Carnac - The Court of Shishak

View across the forecourt of the precinct of Amun-Re at the temple complex of Karnak with the entrance to the hypostyle hall visible in middle ground. A local man stands near a tall column in the foreground and an obelisk can be seen in the background, beyond the hall. Karnak, near modern Luxor, is a large complex of religious buildings covering an area of over one hundred hectares. It consists of three major sacred precincts dedicated to Amun-Re (the largest of the three), Mut and Montu, but it also includes other structures built both inside and outside the various precincts. It was built and continually extended and embellished by Egyptian rulers from at least the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) until the Roman period (30 BC-AD 395) but most of its surviving structures date from the second half of the second millenium BC, resulting in Karnak being the largest and best-preserved temple complex of the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC). The forecourt, situated between the first and second pylon, contains a gate built by Sheshonq I (945-924 BC), identified with the Egyptian king Shishak mentioned in the Bible, hence the title given to the image by the photographer.

Object Details

Carnac – The Court of Shishak

Francis Frith



Albumen print

16.1 x 20.9 cm

Acquired by King Edward VII when Prince of Wales