at East Karnak (Ancient Thebes)
Annually from 1975
to 1991 the Akhenaten Temple Project mounted 17 campaigns of excavation
immediately east of the temple of Amun. Here it was discovered that, from
the 7th through 4th centuries B.C., a domestic quarter of the city had
expanded comprising villas typical of the time. Beneath this level was
discovered the western half of the first temple constructed by Akhenaten
the monotheistic heretic king, and dedicated to his sole god, the sun-disc.
Hundreds of relief scenes carved in sandstone had been coming to light
since about 1840, recycled as fill in later constructions. With these excavations
we now know one of the temples from which they came, and through careful
analysis have been able to ascertain on which walls the reliefs originally
stood. If we could ever realize the funds and opportunity, a physical reconstruction
of at least part of the temple would certainly be possible. In light of
the revolutionary nature of the king's program in art and religion, such
a reconstruction would be of immense fascination.
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Temple Project Home Page.
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