Karnak logo
Header image

Selected photos of existing state

Image resource: Photograph of Pylon VI and Court, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Pylon VI and Court, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Pylon VI and Court, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Pylon VI and Court, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Pylon VI and Court, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Pylon VI and Court, by UCLA


Model renderings: 3
Photographs: 32
Archival images: 0
Videos: 0
Object catalog: 1

View complete archive for this feature…


The small sixth pylon was located between the court of pylon five and the "palace of Ma'at." The sandstone pylon's gate was made of granite and covered in electrum. Relief decoration depicted Thutmose III adoring the god Amun-Ra. The court was lined on its north, west, and southern edges with a portico of twelve closed papyrus form columns, six to the north and six to the south. Small chapels extended from the northern and southern sections of this court towards the east.

Measurements: The small pylon measured 15.7m long, 4.2m wide, and rose only 12.50m high. The chapels of Thutmose III were 3.1m high, 2.6m wide and 3.65m deep.

Phase: Thutmose III

Thutmose III added the sixth pylon, making a new entranceway to the sanctuary of the temple.

The northern and southern edges of the court were originally occupied by limestone chapels of Amenhotep I. Thutmose III replaced all of Amenhotep I's limestone chapels with sandstone ones. They were intended to hold statues of the king which were to receive offerings. Interior relief scenes depict both Thutmose III and the now deified Amenhotep I.

Thutmose III, after his year 42, also added a series of roofed connecting walls between Pylon VI and the "palace of Ma'at," sectioning off the northern and southern porticoes. This addition, along with the king's partition walls and gate in the court of the fifth pylon and the gateway around the Hatshepsut obelisks in the Wadjet hall, created a narrow corridor from the "festival court” to the temple's sanctuary.

The black granite doorway to the southern portico was removed from the west wall of the "red chapel" of Hatshepsut. When the chapel was disassembled by Thutmose III, he reused the two main doorways in his renovations of the central part of the temple. The other was placed inside the "palace of Ma'at" at the entrance to the northern suite of rooms.

Construction materials: sandstone

About the reconstruction model of this phase

Image resource: Rendering of Pylon VI, by UCLA

The model of the pylon was based on the plan by Carlotti (1995: pl. XXIab) and the axial drawing of Golvin (1987: 44).

The partition walls were based on the published plan of the temple by Carlotti (2001: pl. 1) and the axial drawings of Golvin and Goyon (1987: 40, 41).

A simple stone pattern was placed on the pylon and the partition walls. The western door from the model of the "red chapel" was copied and moved to the court. Photographs of the standing papyrus-form columns at the temple were used to recreate their appearance on the model. The portico is shown with a flat wooden roof in the model. The roof may instead have been stone.

Excavations at Karnak have identified foundation deposits dating to the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III in association with the sandstone chapels. It is possible that the replacement of the limestone chapels of Amenhotep I with sandstone chapels was conceived of or started during that period (Mensan 2007). Since it is not clear the chapels were completed at that point, they are associated with Thutmose III in the model.

(page updated 2015)

Bibliography and Sources Used for Model Construction

Björkman, Gun (1971), A study of the treatment of the monuments of royal predecessors in the early New Kingdom. Uppsala: Universitet.

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.

Carlotti, Jean-François (2001), L'Akh-menou de Thoutmosis III à Karnak : etude architecturale. Paris: Recherche sur les civilisations.

Golvin, Jean-Claude and Jean-Claude Goyon (1987), Les bâtisseurs de Karnak. Paris: Presses du CNRS.

Further reading

Arnaudiès-Montélimard, Emmanuelle (2007), “L'arche en granit de Thoutmosis III et l'avant-porte du VIe pylône.” Cahiers de Karnak, vol. XII, 107-190.

Mensan, Romain (2007), “Tuthmoside foundation deposits at Karnak.” Egyptian archaeology , vol. 30, 21-25.