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Selected photos of existing state

Image resource: Photograph of South Exterior Wall, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of South Exterior Wall, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of South Exterior Wall, by UCLA


Model renderings: 0
Photographs: 22
Archival images: 0
Videos: 0
Object catalog: 0

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South Exterior Wall

Originally built by Sety I - 1294 BCE to 1279 BCE (Show in timemap)
Modified by Ramesses II - 1279 BCE to 1213 BCE (Show in timemap)

Contains features: Southern Processional Gateway

Other works initiated by Sety I:
Hypostyle Hall, North Exterior Wall, 3rd Pylon

Other works initiated by Ramesses II:
Obelisks at Eastern Gate, Ramesses II Eastern Temple, Hypostyle Hall, East Exterior Wall

Other walls:
East Exterior Wall, North Exterior Wall, Bubastite Portal


The present-day south exterior wall of the temple includes the south side of the hypostyle hall.

Measurements: 52m across.

Phase: Sety I

Like the entire southern interior of the hypostyle hall, the building's southern exterior wall was left undecorated at the time of Sety's death.

Phase: Ramesses II

Ramesses II covered the southern exterior of the hypostyle with monumental relief scenes cut in sunk relief. These scenes parallel the battle reliefs of the king's father, Sety I, inscribed on the hallís north side.

The battle scenes originally carved onto the walls glorified the king's military "triumph" against the Hittities at the battle of Qadesh, a battle most Egyptologists agree was at best a "draw" for the Egyptians. The text is known from a number of other sources, as Ramesses appears to have been particularly proud of his "victory." Interestingly, Ramesses had his artists carve over these scenes before their completion. They were replaced with descriptions of fifteen years of military campaigns the pharaoh led in Syro-Palestine. These scenes spread out onto the west wall of the court of the seventh pylon.

About the reconstruction model of this phase

The Ramesside battle reliefs were not placed on the model at this time. However, the accompanying photographs display some of these scenes.

Bibliography and Sources Used for Model Construction

Brand, Peter (2015), “The Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project.” http://web0.memphis.edu/hypostyle/index.htm .

University of Chicago Oriental Institute Epigraphic Survey (1954), Reliefs and inscriptions at Karnak: The Bubastite portal, vol. III. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Further reading

Schwaller de Lubicz, R. A. (1999), The temples of Karnak. London: Thames & Hudson.