Carnac - The granite Sanctuary and Obelisk

View showing some remains of the temple complex of Karnak, including the surviving obelisk of the pair erected by Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BC) in front of the fifth pylon. This is the tallest of the two obelisks still standing at the site, the other being one of a pair erected nearby, in front of the fourth pylon, by Hatshepsut’s father, Thutmose I (1504-1492 BC). Remains of structures erected by Thutmose I and Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC), as well as later additions and alterations, are visible in the background and foreground, including the archway near which three local men are standing. 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).

Object Details

Carnac – The granite Sanctuary and Obelisk

Francis Frith




Albumen print

15.6 x 20.1 cm

Acquired by King Edward VII when Prince of Wales