Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The White Chapel of Senusert I

The “White Chapel” in the open air museum at Karnak temple was built by Senusert I, the second king of Egypt’s Dynasty Twelve. During the New Kingdom, it was dismantled and used as filler in the Third Pylon of Karnak.

The White Chapel was built from blocks of Egyptian alabaster and is decorated with some of the most skillfully carved reliefs in the history of Egyptian art. Many of the scenes show Senusert with gods such as Amen Ra, Horus, Min and Ptah. The building was possibly erected as part of Senusert’s Sed Festival in the thirty-first year of his reign.

The chapel’s present location in the open air museum at Karnak is away from the areas normally visited by tourists, but the building is quite lovely and well worth visiting if you have the chance.

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