July 17, 2012

Birth Room of Amenhotep III

Birth Room
Several small chambers surround the sanctuary, including what has become known as the Birth Room (E). Though in poor condition the murals are of special interest because they depict the birth of Amenhotep III.

Amenhotep III
The Egyptian Pharaoh was the embodiment of Horus, or the son of Ra or Amon. But he had, in addition, to be of direct royal lineage through his father and royal consort. If, as in the case of Amenhotep III, whose mother was not of royal Egyptian blood, his accession was not considered legitimate, he could overcome this difficulty by marrying a sister of royal lineage. Amenhotep did not do this. It was necessary for him therefore to consolidate his monarchy in other respects. Queen Hatshepsut had already shown him how. In her mortuary temple she depicted how she ruled by divine right of Amon and was, in fact, a direct descendant of the Sun-god Amon-Ra. In his temple at Luxor Amenhotep also showed that he was the son of the divine, begotten of Amon and born under the protection of the gods.

The story of the birth room is depicted in three rows on the left- hand wall (/). From right to left in the lower row the god Khnum moulds two infants, Amenhotep and his guardian spirit or ka, and fashions them on a potter’s wheel. The goddess Isis sits opposite. She watches Khnum, the ram-headed god of the cataract region, playing the role of a creator god. In the next scene Amenhotep’s mother is embraced by Isis in the presence of Amon. In the centre row Amon is led by the ibis-headed god of wisdom to the queen’s bedchamber where he approaches her to beget the child already moulded by Khnum. The pregnancy and confinement are attended by Bes and Thoueris, the patron deities of childbirth. After the delivery Amon stands with the child in his arms in the presence of Hathor and Mut. On the much-damaged top row are the suckling of the infant king, his guardian spirits, and his presentation to Amon by Horus who promises him ‘millions of years like Ra’. In the corner the grown Amenhotep stands as king.
In all other reliefs of this chamber Amenhotep is blessed by the various deities.

Sanctuary of Alexander the Great
We now come to what has become known as the Sanctuary of Alexander the Great (m), the area entirely rebuilt by him on the site where the sacred barge of the deity was originally housed. Both the inner and the outer walls have reliefs representing Alexander before Amon and other deities. He obligingly left unmolested some reliefs of Amenhotep III before various Theban deities.

The true sanctuary that housed the gold-plated statue of Amon was the square chamber with four pillars to the south (n). To imbue it with life each day the priests of Amon carried out a series of rituals. Those performed at dawn were the most elaborate. The statue was first carefully cleansed. Then it was clothed with garments and anointed with perfumes. The eyes were made up and prayers were chanted. Then, just as painstakingly, the clothing and makeup were removed and the priests humbly withdrew.

Related web Search :
  • Amenhotep III
  • Amenhotep III Mummy
  • Amenhotep III Tomb
  • Amenhotep III Temple
  • Amenhotep III Statue
  • Pharaoh Amenhotep III

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