The Mortuary Temple of Ramses III (page 2 of two)

New Kingdom: 20th Dynasty; 1184-1153 BCE

The first courtyard

The courtyard is flanked by covered colonnades. Those on the right (north) have statues of the pharaoh as Osiris in front of them. (See also the Ramesseum.)


Details of the colossal statues of the pharaoh as Osiris


Back of the first courtyard with the second pylon


The Second Courtyard (or the Courtyard of the Feasts)

When this courtyard was converted to a Christian church the Osiris figures were removed; however, the reliefs were also covered with mud, thus preserving them for posterity.

A wide ramp leads to the portico; beyond that lies the hypostyle hall.

Reliefs depict military themes and religious festivals

Trophies of enemy hands and phalluses are presented to the pharaoh and counted by the scribes.

Left and center: the wide ramp with access to the portico; right: the architrave with a beautifully colored winged solar disk

Relief engravings decorate the columns and square pillars.
The square pillars depict the pharaoh making offerings to various gods.

The Hypostyle Hall

The roof in the hypostyle was originally supported by 24 columns with the eight forming the aisle being thicker. Today only the bases remain. The ceiling was raised over the central aisle, as it was in the Temple at Karnak and the Ramesseum.

Left: looking east from the sanctuary; detail of the hypostyle hall

Three smaller chambers were behind the hypostyle hall, at least two with treasuries. The third hypostyle hall had on either side of the central aisle statues of Ramses with Maat and with Thoth.

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© 2001 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan