Essential Architecture-  Egypt

Mortuary Temple of Ramses III




Medinet Habu


New Kingdom: 20th Dynasty; 1184-1153 BCE


Ancient Egyptian




Temple Tomb, Mausoleum
Although ancient Egyptians called this place Djanet, the name used today derives from an early Christian place name. The complex of buildings here dates from the early 18th Dynasty, when Hatshepsut and Tuthmose III dedicated a temple to Amun, to Roman times. Its history continued until the 9th century CE since a Coptic church was established in the second courtyard of the mortuary temple. Medinet Habu is about 4 miles from the Valley of the Kings near the foot of the Theban Hills at the southern end of western Thebes. The mortuary temple is the best preserved temple at Thebes.
Ramses III had an usual entrance built for the complex, modeled perhaps on citadels he had seen on military campaigns in Syria. The tower is in the form of a "migdol," a kind of fortified gate house. The complex thus had the look of a fortress since originally it was enclosed by a mud brick wall 35 feet thick and 60 feet high.

The entrance
On each side of the tower reliefs depict Ramses III slaying his enemies. The top floor of the tower apparently contained Ramses III's harem.

With special thanks to the Digital Imaging Project
Images copyright Mary Ann Sullivan.