Egypt Exploration Society London Study Day: ‘Grand Designs’: Amenhotep III and the landscape of Thebes
Time and Place
Start Time: Saturday, 9th June 2012, 10:00 am
End Time: Saturday, 9th June 2012, 5:00 pm
Location: The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS
Street: Brunei Gallery, Thornhaugh St, Russell Square
City/Town: London WC1H 0XG
Phone: +44 (0)20 7242 1880
The monuments of Amenhotep III were part of the landscape of Thebes, although due to ancient re-use of materials and re-appropriation of monuments, many of them were unknown until recently. With current research focusing on his great harbour (Birket Habu), his mortuary temple (Kom el-Hettan), and his palace (Malqata), this Study Day will explore the idea that Amenhotep had a ‘grand design’ for the city, encompassing monuments and possibly waterways on both sides of the river.
10.00 Registration and refreshments
10.45 Welcome and Opening Remarks
11.00 Prof. John Baines, Amenhotep III: patron of new urban designs
12.00 Dr Angus Graham/Kris Strutt, Birket Habu: Amenhotep III’s Great Harbour
13.00 Lunch (please make your own arrangements)
14.00 Dr Aidan Dodson, Lost and Found: The Chapel of Amenhotep III at Wadi el-Sebua
14.05 Dr Hourig Sourouzian, A Glimpse of Eternity: Current Work at the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III
15.05 Coffee/Tea and biscuits
15.35 Dr Peter Lacovara, Malqata: Amenhotep III’s planned city
16.35 Discussion and closing remarks
17.00 Reception in the Brunei Suite
Prof John Baines is Professor of Egyptology, University of Oxford. The reign of Amenhotep III saw enormously ambitious plans for the design of cities and construction of temples and palaces. In the case of Thebes something of the meaning of these changes can be gathered from inscriptions. The programmes for cities and for the countryside throughout Egypt and Nubia were integral to new styles of presentation of the king and his multiple roles. These developments, which remained influential for centuries, affected many aspects of religion, art, and architecture. This lecture will explore the meaning of the evidence from Thebes and ask how it fits into the context of the king’s reign and of conceptions of kingship.
Dr Angus Graham is the Field Director of the EES Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey. Kris Strutt, University of Southampton, is the consultant geophysicist on the project. Amenhotep III excavated a vast basin known today as Birket Habu, in front of his palace at Malkata on the Theban West Bank. The EES Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey has begun a programme of work on the West and East Bank at Thebes in order to model how the floodplain was manipulated to create different land- and waterscapes for practical and religious purposes. As part of this work they have started a geophysical survey using Electrical Resistivity Tomography to establish the size and depth of the basin, and its function, both in a practical sense as a harbour for deliveries, and as a ritual and festival space. In this first season they have carried out a profile across the entrance of the birket in order to locate any canals that were cut to connect the basin to the Nile. They have also worked at an enigmatic feature, possibly a pendant basin, on the East Bank and in the area of Amenhotep III’s Mortuary Temple. This lecture will present the preliminary findings of recent fieldwork.
Dr Hourig Sourouzian is the Director of the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project. Amenhotep III’s mortuary temple would have been a the largest single structure ever built in Thebes, but until recently very little of the superstructure remained, except the Colossi of Memnon, which marked the entrance. The work of the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project has uncovered over 80 statues of Sakhmet, as well as half a dozen colossal royal statues, one of which has been re-erected. Other conservation work has focused on the remains that have been uncovered, including column bases, statues and paving slabs. It is now possible to estimate the overall dimensions of the temple and to give an indication of its internal structure. This lecture will present the recent findings from the field.
Dr Peter Lacovara is a Director of the Joint Expedition to Malqata (JEM), and Curator at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. One of the long term goals of JEM is to study, in a comprehensive way, the official buildings and supporting villages that make up Malqata. The ancient city was created by one of the 18th dynasty’s greatest pharaohs, Amenhotep III, and by studying each area as part of a whole (rather than as an independent site), we hope to better understand Amenhotep’s vision for Malqata. Our work at Malqata is a long term project to increase our understanding of the city and plan for the long term preservation of the monuments. This season our work took place in four areas, all of which were the subject of excavation by the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1910 and 1920; the records from these early seasons are not as detailed as one would like, so part of our work is to learn more about these areas and preserve them for the future. This lecture will present the results of recent field work at the site.