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The Courtyard of the Cachette in the Temple of Amun at Karnak. Part II


The Courtyard of the Cachette in the Temple of Amun at Karnak
By Jimmy Dunn

 

 

 

 

Statue of Sennefer and Senay from the Karnak Cachette

 

 


 

The statues unearthed in the Karnak Cachette provide a remarkable compendium of Egyptian statuary, and form a sort of art history of sculpture throughout Egypt's history. Objects in the cachette date from the Old Kingdom through the late Ptolemaic Period, covering the spectrum of ancient Egyptian history. Prominent are statues and objects from the New Kingdom, the Third Intermediate Period and the 25th Dynasty, periods when Thebes was most active, while fewer objects are found from the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Also in the 26th Dynasty, the kings transferred central power to the north once more, and this is reflected in a noticeable decline in the number of statues from that period. The number of statues once again increased during the 30th Dynasty and during the entire Ptolemaic Period.Most of the material dates to the last four centuries BC.

 

The material clearly reflects the rise and decline of Thebes. During the New Kingdom and until the beginning of the 26th Dynasty, not only kings set up their statues in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, but also high-ranking priests, as well as civil and military officials, in order to show their devotion to Amun. After the seat of power switched back to the north, mostly only temple staff continued to erect more statues in the temple.

 

Even though the Old Kingdom is poorly represented, Legrain unearthed the lower part of a striding statue of the 5th Dynasty King, Niuserre in the cachette, the upper part of which is now in the National Museum of Beirut. Statues from the Middle Kingdom are more numerous, and include royal statues of Senusret I, Senusret III and Amenemhet III, very significant figures of the 12th Dynasty. Most of these were true masterpieces. There are even objects from the Second Intermediary Period, though limited and lacking originality.

 

During the 18th Dynasty, royal statuary from the cachette is well represented. The reign of Tuthmosis III was a high point in this dynasty, and evidenced by no fewer than nineteen statues of the king, some so masterful they are considered to be some of the grandest works of Egyptian art history.

 

The Ramesside Period is less well represented than the 18th Dynasty, with a relatively small number of true works of art. There were eight statues of Ramesses II, and another two upright statues of Ramesses III, including one of colossal size. Afterwards, only Ramesses VI is represented by two notable statues that are rather stylized and conventional. Statue from the periods after the 18th Dynasty are often executed in a rather cold manner, lacking sensibility.

 

The following statuary (click on a picture for a larger view), is as chronologically ordered as possible.

 

 

Statue of Amenemhet III

Statue of Ramessunakht, High Priest of Amun-Re

Statue of the Father of the Vizier, Ankhu

Statue of Amenhotep II

Statue of Amenemhet III

Statue of Ramessunakht, High Priest of Amun-Re

Statue of the Father of the Vizier, Ankhu

Statue of Amenhotep II

 

 

 

 

Statue of Amenhotep II with Meretseger

Head of a Statue of Amenhotep III

Statue of Amenhotep III

Statue of Senenmut with Neferure

Statue of Amenhotep II with Meretseger

Head of a Statue of Amenhotep III

Statue of Amenhotep III

Statue of Senenmut with Neferure

 

 

 

 

Block Statue of Senenmut with Neferure

Statue of Isis, Mother of Tuthmosis III

Sphinx of Tuthmosis III

Statue of Tuthmosis III

Block Statue of Senenmut with Neferure

Statue of Isis, Mother of Tuthmosis III

Sphinx of Tuthmosis III

Statue of Tuthmosis III

 

 

 

 

Head of a Statue

Colossal Statue

Statue of Ramesses III as a Standard-Bearer of Amun-Re

Statue of the Priest Priest of Amun, Ramessunakht, with the Theban Triad

Head of a Statue

Colossal Statue

Statue of Ramesses III as a Standard-Bearer of Amun-Re

Statue of the Priest Priest of Amun, Ramessunakht, with the Theban Triad

 

 

 

 

Standard-Bearer Statue Usurped by Sheshonq

Statue of the Vizier Hor

Block Statue of Nakhtefmut

Block Statue of Hor, Son of Ankhkhonsu

Standard-Bearer Statue Usurped by Sheshonq

Statue of the Vizier Hor

Block Statue of Nakhtefmut

Block Statue of Hor, Son of Ankhkhonsu

 

 

 

 

Block Statue of Hor

Block Statue of Irethorru, Son of Nesineheret

Statue of the Scribe Nespaqashuty

Statue of Montuemhet

Block Statue of Hor

Block Statue of Irethorru, Son of Nesineheret

Statue of the Scribe Nespaqashuty

Statue of Montuemhet

 

 

 

 

Statue with Stela

Statue Group of Montuemhat and his Son, Nesptah

Statue of Petamenhotep as a Scribe

Block Statue of Ahmes, Son of Pakharkhonsu

Statue with Stela

Statue Group of Montuemhat and his Son, Nesptah

Statue of Petamenhotep as a Scribe

Block Statue of Ahmes, Son of Pakharkhonsu

 

 

 

 

Statue of Pakhnum

Statue of a Ptolemaic Queen

 

 

Statue of Pakhnum

Statue of a Ptolemaic Queen

   
       

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See also:

 

 

 

Resources:

Title Author Date Publisher Reference Number
Ancient Egypt The Great Discoveries (A Year-by-Year Chronicle) Reeves, Nicholas 2000 Thmes & Hudson, Ltd ISBN 0-500-05105-4
Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, The Shaw, Ian; Nicholson, Paul 1995 Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers ISBN 0-8109-3225-3
Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo Tiradritti, Francesco, Editor 1999 Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-8109-3276-8
Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The Redford, Donald B. (Editor) 2001 American University in Cairo Press, The ISBN 977 424 581 4
Temples of Karnak, The de :Lubicz, R. A. Schwaller 1999 Inner Tradition ISBN 0-89281-712-7
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