The Mortuary Temple of Senwosret III at Abydos

The Mortuary Temple of Senwosret III at Abydos

Hardback Publications of the Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition to Egypt

By (author) Josef Wegner

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  • Publisher: Yale Egyptological Seminar
  • Format: Hardback | 415 pages
  • Dimensions: 279mm x 343mm x 41mm | 3,175g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New Haven
  • ISBN 10: 0974002542
  • ISBN 13: 9780974002545
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: Includes 171 figures & 112 plates

Product description

The ruins of the mortuary complex named Enduring-are-the Places of Khakaure-true-of-voice- in-Abydos are located at South Abydos. Erected for pharaoh Khakaure-Senwosret III (ca. 1878-1841 BC) of Dynasty 12, the Abydos complex includes a subterranean royal tomb built beneath a peak anciently called Anubis-Mountain , and a mortuary temple named Nefer-Ka (Beautiful-is-the-Ka) established for the afterlife cult of Senwosret III. Although the Egypt Exploration Fund initially discovered and examined the site between 1899-1902, the Senwosret III complex has for the last century remained enigmatic, partially through virtue of its location at Abydos. It has often been identified as an Abydene royal cenotaph. In 1994 the University of Pennsylvania-Yale University-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Expedition initiated a renewed program of excavation at South Abydos. A focus of this work has been a comprehensive investigation of the Senwosret III mortuary temple. Excavation of the temple's well-preserved architecture in tandem with work on its surroundings now provides the basis for a detailed reconstruction of this major Middle Kingdom royal mortuary temple. The volume includes six parts arranged in twenty-two chapters with three appendixes. Part I examines the organization of the Senwosret III complex as a whole. Part II is devoted to the architecture and functions of the containment building that housed the stone-built cult structure named Nefer-Ka . Part III examines the architecture, decorative and statue program of the cult building proper and presents a reconstruction of the building's layout and appearance. Part IV discusses the significant archaeological contexts that surround the temple including external activity areas, refuse deposits and the temple's ceramic assemblage. Part V includes publication of the seal corpus associated with the temple and presents a model of the temple's administrative structure based on institutional stamp seals and private name seals. Part VI examines the current evidence pertaining to the tomb enclosure and Senwosret III's subterranean tomb. The volume includes drawings and photographs of approximately one thousand objects: relief, statue and architectural fragments, small objects, seals and seal impressions, and ceramics. In its overall characteristics, the Senwosret III complex is an innovative royal mortuary establishment. Although it has discernible roots in the preceding royal pyramid tradition, the complex as a whole displays traits which presage the New Kingdom format of royal burial complex in the Valley of the Kings. Its hidden tomb at the foot of Anubis-Mountain , paired with its cultivation-edge mortuary temple makes this site pivotal in the evolution of the Egyptian royal mortuary complex. The volume addresses our understanding of this site as either a cenotaph or burial complex for Senwosret III, and the cult of this king which was maintained at South Abydos for some 150 years until its decline at the end of the 13th Dynasty, ca. 1700 BC.

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Author information

Josef Wegner is Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania and Associate Curator in the Egyptian Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Table of contents

List of Figures List of Plates List of Abbreviations Preface Bibliography PART I: THE MORTUARY COMPLEX AND TEMPLE OF SENWOSRET III AT SOUTH ABYDOS Introduction Chapter 1: The Mortuary Complex of Senwosret III PART II: THE MUDBRICK CONTAINMENT BUILDING Chapter 2: Architectural features and Design Principles of the Temple Chapter 3: Control Notes, Team Marks, and the Temple's Construction Sequence Chapter 4: The Architecture of the Outer Temple Chapter 5: The East Block Chapter 6: The West Block Chapter 7: The Central Water Channel System PART III: THE ARCHITECTURE AND DECORATIVE PROGRAM OF THE SENWOSRET III CULT BUILDING AND FORECOURT Chapter 8: The Columned Forecourt Chapter 9: The Foundations and Exterior Architecture of the Cult Building Chapter 10: The Interior Architecture of the Cult Building Chapter 11: The Interior Relief Decoration of the Cult Building Chapter 12: The Exterior Relief Decoration of the Cult Building and Forecourt Chapter 13: The Royal Statuary Chapter 14: Comparative Lexicographic and Functional Analysis of the Senwosret III Cult Building and Forecourt Chapter 15: An Architectural Model of the Cult Building Nfr-K and its Forecourt Chapter 16: Observations on the Position of the Senwosret III Mortuary Building in the Development of the Royal Mortuary Temple PART IV: THE TEMPLE'S CERAMIC ASSEMBLAGE, REFUSE DEPOSITS AND EXTERNAL ACTIVITY AREAS Chapter 17: The Ceramic Assemblage of the Senwosret III Temple Chapter 18: The Temple's External Refuse Deposits Chapter 19: Satellite Activity Areas: The Temple Production Area, Temple Cemetery and Quartzite Debris Field PART V: THE TEMPLE'S SEALING CORPUS AND ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION Chapter 20: The Sealing Assemblage, Decorative Scarab and Royal Name Sealings Chapter 21: The Stamp Seal Corpus and Institutional Structure of the Senwosret III Mortuary Cult Chapter 22: Name and Title Scarab Sealings PART VI: THE SENWOSRET III TOMB AND TOMB ENCLOSURE Appendix 1: The Senwosret III Tomb Enclosure Appendix 2: The Subterranean Tomb of Senwosret III Appendix 3: The Stela of Nebipusenwosret (BM 101) and its Association with the Cult of Senwosret III at Abydos Concluding Observations Index I: General Index II: Egyptian personal Names Index III: Egyptian Words, Phrases and Titles Plates