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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Land of the š3sw (Nomads) of yhw3 at Soleb

  • Author(s): Kennedy, Titus
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

The temple of Amun-Ra at Soleb, constructed in Kush (Nubia) during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in the 18th Dynasty and “rediscovered” in 1813 by Burckhardt, is famous for its status as the southernmost temple and its scenes of the Heb-Sed Festival of Amenhotep III. Located about 185 kilometers southwest of Wadi Halfa, the partially preserved Soleb temple of Amenhotep III on the west bank of the Nile, just south of the Third Cataract, can be difficult to access. According to the building inscription of Amenhotep III from Thebes, the Soleb temple was named Khaemmaat and was dedicated to Amun-Ra and to Amenhotep III as a deity. A New Kingdom cemetery was nearby to the west, and subsequent rulers Akhenaten, Ay, and Tutankhamun also had modifications made to the temple. Even as early as 1829, the expedition of Major Felix which visited the site recognized that the prisoner inscriptions on visible columns were commemorating the victories of Amenhotep III, but after the centuries, Sector IV of the hypostyle hall was in ruins, toppled, and partly covered by sand. However, following the 1957–1963 excavation expedition led by Michela Schiff Giorgini, the uncovered remains were analyzed and reconstructed with the available pieces which had been discovered and identified. The columns of the hypostyle hall, decorated with bound prisoner reliefs and the names of peoples or places rendered in Egyptian hieroglyphs, are of significant geographical and historical importance.

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