Temple of Amada

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Temple of Amada, is an ancient Egyptian temple built in Nubia, by Pharaoh Thutmose III of the 18th dynasty and dedicated to Amun and Re-Horakhty.

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First constructed by Thutmose III, the decoration program for this structure was continued by his son and successor, Amenhotep II. Amenhotep II's successor, Thutmose IV decided to place a roof over its forecourt and transform it into a pillared or hypostyle hall.

During the Amarna period, Akhenaten had the name Amun destroyed throughout the temple but this was later restored by Seti I of Egypt's 19th Dynasty. Various 19th Dynasty kings especially Seti I and Ramesses II also "carried out minor restorations and added to the temple's decoration."

The original plan of the temple consisted of a pylon, followed by a small court leading to a proto-doric columned portico.


circa 1260 BCE

Pylon and Entrance
The small temple complex is fronted by a pylon, with a sandstone gateway. Seti I had a hand in some small additions, such as a large pylon with a sandstone gateway abutting against the hypostyle hall, along with other 19th Dynasty rulers including his son, Ramesses II.

circa 1380 BCE

Hypostyle Hall
The hypostyle hall was a later addition by Tuthmosis IV.

circa 1260 BCE

Temple Proper
The temple proper, which was built in sandstone, has a shallow transverse hall decorated with coronation scenes, a deep offering hall connected on either side to a small cult statue shrine for Re-Horakhty (south) and Amun-Re (north).

Christian Church

circa 1400 CE

Also, like many other Nubian temples, the early Christians made the structure a church capped by a cupola, and in the process, contributed their own damage. On the other hand, when these same Christians plastered over many of the reliefs, they in fact preserved many of them, making these depictions some of the finest remaining in any Nubian temple.


circa 1965 CE

Between 1964 and 1975, the temple was moved from its original location to a new site "some 65 meters higher and 2.5 km away from its original site". Chopping it into blocks, as was being done with the other temples, was not an option; the paintings would not have survived. Seeing that all seemed resigned to see the temple flooded by the silty waters of Lake Nasser, Christiane Desroches Noblecourt announced that France would save it. She asked two architects to propose a method for moving the temple in one piece. Their idea was to put the temple on rails and transport it hydraulically to a site a few kilometers away that was more than 60 meters higher.

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