ARCE Chicago: The Relocation and Reassembly of Columns inside the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak

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Presented by: Professor Jean Revez, Department of History, University of Québec in Montréal

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Lecture Information: 

Since 2011, the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)- University of Memphis joint epigraphic mission at Karnak has been studying the decoration carved on the 134 columns that originally stood inside the Hypostyle Hall of the temple of Amen-Ra at Karnak. Since the beginning of this project, funded in great part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), we have been able to gain a much better understanding of the decoration layout and chronology with the help of emerging techniques. One of the greatest challenges in studying the Hall is taking into consideration the fact that a certain number of columns now standing inside the monument are no longer in their original position, since Georges Legrain, the former director of Karnak at the end of the 19th and early 20th century, made some mistakes when he courageously took on the daunting task of re-erecting most of the fallen columns that had collapsed in 1899 and at earlier times. Another great challenge is putting back together the loose drums and abaci that lay outside of the monument. These blocks, sometimes in fragmentary state, are stored in various areas inside the precinct of Amun-Ra. The main objective of the lecture is to present the principal results of the ongoing anastylosis study of the columns, carried out during the past three fieldwork seasons (2017-2019). 

About Jean Revez: 

Jean Revez is professor at the History Department of the University of Quebec in Montréal (UQÀM). He has a BA in liberal arts and pursued graduate studies in Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg, and completed his PhD at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He has worked extensively in Egypt, most notably at Karnak, where he joined the permanent French mission of the CNRS, as well as excavation teams from the University of Toronto. He is currently the co-director of the joint UQAM-University of Memphis epigraphic mission at Karnak. Professor Revez’s research interests cover kingship and royal ideology, Nubian’s cultural inheritance of Egyptian civilization, as well as new approaches to computerized methods of epigraphic survey of Egyptian monuments.