.

These features were dismantled and used in the foundation and fill of Pylon III, where they were found (often in quite good condition) in modern times. The construction of this new pylon shifted the main temple entrance eastward, remarkable as the temple until this time had gradually moved further and further west as the pharaohs continued to expand outward. The motivation for this change in policy is unknown.

Construction materials: sandstone

About the reconstruction model of this phase

Image resource: Rendering of Pylon III, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Pylon III, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Pylon III, by UCLA

The model of the third pylon was based on the plan of Carlotti (1995: pl. XIX) and the axial drawings by Golvin (1987: pl. II, IV).

A simple sandstone pattern was applied to the model.

Large wooden flagstaffs have been added to the pylon towers. These would have been topped with colorful cloth banners. The tall poles stood on stone bases, and were arranged within square notches left in the pylon’s exterior masonry. Clamps secured to the pylon itself (not shown on the model) further stabilized their upper portions. The form and size of the flagstaffs were based on representations of these features found at temples and tombs. These show the poles as reaching above the height of the pylon and tapering as they rise (Azim and Traunecker (1982: fig. 4).

Phase: Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten

Akhenaten helped finish the decoration of his father's pylon and added a vestibule/porch to the gate's west face. Relief scenes on the vestibule depicted Akhenaten in both traditional style and pose – as triumphant pharaoh smiting his enemies. The gate’s decoration remained unfinished, however, seemingly a casualty of the king's shift in focus to east Karnak.

Construction materials: sandstone

About the reconstruction model of this phase

Image resource: Rendering of Pylon III, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Pylon III, by UCLA

The model of the third pylon's vestibule/porch was based on the plan of Carlotti (1995: pl. XIX) and the axial drawing and plans by Golvin (1987: pl. I-III).

A simple sandstone pattern was applied to the model.

Phase: Sety I

The entire western façade of the third pylon was covered with a stone lining when Sety I constructed his new Hypostyle Hall between the second and third pylons. As well, the scenes of Akhenaten on the northern part of the vestibule were disguised by a covering of stone. The Akhenaten wall has been reconstructed and placed in Karnak's Open Air Museum.

Construction materials: sandstone

About the reconstruction model of this phase

The stone lining on the third pylon and the additions of Sety I to the porch were based on the axial drawing and plan by Golvin (1987: pl. I-III).

A simple sandstone pattern was applied to the model.

These flagstaffs were removed from the pylon's façade when the 3rd pylon's western (exterior) face was incorporated inside the hypostyle hall.

Bibliography and Sources Used for Model Construction

Azim, M. and C. Traunecker (1982), “Un mât du IXe Pylône au nome d'Horemheb.” Cahiers de Karnak, vol. VII, 75-92.

Carlotti, Jean-François (1995), “Contribution à l' étude métrologique de quelques monuments du temple d'Amon-Rê à Karnak.” Cahiers de Karnak, vol. X, 65-127.

Golvin, Jean-Claude (1987), “la restauration antique du passage du IIIe pylône.” Cahiers de Karnak, vol. VIII, 189-206.

Kozloff, Arielle, Betsy Bryan and Lawrence Berman (1992), Egypt's Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and His World. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art.

Murnane, William (1979), “The Bark of Amun on the Third Pylon at Karnak.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, vol. 16, 11-27.

Redford, Donald (1984), Akhenaten, the Heretic King. Princeton: Princton University Press.

Sa'ad, Ramadan (1970), “Les travaux d'Aménophis IV au IIIe pylône du temple d'Amon Re' à Karnak.” Kêmi: revue de philologie et d'archéologie égyptiennes et coptes, vol. 20, 187-193.