Bubastite Portal

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Bubastite Portal gate is located in Karnak, within the Precinct of Amun-Re temple complex, between the temple of Ramesses III and the second pylon. It records the conquests and military campaigns in c.925 BCE of Shoshenq I, of the Twenty-second Dynasty. Shoshenq I has been identified with the biblical Shishaq, such that the relief is also known as the Shishak Inscription or Shishaq Relief.

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The Bubastite Portal is the south entrance to the great First Court of the Temple of Amun at Karnak. It was architecturally conceived as a uniform part of the wall and colonnade surrounding the court. Had it not been for the presence of the temple of Ramses III in the way, this entrance would probably have been placed directly opposite the north entrance at a point almost exactly in the middle of the Ramses temple. Under the circumstances it was built to occupy the space between the Second Pylon and the Ramses temple, and became somewhat more elaborate than the north entrance by the necessary addition of a pilaster against each of the earlier structures.

circa 1180 BCE

This gate was erected by the kings of the Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the "Bubastite Dynasty". It is located to the south-east side of the Temple of Ramesses III. The possible significance of the Bubastite Portal was not apparent prior to the decipherment of hieroglyphics. Jean-François Champollion visited Karnak in 1828, six years after his publication of the Rosetta Stone translation.


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