Egyptian temples need a renovation

Egyptian temples need a renovation

The temples of Karnak complex stand majestically on the east bank of the Nile in Luxor, its imposing architecture boasts great and noble ancient egypt civilization. We know from historical data that in Karnak mixed temples, chapels, columns, towers, obelisks and especially the sacred lake that has fascinated visitors for at least 2,000 years.

South of the complex temples of Amun-Ra, below the tenth tower, rise the ruins of the temple of the mother goddess Mut. Since its construction by the pharaoh Amenhotep III (1388-1360 BC), the temple became a center of interestfor the pharaohs of the New Kingdom to the Ptolemies (310-30 BC), who built many temples associated with the original temple of Mut and its lake in the shape of a half moon.

Mut Temple

The Mut compound preserved its importance even after the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, but started to decline shortly after. Sadly, the temple has been devastated over time: it has lost some of its features completely and most of its blocks were usurped in ancient times and used to build other structures of Karnak. Except for some walls, the foundations and no less than 600 black granite statuettes of the lioness goddess Sekhmet are found scattered in the yard. Some residents of Thebes even they build their houses within the enclosure from the temples of Mut.

The temple closed its doors to the public in 1976 so that the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) and the Brooklyn Museum could begin excavation and conservation work at the Mut compound. It was followed by another mission from Johns Hopkins University in 2001 led by American archaeologist Betsy Bryan.

Mut Temple

According to the ARCE website, while work on the Mut temple was taking place between 2007 and 2009 Bryan and his team continued supporting the project to conserve the pillars. They found that the intermittent rise and fall of the sacred Nile lagoon over centuries has caused the sinking of the west side of the temple, creating a slip of more than 10 centimeters in some areas of the wall.

The Johns Hopkins Team has dismantled and rebuilt two walls of the temple on the west side where appalling conditions had displaced the foundations. This job first requires a complete documentation of the wall before the blocks can move. Once the blocks had been moved, according to the team reports, the paving was raised from below the level of two walls to expose the displaced foundation blocks. They are repositioned and then the walls are rebuilt. It is expected that the labor-intensive labor, carried out by the bricklayer Franck Burgos, counteract the long-term effects of water and salt damage to rebuild the foundations and preserve the temple.

In addition, the works began under the funding of ARCE EAP for reveal and remove sections of the columns of a portico by Hatshepsut, discovered in 2004, also continue. Bryan's work has revealed that early in the reign of Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BC, elements of the drum from the columns of the portico of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis during their co-regency they would have been dismantled and used in the foundations when the temple was enlarged. Then, in 2009, the team began rebuild the portico with elements of a limestone gatewhich had been buried along with the columns. These reconstructions were a key point for visitors to the Mut temple in 2010.

Temple of Isis

This week the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) and ARCE launched a restoration project to clean and restore the Mut enclosure, as well as developing the area around it so that it can be open to the public next year.

MSA State Minister Mohamed Ibrahim explains that development work will take a year and will include a thorough cleaning of the temple walls; the restoration of the reliefs and the establishment of a visitor center with the antiquities of the temple, as well as its restoration and excavation plan that are carried out from 1976 to the present. A documentary about the goddess Mut and her role in ancient Egypt will be broadcast downtown, as well as a documentary of the entire Karnak temple complexes.

Meanwhile, in luxor West bank restorers and workmen are hard at work at the temple of the goddess of regeneration and femininity, Isis, at Deir Al-Shelwit, four kilometers south of Medinet Habu. A development project similar to the temple of Mut is being carried out by the MSA in collaboration with ARCE in the temple of Isis so that it can be open to the public next year.

Today the temple of Isis can be seen in ruins. It includes a small building, the ruins of a propylaeum decorated and well closed by a brick wall. The outer wall of the temple is flat, while the inner surface is decorated. The temple shrine has a hallway along with a chapel, a cleaning area called a wabet, and stairs leading to the roof.

According to the inscriptions found on Propylaea, the temple was built in the 1st century AD, but there is a theory that the temple It began to be built during the reign of Pharaoh Nectanebo II(360-342 BC) and was completed during the Greco-Roman period.

Mansour Borak, the Luxor antiquities supervisor, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the Temple of Isis and Deir Al-Shelwir are of great importance because religious buildings dating from the Greco-Roman period are unique to this area, where this was the only temple associated with Isis and not with the gods of the Theban Triad (Amun, Mut and Jonsu).

Hathor Temple

Borak says that the temple reliefs were similar to those of the Dendera temple and Phile Island. Cartridges of the Roman Emperors Galba, Otho, Vespasian, Julius Caesar, Hadrian and Antoninus Pius they are engraved in the temple and on the propylaeum. The outer wall includes blocks reused from other structures of ancient Egypt bearing the reliefs of the New Kingdom.

Going upriver along the Nile, other development projects are being carried out by Egyptian restorers in the Temple of Hathor in File south of Aswan.

On the east side of the temple of isis, The archaeologists are cleaning, consolidating and restoring the blocks that once formed the temple of Hathor built by Ptolemy VI and extended to the reign of Ptolemy VII and the Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius.

The temple consists of a cabin with 14 columns with the heads of Hathor, a pronaos and a worship terrace in the backyard facing the Nile. Among the distinctive reliefs of the temple stands out one of a group of musicians playing their instruments to please and entertain the gods with the assistance of their deity, Hathor.

Unfortunately though, time has ravaged the walls of the temple of Hathor and has caused the deterioration of some of the blocks, causing cracks that spread through the walls. Ibrahim says that after studying the temple blocks the Egyptian restorers decided dismantle and rebuild the entire temple to correct faulty work carried out by previous restoration attempts. Now, after a year of hard work, the temple has been rebuilt and restored and It will be officially opened next month.

Osama Abdel-Wares, the CEO of the Nubian Antiquities Foundation, told Weekly that the reason for the recent restoration was repair architectural and decorative faults made during previous restorations. The ground levels were uneven and the walls and pillars were supported, while the blocks were separated from each other by voids that could easily have led to the collapse.

Abdel-Wares explained that this restoration has fixed previous bugs, while the most damaged blocks will be replaced by similar ones. Those who had collapsed have been restored and installed in their original position. Cement blocks erected during previous restorations to complete the temple architecture and filling to replace the missing blocks were replaced by others. new carvings of a material similar to the original.


Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.

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