Publication des Cahiers de Karnak 13 (2010)


Le volume des Cahiers de Karnak 13 (2010) vient de paraître sur les presses du Conseil Suprême des Antiquités de l'Égypte au Caire.






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- Laure BAZIN, Khaled EL-ENANY
« La stèle d’un “chancelier du roi et prophète d’Amon” de la fin du Moyen Empire à Karnak (Caire JE 37507) », p. 1-23.


This article deals with the publication of the late Middle Kingdom private stela Cairo JE 37507. It was found in 1900 by G. Legrain against the façade of the chapel of Osiris nb ʿnḫ / pȝ wšb jȝd of the XXVth Dynasty at Karnak. The stela was erected in the temple of Amun as a royal reward for the chancellor of the king and high priest of Amun, Senebefmes, who is represented on the stela accompanied by his family and some of his probable colleagues. It bears one of the first representations of a priest of Amun, and one of the most ancient occurrences of the formula d(w) m ḥsw.t n(y.t) ḫr n(y)-sw.t on a stela. On the basis of stylistic, epigraphic and onomastic criteria, the stela Cairo JE 37507 probably dates back to the XIIIth Dynasty.


« À propos de la table d’offrandes de Thoutmosis III Caire JE 88803 », p. 25-43.


This article is dedicated to an offering table of Tuthmosis III (JE 88803), uncovered in 1949 by Henri Chevrier in the «Middle Kingdom Court» of the temple of Amun-Ra at Karnak. The use of a variant of Tuthmosis III’s prenomen, Mn-ḫpr-kȝ-Rʿ leads to a re-examination of the chronological limits of this name.


- Mansour BORAIK
« Sphinx Avenue Excavations. Preliminary Report », p. 45-64.

The Avenue of Sphinxes, the processional way connecting Karnak and Luxor temples, is approximately 2320 m long. It was partially excavated between 1958 and 1991. A huge portion of the avenue is now being uncovered in three locations: around the area of Luxor police station, the Khaled Ibn El Waleed Garden and Mubarak Library. Galleries and structures associated with several industries are also being unearthed.

- Mansour BORAIK
« Excavations of the Quay and the Embankment in front of Karnak Temples. Preliminary Report », p. 65-78.

The excavations in front of Karnak temples started in 2006. A series of soundings was carried out north and south of the tribune. These excavations revealed new traces of a great embankment 250m long so far, over 4.50 m high, and 1.60 m wide, which was constructed in 14 courses of sandstone blocks with two quays. The main one is to the south of the tribune, and is a large ramp, 22 m wide and 20 m long, leading directly towards the Nile. Taharqa divided the ramp into three parts by building a royal ramp in the middle of this quay. The secondary quay has two staircases facing each other to be used during low water. Many mooring loops were made in the wall for the boats. Evidence from the embankment suggests that the first phase of its construction began during the late New Kingdom. Taharqa extended it to north and south, and a further extension was added after the XXVIIth Dynasty and lasted to the end of the pharaonic period. Many traces of late Ptolemaic and Roman occupation, including houses, industrial areas, hearths, ovens, and wells were also uncovered. A great deal of pottery, such as vessels, bowls, jars, vats, amphoras, oil lamps, terracotta figures and coins were found during the excavations. The work suggests that the wall does not form part of a basin such as that depicted in the tomb of Neferhotep from the New Kingdom.

- Mansour BORAIK, Thomas FAUCHER

« Le trésor des bains de Karnak », p. 79-100.

In front of the First Pylon of the Karnak temple, a team of archaeologists found a hoard of coins during the excavations of the Ptolemaic public baths. The hoard consists of 316 bronze coins from the second century BC, bearing the heads of either Isis or Zeus Ammon on the obverse, and one or two eagles on the reverse. The discovery of a hoard of coins with its exact content is something rare, and this is the first example known for second century Egypt. It provides a chance for a better understanding of the different sets of coins issued at that time by the Ptolemies, and its presence in Karnak is strong evidence for the use of coinage in the area during those troubled times. The hoard, possibly buried around 120 BC, represented a not insignificant sum for the period, although it is hard to know exactly for what purpose the coins were collected.

« Geomorphological investigations in the western part of the Karnak temple (quay and ancient harbour): first results derived from stratigraphical profiles and manual auger boreholes and perspectives of research », p. 101-109.

This paper aims to detail the first results and the perspectives of a geomorphological study, conducted in the western part of the Karnak Temple. The geoarchaeological approach adopted here helps to provide a better understanding of the Nile River dynamics in the neighbourhood of the ancient harbour and of the jetty identified by archaeologists. The results are based on the study of five stratigraphical profiles obtained by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and eleven manual auger boreholes (up to a maximum depth of 3.50m) drilled in November and December 2008. The results clearly indicate the continuous presence of the Nile River west of the First Pylon. Fluvial dynamics characterized by flood events, sandy accretions and thick Nile silts deposits are presented and discussed here for later palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The accurate levelling of the different profiles and boreholes, using a topographic survey, allow us to obtain long sedimentological sequences and to correlate the different sedimentary units. Perspectives of research are introduced with the possibility of realizing sedimentological analyses, which include the grain-size distribution (sieving method employed) and a magnetic susceptibility study of the different sediments described. Finally, in order to obtain chronostratigraphic sequences, it is also proposed to perform radiocarbon dating on charcoal samples (anthracological studies).

- Jean-François CARLOTTI, Ernst CZERNY, Luc GABOLDE (avec la collaboration de Chaïma ABD ELSATTAR)
« Sondage autour de la plate-forme en grès de la « Cour du Moyen Empire », p. 111-193.

Archaeological report of the excavations undertaken in January-February 1998 around the sandstone platform located in the Middle Kingdom Court at Karnak. The operations have confirmed that the sandstone platform is to be dated to the end of the XIth Dynasty, as conclusively shown by the remains of pottery collected there. A block (reused by Senwosret I) found on the top of the structure could belong to a monument of Amenemhet I once standing on top of it, if its stylistic criteria can be trusted. The U-shaped limestone foundations which surround the sandstone structure, form the remains of the general foundation system of the « great castle of Amun » of Senwosret I.
A complementary section is dedicated to the objects formerly found in this area by J. Lauffray and never published. Another section proposes a synthesis of the results of the various and numerous excavations which followed our work there and in adjacent areas. This synthesis is inserted in a wider view of the historical development of the temple of Karnak. The last section constitutes an answer to Fr. Larché’s theory published in Karnak 12, which challenged our dating of the structures preserved in the Middle Kingdom Court. We show that the basis of his theory does not withstand a close examination of the remains, and the available data have been misinterpreted.

- Guillaume CHARLOUX
« Rapport préliminaire sur la première campagne de fouilles du parvis du temple d’Opet à Karnak », p. 194-226.

The first archaeological season in the courtyard of the temple of Opet was undertaken from the 9th December 2006 to the 1st March 2007. Nine levels were identified until the water source was reached, giving a unique overview on the history of this unknown area at Karnak. Over the geological level 0 was observed the first occupation dating from the XIth Dynasty, or the beginning of the XIIth Dynasty. The stratigraphical study also shows a long Middle Kingdom archaeological sequence, on top of which, mud-brick foundations were uncovered all over the courtyard. The excavations also permitted us to study the sandstone buildings, in order to give a new architectural sequence of the monuments and to detail the construction methods. Finally, two wells were excavated, reminders of the long period of Coptic settlement in this area.

- Jean-Claude DEGARDIN
« Le fonctionnement du toit tu temple de Khonsou à Karnak », p. 227-241.

On the roof of the temple of Khonsu are numerous graffiti, more than 600 although, curiously, certain parts of the roof contain none, and many paving stones have disappeared. The presence of graffiti on levels at present difficult to access, seems to indicate that in addition to the remaining staircase, there were others allowing access to these various levels. These graffiti, mainly engraved by wab-priests, also provide evidence of the presence of divine fathers, prophets, lector priests, high priests, administrators, scribes, and members of the superior ranks of the clergy. Depictions of a bull, lunar crescent, ithyphallic Amun, Khonsu in his naos, the boats of Amun and Khonsu, the baboon with his lunar disk, an obelisk reliquary, and the leg of Osiris appear to testify to the existence of lunar Osirian rituals celebrated on the roof. Probably linked with the ceremonies of the temple, as seems to be proved by its crypt looking onto room VI and to the roof, lunar and Osirian rituals, as well as astronomical and astrological observations, took place on the roof. Additional analyses will perhaps justify or counter the connections with rites celebrated on the roof of the temple of Opet, as well as the limited relations with the myth of the obscure goddess.

« Mise au point sur l’orientation du temple d’Amon-Rê à Karnak en direction du lever du soleil au solstice d’hiver », p. 243-256.

In 1993 it was proposed that the main axis of the temple of Amun-Ra of Senwosret I had been precisely oriented on the point where the sun used to rise at the winter solstice during his reign. The hypothesis was challenged by J.A. Belmonte in 2005 and 2006, and by R. Krauss in 2006.
As a response, precise details are given here on the state of preservation of the remains which allowed the determination of the axis, on the exact phenomenon taken into account, on the question of the influence of the extinction and of the refraction, and lastly, on the relation between the temple and the general urban grid of the town which surrounded it since the Middle Kingdom. The conclusion of this reexamination is that the theory of an orientation to the sunrise at winter solstice is reinforced.

- Jean-François JET
« Sondages dans la cour nord du Ve pylône. Résultats et étude d’un dépôt de fondation de la XVIIIe dynastie », p. 257-295.

The soundings carried out in the northern court of the Fifth Pylon allowed us to study the construction of the court by Tuthmosis I and Tuthmosis III. An important foundation deposit of the New Kingdom was discovered. The discovery of mud-brick walls also increased our knowledge of the sanctuary of the Middle Kingdom, previously observed in the northern and southern courts of the Sixth Pylon.

- François LARCHE (with the collaboration of Charles VAN SICLEN)
« The chapel of Amenhotep II embedded between the obelisks of Tuthmosis I », p. 297-326.

To the west of the Fourth Pylon, three pairs of obelisks once stood on both sides of the axis. It is now possible to describe precisely the foundations of the three obelisks, buried north of the axis. Tuthmosis I’s southern obelisk, still in place, and some fragments characteristic of Tuthmosis III’s obelisks and those of Tuthmosis II-Hatshepsut, are providing essential information about their misfortunes over the centuries. The two eastern obelisks, that of Tuthmosis I and the pair now attributed to Tuthmosis II-Hatshepsut, were raised on a common foundation, while the western obelisk of Tuthmosis III was erected on a clearly independent foundation.
The reconstruction of Amenhotep II’s calcite chapel permitted the discovery of its original location in front of the Fourth Pylon. This king highlighted the obelisks of his forefathers in embedding this calcite chapel between Tuthmosis I’s two obelisks, without preventing access for the bark procession to enter or leave the temple. This location explains perfectly the reason why the chapel’s first course consists only of thin lined up calcite blocks. This position was well confirmed by the clearing of the foundations of the obelisks, partial to the south of the axis, but complete to the north. The sandstone step that projects all round both granite bases was intentionally cut plumb with three faces of each base, in order to slide in the calcite blocks of the first course of the chapel. Many calcite chips attesting to the destruction of a calcite monument were found on the axis.

- Emmanuel LAROZE, Agnès OBOUSSIER
« Le programme de restauration du temple d’Opet à Karnak. Campagnes 2005-2008 », p. 327-344.

The restoration of the Opet temple has been ongoing since autumn 2005, supported principally by a private sponsor, Mrs. Brigitte Guichard. The five-year conservation project consists of a substantial masonry element, which stabilized the crumbling structure to allow safe visitor access, and the subsequent restoration of the wall paintings throughout the temple. The architectural stabilization work focused primarily on the ceilings of the hypostyle hall and offering chamber. In both cases, a brick wall was constructed as a temporary brace during the consolidation work. The reinforcement work consisted of strengthening the lintel, ceilings and architrave with injections of epoxy resin; propping up, piercing and installing metallic beams within/above the structures to secure their stability; and the supplementation of the missing parts of the lintel and architrave with reinforced concrete. Simultaneously, restoration work was required on the inner walls, where polychrome low reliefs were concealed by a heavy layer of soot, dust and crystallized salts. In an effort to increase the visibility of these scenes, it was necessary to combine cleaning with consolidation techniques. The delicate paintings were first secured with acrylic resin, and then cleaned by compresses of ammonium carbonate. Finishing touches have been made with a micro-sandblaster. Additionally, masonry work was undertaken to restore the floor throughout the temple. Blocks, architectural features, stelae, and fragments of statues revealed during recent excavation work in the courtyard have been replaced in situ.

- Aurélia MASSON
« Un nouvel habitant de la rive est du lac Sacré. Le prophète du pieu sacré Pa-sheri-n-aset », p. 345-357.

The new investigations conducted in the priests’ quarter in Karnak from 2001 to 2007, provided hundreds of seal impressions, many of which have names and titles of priests. Although the recently cleared houses did not provide inscribed door frames, the material does improve our knowledge of the sacerdotal class living in this sector of the temple of Amun to a certain degree. One prophet of Amun, Pa-sheri-n-aset, attracted particular attention. The analysis of the corpus revealed that he had at least five different seals, perhaps six. His name and titles appeared in various contexts of houses VII and VIII, and in the portion of street serving these houses. These contexts most likely date from the Late Saitic period, according to ceramic analysis. His relatively rare title “prophet of the great pure divine ensign”, may identify him as the Pa-sheri-n-aset mentioned on the stela Berlin ÄM 894. This stela, on stylistic criteria, was also thought by P. Munro to originate from the Saitic Period, particularly the end of this period. Thus, these seal impresssions supply information about the people who lived on the eastern bank of the sacred lake during the Late Period, in addition to the inscriptions of the Third Intermediate Period discovered in the same sector in the 1970s.


« Nouvelles inscriptions de la Troisième période intermédiaire à Karnak (I) », p. 359-371.

Publication of new fragments from Third Intermediate Period monuments in Karnak. Five of them are of unknown origin, whereas others have been found during excavations in the priests’ houses southeast of the sacred lake of Amun. These inscriptions pertain to private houses or statues, and to a royal monument, all from the XXIst to the XXVth Dynasty, and mention Osorkon I, Sheshonq III, Osorkon III and Taharqa.


- Christophe THIERS
« Membra disiecta ptolemaica (I) », p. 373-399.

Publication of scattered blocks found in the field at Karnak and inside the storerooms. This first part deals with blocks belonging to monuments dating from the reign of Alexander the Great till Ptolemy III. Most of them have unknown provenance, but some come from the precinct gate of the temple of Opet (Ptolemy II), and from the šnʿ-wʿb located northwest of the same temple (Ptolemy III).

- Dominique VALBELLE, Emmanuel LAROZE
« Un sanctuaire de Thoutmosis III à la déesse Ipy Ouret, édifié à Karnak par le premier prophète d’Amon Menkhéperrêséneb », p. 401-428.

During the performance of the architectural study and restoration programme of the Greco-Roman temple of Opet at Karnak, some blocks, lintels and doorjambs from a chapel of Tuthmosis III dedicated to the goddess Ipy Weret were discovered in the foundation platform in front of the Greco-Roman temple. They are presented here, with a study of Ipy Weret in connection with her Ramesside and Late Period homonyms, Ipet Weret and the hippopotamus goddess. Some original elements of a limestone monument erected by the high priest of Amun, Menkheperreseneb, were found in the same context, as well as an inscription of this official on a doorjamb of the Tuthmoside chapel.

- Gihane ZAKI, Mansour BORAIK
« Rapport préliminaire sur le domaine de Thot », p. 429-433.

In the framework of the recent excavation of the SCA in the northern area of Karnak, special attention was devoted to the remains of the temple of Thoth. The area around the gate had been abandoned for a long period, and had suffered from the pillage of blocks, as mentioned in the diary of the first explorers of the area. The conservation conditions of the blocks were very poor, and serious restoration work was required. We started the excavation in the area in front of the gate (south), and extended the work to the east, west and finally to the rear. It is obvious that this gate and its surroundings were occupied in Roman times. The study carried out on the pottery dated the settlement to the Byzantine Period. Several other pieces of archeological evidence proved the presence of this settlement, such as the ovens, the network of pipelines, and some vessels. Since the excavations conducted by Varille in 1953, the gate has suffered severely. The column that is visible on the photographs of Varille’s report is actually reduced to a few dislocated drums, lying on the western side of the gate. A row of blocks was discovered at the back of the northwesternjamb of the gate. Among those blocks, a few offer interesting information regarding Thoth and his presence in Thebes. The plan drawn reflects the current situation of the excavation, and will be developed after the coming season next spring.


Dernière mise à jour : 27-12-2010

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