Visiting the temple of Karnak in Luxor is a wonderful and perhaps overwhelming experience. Construction of the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and around 30 different pharaohs contributed to its development, continuing well into the Ptolemaic Period. Most of the construction we can see today date from the New Kingdom.
Last time we talked about Amun of Karnak, and how he became the chief God of the Theban area starting from the Middle Kingdom. Today we're bringing you yet another wonderful depiction of Amun Ra, that is easy to miss among the fantastic reliefs and stela of Karnak and I hope that for many of you it is the first time you come across it.
Approaching the Eighth Pylon doorway, a number of seated colossi greets us, all made of different material. One of these is made of the red sandstone from the Gebel El-Ahmar (Red Mountain) quarry that was once located near the Heliopolis district of today's Cairo. This quarry was also the source for the famous Colossi of Memnon.
This particular seated colossi of the Eighth Pylon is missing the upper part and only the legs and the arms of the seated pharaoh can be seen. Cartouches on the colossi identify the king as Thutmosis II, husband of Queen Hatshepsut. On the east facade of the pedestal on which the colossi sits we see this delicate image of Amun Ra that appears to be unfinished. The god holds a scepter in the right hand and the ankh in the left.
The inscription reads: "Words spoken by Amun-Ra, master of Heaven, master of Earth."
As a curiosity, we would also like to share with you this historic image of the Eighth Pylon from the past, when it was still partially buried.