The Temple of Millions of Years of the Pharaoh Thutmose III (Luxor). An Update on the Research

Myriam Seco Álvarez, Javier Martínez Babón
2021 Études et Travaux  
This paper presents the most up to date discussion on the architecture of the temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III, which has been investigated by the Spanish-Egyptian joint project since 2008. The fi rst archaeological works took place at the site at the end of the nineteenth century and during the fi rst decades of the twentieth century. Twelve seasons of the resumed research have brought, e.g. some completely new data concerning buildings related to the temple (i.e. the administrative
more » ... building outside the southern enclosure wall, workshops north of the upper courtyard, and a house of the Ramesside priest called Khonsu at the northeast of the second courtyard), and allowed for the reconstruction of the course of the enclosure wall of the complex, as well as for some architectural restoration works. This paper also off ers an overview through some of the most important fi nds collected so far during our research (e.g. fragments of reliefs, stelae and statues, inscribed and decorated lintels, foundation deposit, stoppers, ostraca, graffi ti, and fragments of papyri) and presents the fi rst results of their analysis: how these materials allow us to better understand the history and administration of the temple as well as what data they provide concerning the priests and the rituals which took place there. The Henket-ankh temple (ḥwt Ḥnkt-ʿnḫ-Mn-ḫpr-Rʿ, 'the temple which endows (Menkheperre)| with life') is located in a wealthy enclave of ancient western Thebes, between the hills of the Asasif and Khokha, where the cultivation area met the desert. It was built over a necropolis dated to the Middle Kingdom. The temple and the necropolis were cut into the bedrock, as can be clearly observed in the southwestern part of the site. In this area, part of the enclosure wall is carved from the bedrock, over which the mudbricks were laid. 180 M S Á , J M B The construction technique was adapted, therefore, to the existing terrain: the founders of the monument shaped the bedrock before they added architectural structures in stone or in mudbrick (Figs 1-2) . The architects designed this temple on three diff erent levels, extending between the pylon located to the east and the chapels built in the west. 1 The second to the third levels were connected by a ramp. Unfortunately, little can be said of the connection between the fi rst and second levels since a modern road crosses the fi rst courtyard of the temple, which makes archaeological work here impossible. The diff erence in elevation between the ground level and the lowermost part of the temple, i.e. the area of the entrance pylon, and the sanctuary located in the uppermost terrace, is about 7.3m. PREVIOUS WORKS The temple was included by Richard Lepsius in his map of Thebes in 1844, 2 while three diff erent teams worked there throughout the late nineteenth and fi rst half of the twentieth century. In 1888 and 1889, Georges Daressy excavated architectural remains bonded to 1 Very similar to what we fi nd in the Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahari; see: Naville 1895; see also : Wysocki 1992: 233-254, Pls 42-47; 1986: 213-228. 2 LD I, Pl. 73.
doi:10.12775/etudtrav.33.011 fatcat:yxsg2byeufeidjtx6kdzgltdg4