Thursday, February 18, 2010
At the end of last season, several of the JEM staff members took a balloon ride over the site. Yarko Kobylecky, the photographer at Chicago House, went along on the ride and kindly provided us with the aerial photos below.
The structures of Malqata are so wide-spread that they are best seen from the air – especially the Birket Habu. This ancient harbor is immense, measuring about 1.5 miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide. The photo below gives you some idea of its size.
Amenhotep III is noted for building on a large scale, but the Birket dwarfs all of his, or any other king’s building projects. You can see this in the photo below.
The large temple at the lower right is Medinet Habu, built by Ramesses III (who ruled almost 200 years after Amenhotep III). This is the largest surviving structure on the west bank, and it would fit into the Birket Habu at least 10 times. The letters on the photo show you various parts of the site: A Amun Temple; B North Village; C King’s Palace.
The Birket probably served a number of purposes. It was undoubtedly used to supply the palace city located at its northwest corner. It was probably also used for recreation by the people living at Malqata. And it was most certainly used during Amenhotep’s festival ceremonies.
– Catharine Roehrig