• Hella Radwan

The talatat of Karnak


King Akhenaten constructed a number of temples in Karnak early in his reign, before moving the capital to Amarna. These temples were constructed with small blocks, called talatat. Talatat is an Arabic word derived from the word for 'three', indicating that each block is three hand-spans long.


After the death of Akhenaten the temples were dismantled and re-used in construction of other objects. A large number of the talatat were used in the construction of the IXth Pylon of the Temple of Amun in Karnak during the reign of Horemheb.


Around 40,000 of these blocks were excavated in Karnak in the late 1960s. Part of them (183 pieces) are now assembled on one of the walls of the Luxor Museum in a mosaic of 18 meters length.


This represents the only successful attempt at reconstructing an actual portion of one of the kings temple walls.The scenes are showing Akhenaten, his wife Nefertiti, temple life and the everyday life of ordinary people associated with the temple storehouses, workshops and breweries and are a rare example of decoration from a temple of Aten.





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