Red Chapel

last update: 11.12.2009

North Wall - Block No. 303

Stone: red quartzite (origin - from the "Red Mountains" of Djebel Akhmar, an area near Heliopolis)

Beautiful Feast of the (Desert) Valley, Register 5, return from from Deir el-Bahari to Karnak.
The block shows the barque of Amun which is carried into the "Great Festival Hall" at the temple of Karnak (the corresponding text is written right above the barque). In front of the barque 4 cases are shown each of it mounted on a sledge and decorated with 4 ostrich feathers (Ma'at!). Left of them the "God Goddess, Lady of the Two Lands, Maat-ka-Ra" is shown consecrating the 4 cases to Amun.

Behind Hatshepsut Thutmosis III is offering incense to Amun (text below his hands).

The following picture shows the processional barque of Amun in detail:
Bow and stern are decorated with a ram head  each of them crowned with an uraeus which carries a sun disk mounted in horns.
The shrine which contains the statue of the god is placed under a canopy that has the shape of a "pr-wr" i.e. the holy shrine of Upper Egypt. The outer walls of the shrine are protected by rows of uraei which are crowned (with an Atef-crown?). Each uraeus is placed on a nb-sign. The shrine is partly hidden by a veil which is fastened on the wings of a vulture.
The anterior part of the hull carries a protective Udjat-eye and, next to the shrine, two winged scarabs which are raising a sun disk. Both scarabs a standing on a round object - perhaps another sun disk - which in later times developed into a shen ring. The meaning of the scarabs remains unclear, however, Karlshausen (Karlshausen, Chr., L'Úvolution de la barque processionnelle d'Amon Ó la 18e dynastie, RdE 46, 1995, S. 119-137) assumed that they represent the fastening of the shrine onto the barque.
The barque is carried and accompanied by several priests, among them two Sem-Priests (in the center) who carry the head of a panther fastened to their belt.
In front of the 1st Sem-Priest a priest carries a fan (3rd from left), outside beside the 1st Sem-Priest another priest is depicted who carries a staff most likely with a floral decoration at the top.
Between the 3rd priest who is carrying a fan and the 1st Sem-Priest the protective "sa-ta"-formula is listed:

"Dd mdw sp 4x jj nTr sA-tA sp 2x = Words to be spoken 4 times (one times each to the South, North, East, and West): Come (here), god, protect the earth, protect the earth" (see also Hannig, ─gyptisch-Deutsch, p.655).

The following photo which shows the anterior part of the processional barque allows to identify the "crew":
- behind the ram head is a goddess with the headdress of Hathor (cow horns with a sun disk), standing beside her (in the old Egyptian way pictured behind her) - and clearly identifiable due to the feather on the head - the goddess Ma'at is shown;
- behind the two goddesses a royal symbol - a sphinx with a human head, double crown, and the false beard - is shown mounted on a standard.

The next three figures turn against the shrine:
- a royal figure most likely dressed with a nms-headdress, is depicted offering two nw-vessels - perhaps filled with wine - in front of the shrine;
- besides (and partly covering the royal figure) a lying sphinx with a human head is shown offering a nmst-jug;
- directly in front of the shrine (and also behind it on the stern) a kneeling figure is shown obviously fixing the poles of the  canopy.
Furthermore, the helmsman of the processional barque is shown standing on the stern.

Appearance of the processional barque during the times of Hatshepsut (according to Karlshausen, loc. cit., Abb. 3).



Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)