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Building program of Amenhotep II

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Building program of Amenhotep II

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  • July 10, 2004
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Amenhotep III Building program

Amenhotep III built extensively in Egypt, Nubia and the Sudan, with the quality of design and sheer size of his buildings leading Gardiner claim that Amenhotep's reign was when Egypt reached its "zenith of magnificence". His building program was inaugurated as a result of the gold pouring into the country from Nubia and array of goods from surrounding countries in the form of tribute. As claimed by Aldred, "the era of warring in Egypt (was) over" and the increased power and reputation extending from the conquests of Amenhotep's predecessors led to a period of opulence, with Cottrell describing the pharaoh as a "luxury-loving king".

Amenhotep initiated a building program that not only included the erection of new structures, but also the renovation of prior monuments. The main features of his works were their size and massive statuary, lavish use of materials, quality of design and precision of workmanship. These are features are evident in the surviving monuments and from the descriptions on a black granite stelae that was originally set up in his mortuary temple.

The Temple of Luxor (southern harem) was Amenhotep III's greatest building achievement and Hayes tells us of how it was built as a single unit and most of it was constructed during Amenhotep's reign. It was designed by Suti and Hor and constructed for the celebration of the Opet festival. This annual celebration was when statues of the Theban trinity of Amun, Mut and Khonsu were taken from Karnak to the southern harem. An avenue of stone sphinxes linked the temple to Karnak, which was 1 ½ km long. The temple was built of sandstone and originally decorated with gold, and featured a large court with 96 columns, a vestibule with a podium, and inner sanctuary and a series of reliefs depicting Amenhotep's divine birth.

Another of Amenhotep's magnificent buildings was the third pylon at Karnak, a triumphal gateway built for the Temple of Amun. He had a canal built...