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The Mortuary Temple Of Amenhotep III

The Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III was built in the West Bank of the River Nile. This area boasts many tombs which have historical and architectural significance.

 

It's speculated by some historians trhat when the temple was originally built, it was the largest temple to be built on this part of the Nile. However, if one is to look at its site now, one finds very little remaining of the temple itself. It's said that a lot was destroyed by robbers and looters. It is also said that the temple was broken down so that the stones could be used for constructing other nearby tombs. Natural disasters are also widespread in this area, too, so that also cannot be ruled out as a cause of the degradation of the temple.

 

Temple of Amenhotep III

 

Current Status

 

Temple of Amenhotep III

There is only some debris lying here and there and two massive around eighteen foot high statues which were once the entrance of this burial chamber also remaining. Today these temple remains are listed as some of the most endangered monuments of all times and are receiving American funds for reconstruction and preservation attempts. Since 2004, excavation has also been being carried out in this area to discover more about this lost temple.

 

Decay

 

Temple of Amenhotep III

As mentioned earlier, this temple, like many other temples of ancient Egypt has been looted quite a number of times. Looting in Egypt not only meant depleting the tomb of its riches but also removing stones and building material in order to construct more tombs nearby. Many times when there was a shortage of building materials for a tomb, the builders used to pillage other nearby tombs in order to finish its construction. Another theory which is pretty famous is that, since the monument was built so near the Nile, the building materials eroded due to chemical reactions. All these three together make up the reasons why so little is left of such a grand temple.

 

Structure

 

The Temple faced east which was quite common of temples in ancient Egypt. Many Egyptians were followers of the sun god and since the sun rises in the east, most of ancient Egypt's temples were made in such an alignment to face the east so that all the rituals, burials, and offerings were made in the name of the sun god and blessed by him as well. The Temple was guarded by two statues which have been preserved. The entrance was followed by a walkway which was adorned with statues of the pharaoh and of his queen. An open courtyard was also included in its boundaries. This courtyard sported various statues including one of a crocodile sphinx which can still be seen from the road today.

 

Entering further one would find huge columns which had papyrus inscriptions on them. It was said that the names of the prisoners of war were engraved on those columns. Some more columns further inside the Temple boasts of the accomplishments of the pharaoh. While nothing much of this elaborate structure remains, one can still see the entrance of the temple.

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