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Precinct of Mut, Egypt

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Al Oksor Rd to Naga Al Tawyl
El-Karnak
Luxor
Luxor Governorate
Egypt


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N25° 42' 42.5628" E32° 39' 19.6776"   (25.711823, 32.655466)
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The Precinct of Mut is an Ancient Egyptian temple compound located in the present city of Luxor (ancient Thebes), on the east bank of the Nile in South Karnak. The compound is one of the four key ancient temples that creates the Karnak Temple Complex. It is approximately 325 meters (1,066 feet) south of the precinct of the god Amun. The precinct itself encompasses approximately 90,000 square meters (968,751 square feet) of the entire area. The Mut Precinct contains at least six temples: the Mut Temple, the Contra Temple, and Temples A, B, C, and D (Fazzini, 1983, p. 18). Surrounding the Mut Temple proper, on three sides, is a sacred lake called the Isheru. To the south of the sacred lake is a vast amount of land currently being excavated by Dr. Betsy Bryan and her team from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Today, most of the compound is still destroyed, but it is currently being renovated. Surrounding the Mut Temple, the Contra Temple, and Temples A, B, C, and D, is an enclosure wall made of mud brick dating to the 30th Dynasty. The Mut Temple proper was made of mediocre sandstone and it is positioned north and south and is directly aligned with the Precinct of Amun. The Contra Temple, also made of mediocre sandstone, borders the Mut Temple at the south end of it, hence the name, and it possibly dates to the 30th Dynasty with certain alternations made during the Ptolemaic period. The purpose of the Contra Temple is still unclear, however, Fazzini (1983) states that it possibly served as a stopping point in a partially columned passage around the Mut Temple. In the northeast corner is the structure known as Temple A and according to Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition on the Precinct of Mut, it was also called the “Temple of Millions of Years” and was dedicated to Ramsses II and the god Amun-Ra. Within the temple are two stelae, one referring to Ramsses II’s work on Temple A and the other telling of his marriage to Hittite princess. The Brooklyn Museum states that Temple A did not become a part of the Mut Precinct until the 25th Dynasty under the reign of the Kushite king, Taharqa and during which time it became a birthing house, “mammisi”, where Ancient Egyptians would celebrate the birth of the god Khonsu, the son of Amun-Ra and Mut.
To the east of the Mut Temple is a ruined building referred to as, Temple B, due to the amount of damage of Temple B, excavations are difficult to undergo. To the west of the sacred lake, Isheru, lies Temple C, a small temple built by Ramsses III, it still retains some military scenes on the outer walls, as well as two headless giants of the king himself before the entrance of the temple (Wilkinson, 2000, p. 164). Temple D, or Structure D, was a chapel made during the Ptolemaic period, the front room was dedicated to the goddess Mut and the back room shows evidence of being dedicated to a Ptolemaic ancestor cult. The Brooklyn Museum mentions one other important monument found on the site is the Taharqa gateway that is about 7 yards wide and is oriented south and west, it was built to enlarge the Mut Precinct and opened a new pathway to Temple A. The sacred lake, Isheru, was man made and held religious importance to the cult of the goddess Mut.

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Precinct of Mut

Address: Al Oksor Rd to Naga Al Tawyl, El-Karnak, Luxor, Luxor Governorate, Egypt
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