Mut Temple in Karnak Temple Luxor Egypt | Precinct of Mut Facts, History | Mistress of peace | Lady of heaven | Mighty ruler in her Theban Temple.
Mut Temple in Karnak Temple Luxor Egypt
Who was Mut in ancient Egypt?
Lady of Heaven and Mistress of all Gods are the titles she carried during The New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. Goddess Mut was a local deity till her husband Amun became the national god of Egypt during the New Kingdom. Then, Mut became the Queen of the gods and one of the Luxor triad beside Amun and Khonsu. Meanwhile, she carried titles like Mistress of peace and of war, the creator, and the protector.
Later on, she was called the Eye of Ra, and that title associated her with Sekhmet, Hathor, Tefnut, Wadjet, and Bastet. She had a feast in Thebes called the Festival of Mut was celebrated in her temple around the Isheru lake.
In general, Goddess Mut was one of the most important gods in the ancient Egyptian religion and during her feast, they were singing, dancing, feasting, and drinking. We still can see to the left side of the entrance, a Ptolemaic king and two priestesses playing music before the goddesses.
How Mut was portrayed in the Pharaonic temples?
Goddess Mut, the vulture goddess of the sky was so important during the New Kingdom. Amenhotep III, Hatshepsut, Thutmosis III, and the great Ramesses added parts to her temple in the Karnak complex. Goddess Mut was portrayed as following
Mut was portrayed as a vulture
As a woman with the wings of a vulture holding an Ankh and wearing the Red Crown and White Crown.
Sometimes she was portrayed as a copra, a cat, a cow, and a lioness
Where is Mut Temple in Karnak Luxor Egypt?
Mut temple lies 325 meters to the south of Amun temple of Karnak on Luxor East Bank of the Nile River. Karnak temple and Mut temple are connected by Sphinx Avenue and cover almost 20 acres including the other two temples of King Ramses II, and King Ramesses III.
Why was built?
It was built as a cult temple and major religious center for worshipping the goddess Mut as a protective goddess of Egypt and wife of the God Amun and mother of the God Khonsu.
When Goddess Mut temple was discovered?
In 1798, The temple was mapped by the Napoleonic expedition (“Description de l’Egypte” (1822), and it was described as a historical monument of Egypt with many other sites in Egypt
A lot of travelers and explorers in the 19th century mentioned the temple in their visits.
In 1850, the famous archeologist August Mariette and Gaston Maspero excavated the Mut temple.
In 1860, August Mariette discovered a small chamber with reliefs of the king Taharqa from the 25th Dynasty, the Kushite empire.
Margaret Benson and Janet Gourlay between 1895-1897led the first official excavation
In 1920, Maurice Pillet, Director of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, started serious work for clearing Temple A and the Ramesses III temple
Discontinuous excavations took place in the site of goddess Mut temple in 1950 led by the French archaeologist Henri Chevrier
In 1976, the Brooklyn Museum team started serious excavation to study the Mut temple and figure out the relation between all the discovers in that time
Johns Hopkins University IN 2001, led by Dr. Betsy Bryan agree to collaborate with Brooklyn Museum to excavate the precinct of the Goddess Mut.
In the winter of 2015, Dr. Bryan completed the work of excavating the site one more time.
Facts about the Precinct of the goddess Mut
- is a complex of temples and till now there are about 6 temples within the complex such as the temple of Mut, the temple of Ramesses III, the Temple of Contra, and three temples called temples A, B, and C
- Mut Temple in Karnak Luxor Egypt covers 20 acres.
- The temple called Hwt-Mwt means “the estate of Mut”.
- The Precinct of Mut was built of poor sandstone and mud-brick.
- Its Sacred Lake is the best in Egypt and it surrounds the temple on 3 sides.
- is oriented toward the Amun Ra precinct and they are connected
- The temple design was mentioned in the tomb of Khabekhenet from the time of Ramesses II.
Can we visit Mut temple?
Yes, Mut Temple in Karnak Luxor Egypt is open to the public since January 2014 after 40 years of restorations. Brooklyn Museum’s expedition in cooperation with Johns Hopkins University and the American Research Center in Egypt prepared the site for the visit.
How much does it cost the ticket for Mut Temple?
To visit Mut temple you need to purchase a separate ticket from the Karnak ticket. The ticket cost
Adult: EGP 50 (2.5 $)
Students with valid cards: EGP 25(1.25 $)
Children aged 6-12 years: EGP 25 (1.25 $)
Children under 6 years: FREE
How to reach Mut temple in Karnak complex?
From the Hypostyle Hall in Karnak temple through the south entrance of the Hypostyle Hall direct through the paved road passing Khonsu temple. Then, through the gateway of Ptolemy III, Euergetes I through Sphinx Avenue then turn left side. Finally, at the end of the left road to the right side the entrance of the temple is right now.
Goddess Mut temple layout till now
- Sphinx Avenue
- Two colossal statues in front of the temple
- Pylon gateway
- Mut temple
- Isheru or Sacred Lake
- Ramesses III temple
- Taharqa Gate
- Temple A
- Chapel B
- Hut-ka chapel of Nesptah
- Magic healing chapel
The temple of Mut according to the relief in the tomb of Khabekhenet from the time of Ramesses II till now | The Design of Mut temple
The temple of Mut according to the relief in the tomb of Khabekhenet at Deir el-Madina (Theban Tomb 2), from the time of Ramesses II we know it was a sphinx avenue in front of the temple. Most of the Egyptian major temples like Luxor temple, Karnak temple, and Hatshepsut temple had Sphinx Avenue.
There were two colossal statues standing in front of the temple for the goddess Mut and then the pylon gateway as an entrance to the temple.
The relief does not show more than the temple and the Isheru or the Sacred Lake
King Nectanebo from the 30th Dynasty of Egypt added a mud-brick enclosure wall of 250*350m
The first Pylon is followed by an open court with 10 columns in two rows and they are in ruins now
Behind the open court, we suppose to see the second pylon which does not exist anymore except in the western part which was restored by the mission and they found King Nectanebo I name in there.
After that, the second court was discovered with some Hathoric capitals columns and some broken statues for King Shoshenq I and the great Ramesses.
At the end of the temple like Kom Ombo, are ruins of the storage room and holly of the hollies.
Who Built Mut Temple?
Historians doubt that the oldest part of the Mut temple may date back to the Middle Kingdom.
Johns Hopkins expedition found what may refer to the second intermediate period or the early New Kingdom
The oldest remains now date back to Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III, a fragment of a cartouche that had Hatshepsut’s name. Later on, Thutmosis III erased her name and put his name instead
Brooklyn expedition discovered things refer to as Senenmut and Seti I, Dynasty 19th.
To the left side of the main Mut temple, there is another small temple that seems Amenhotep III built it
Ramesses II enlarged the temple and added a mud-brick pylon, forecourt, and a colonnade
Taharqa from the 25th Dynasty, Kushite Empire added parts to the Mut temple and seems the temple was converted into Mammisi or Birth House. Taharqa also added the second pylon of temple A.
During the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) Mut temple lasted as Mammisi.
Ptolemy II built a pylon on the north side.
Discoveries of the Precinct of the goddess Mut in Karnak
- A top of a monumental gateway over 7 yards wide
- The platform of the temple of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III discovered in 1985
- Reliefs date back to Ramesses II near the second Pylon
- Gilded and painted lintel from the chapel of Khonsu
- 750 diorite statutes for the goddess Mut like a lioness headed woman
- Blocks from a healing chapel
- Four Baboons statutes
- A statue of Pharoah Amenemhat I
- torsos and heads of colossal statues that once stood in the court of that temple
- Two Osirian Colossi
- A large “alabaster” stela of Ramesses II commemorates his marriage to the Hittites princess
- A Statue dates back to the Libyan Dynasty for Sheshonq I
- fragment of a cartouche containing part of Hatshepsut’s name was erased and replaced with the name of Thutmosis III.
- Kindly note that for the extra ticket for Mut temple you have to buy by Karnak’s ticket booth right after the Visitor Center
- Mut statues with lioness-headed goddesses are 720 or 730 representing the days of the year mornings and evenings.
- All the statues of Mut have different headgear from one statue to another
The temple of the Goddess Mut is not a well-known temple in the Karnak complex but is still a must-see if you have time. Mut temple show ancient Egyptian history in a different era from the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom, till the Greco-Roman Era.
Explore one of the Pharaonic temples during your Egypt Palma Tours or Nile Cruises and discover some of the most important Goddesses in ancient Egypt like Mut, Sekhmet, Isis, Nephthys, and Bastet.