Monday, 7 May 2012

Karnak - Evolution of a temple by Elizabeth Blyth

Karnak: Evolution of a Temple
Karnak temple on the east bank of Luxor is an impressive, huge and confusing site.

A huge mix of temples, pylons, sanctuaries, shrines and fragmentary remains greet us today. A site built over c.2,000 years in Pharonic times.

What we see today is the results of over 100 years of clearing, excavation, sorting, restoring and study.

I have previously mentioned a number of features which were wither commissioned, erected or added to by Hatshepsut. They can be seen under the "Karnak" tab to the right of the blog.

Whilst I've been making use of the superb Digital Karnak website as well as CFEETK website, i needed more- and that led me to Elizabeth Blyth.

What Elizabeth Blyth has produced is (to me) the missing piece of the jigsaw. This is a comprehensive book detailing the story of Karnak temples development from its Middle Kingdom roots all the way up to now. The focus of the book is the Amun-Re precinct, so can still make use of sources like John Hopkins University (JHU) and CFEETK to continue reporting on the Mut Precinct and other parts of the temple not covered by Blyth.

This is not a picture book, nor is it a pocket guide for casual tourists but an pharaoh-by-pharaoh walkthrough of the temples development. The English language needed this book and here it is. Typically of me i dived right into the section on Hatshepsut. As was anticipated - i have a number of leads which i will pick up shortly.

The detail and thought provoking imagery i will not spoil.

This is not a book review, more of a recommendation to anyone who wishes to know more about Karnak temples development. Reasonably priced on Amazon (i picked mine up for around £20)- this is a complement to any Egyptological bookshelf.  

The Amazon link above takes you to their site, where you can see a preview of the book.

PHOTO from 


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