Temple of Amun at Medinet Habu

Temple of Amun at Medinet Habu

Walk through the remnants of the workers’ mud-brick houses at the rear of the site and then into the grandness of the temples. Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III oversaw the building of the original temple of Amun, which was later walled into the complex by Ramses III. The Mortuary Temple of Ramses III has well preserved Ancient Egyptian art and architecture. The entrance to this temple complex is through the singular Syrian Gate. This large building is particular to Medinet Habu and is carved with giant images of the Ramses III defeating the Libyans.

Location of the temple of Amun

Just left of the entrance to the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu is the Temple of Amun (Ancient Egyptian: Djeser Set) dating to the 18th Dynasty, built by Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. It has undergone many alterations and modifications over the years, partially in the 20th, 25th, 26th, 29th and 30th Dynasties and the Greco-Roman period.


The earliest building on the site was a small shrine of the 11th Dynasty (2081–1938 BCE), of which only the foundations remain. Hatshepsut and Thutmose III later enlarged the shrine as a temple dedicated to the local form of Amon and the primaeval Ogdoad (group of eight deities of the creation myth in the Middle Kingdom Egypt [1938–c. 1630 BCE]). When Ramses III erected his mortuary temple in the vicinity, the enclosure walls incorporated the smaller temple inside the precinct. Madīnat Habu, as a fortified site, offered security during the late New Kingdom (1539–1075 BCE) to the inhabitants of western Thebes during times of unrest and served as the administrative centre for the women’s village at Deir el-Medina.

The Temple of Amun was built in the Eighteenth Dynasty, under the reigns of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III. It was defaced by Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton), and restored by Horemheb, Seti I, and Ramses III, who decorated its outer walls. Also found was a set of buildings belonging to the Middle Kingdom that was dedicated to the Ogdoad (four male and four female deities associated with Egyptian creation myths and with the god Amen). A colossal statue of Tuthmosis III and Amun was found in the temple, and it is now being restored by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. In Greco-Roman times, the temple was significantly enlarged: forecourts, porticos, walls, and pylons were added to the east, in front of the original the 18th-Dynasty structure. To the north of the Eighteenth-Dynasty Temple, a small sacred lake was used as a Nilometer during the reign of Nectanebo II of the XXX Dynasty.