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Photographer's Note

This is part of the back of the second pylon in the temple of god Amun at Karnak. It provided the facade for the vast hypostyle hall containing 134 columns, the work of which pharaoh Sety I (he reigned around 1291-1278 BC) began. This high quality raised relief representation (which is 8 m high) on the north side of the hall shows the goddess Hathor introducing Sety I in front of the god Amun. The pharaoh incline himself in the presence of the god in a pietous pose. In his left hand he is holding the symbols of royal power, the crook and the flail. The godess Hathor presents to god Amun a lotus bundle and one of her attributes, a sistrum (rattle). The quality of the reliefs that embellished the temples and his tomb are virtually unsurpassed in Egyptian art, showing that Sety I was very concerned to maintain the highest traditions of craftmanship. All Sety's reliefs in the hypostyle hall are on the north side and contrast in their fine style with the later additions of his son Ramesses II.
Over the last decades the decorated sandstone surfaces of the hypostyle hall have showed signs of accelerating decay. The decay is in large part caused by the salts trapped in the stone which move during humidity fluctuations in the air (due to the construction of the High Dam at Aswan), or when in contact with salt-laden ground water draining towards the Nile from the agricultural fields east of Luxor.

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Additional Photos by Christian Stocker (ChristianS) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 968 W: 60 N: 809] (2997)
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