Temple of Amenhotep IV

The Temple of Amenhotep IV at Karnak in Luxor, Egypt, was constructed during the first four years of the reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, when he still referred to himself as "Amenhotep IV".

It was constructed outside the boundaries of the Precinct of Amon-Re, to the east. The main temple was named "Gm–p3–itn" (Gempaaten), which means "The Sun Disc is Found in the Estate of the God Aten". The others were named "Hwt–bnbn" (Hwt benben / "The Mansion of the Benben Stone"), "Rwd–mnw–n–itn–r–nhh" (Rud-menu / "Sturdy are the Monuments of the Sun Disc Forever"), and "Tni–mnw–n–itn–r–nhh" (Teni–menu / "Exalted are the Monuments of the Sun Disc Forever").

Very little of these buildings remains, they were built quickly, using Talatat blocks, and could therefore easily be demolished and reused as core for later structures.


The "Gempaaten" appears to have no roof and its offering tables were exposed to direct sunlight. In this building (or associated with it) were red granite and sandstone statues of Akhenaten, red granite offering tables and other statues, including a sphinx inscribed with the name of the Aten. It was of a considerable size (130m x 216m), but it was so completely destroyed that its foundations have been nearly obilterated.Blyth, 2006, p.121] It stood within a mud-brick enclosure, and was orientated to the east, with possibly an entrance to west, leading to an open court surrounded by square pillars and statues of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.Blyth, 2006, pp.121-122]

Hwt benben

Erected in east Karnak, the "Hwt benben" or Mansion of the Benben was devoted to a solar cult, and was closely associated with the Gempaaten. [Blyth, 2006, p.123]



References & notes


Further reading

*cite book|title=Karnak: Evolution of a Temple|first=Elizabeth|last=Blyth|year=2006|publisher=Routledge|location=Oxford|id=ISBN 0-415-40487-8
* Donald Redford, Akhenaten : The Heretic King, Princeton, 1984

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