The lost temple of Tuthmosis I discovered in Egypt

The lost temple of Tuthmosis I discovered in Egypt

Thousands of stone blocks that remained hidden for centuries near Luxor, turned out to be the remains of the temple of Tuthmosis I, which has long been sought after by archaeologists. Polish Egyptologist Jadwiga Iwaszczuk was the one who identified the temple fragments in a warehouse that were previously miscategorized.

Accidental discovery of the Temple of Tuthmosis I.

Thutmose I he ordered major building projects during his reign (1506-1493 BC), including many temples and tombs. Actually believed to be the first Egyptian pharaoh to order the construction of a tomb for himself in the Valley of the Kings in life, and thousands of years after his death, the remains of his temple prove his rich architectural legacy.

Science & Scholarship in Poland reported a few days ago that an Egyptologist from the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences named Jadwiga Iwaszczuk, accidentally discovered in a warehouse beautifully decorated fragments of blocks with which the temple of Tuthmosis I was built.

The remains were placed in the warehouse of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, in a tomb adapted for this purpose in the necropolis of Thebes, near Luxor.

The stored fragments come from excavations conducted by one of several Egyptian scientists who were involved in exploring the site in the 1970s. Iwaszczuk said "the archaeologist mistakenly thought that what he had discovered was the temple of Cha-achet, from the time of Hatshepsut's reign«.

However, the remains of that temple were discovered just a few years ago by French archaeologists in the temple of Ramses II. «My research had unexpected results. It turned out that all the discovered fragments came from the temple of Tuthmosis I. The location of the temple had been known for more than half a century but until now, the remains were wrongly identified«.

The official verification that the temple belongs to Tuthmosis I is its name, Khenemet-ankh, familiar to Egyptologists from being found in various written sources and found in various architectural fragments deposited in the warehouse.

Subsequent analyzes have revealed much more information, such as that two types of stone were used for its construction: limestone and sandstone, something that Iwaszczuk considers very important because during Hatshepsut's reign limestone was the main building material.

Another interesting fact is found in the temple art and the finding of one of the oldest depictions of a chariot battle scene on the walls of the temple in very good condition, leading researchers to conclude that the temple was renovated at some point.

So far the team of archaeologists has managed to draw more than 5,000 stone blocks through the fragments found, and have photographed more than 7,000 of them, although «Unfortunately, the temple is not in full since it was used as a quarry in recent centuries. However, through the re-enactments they hope to be able to completely rebuild the temple of Tuthmosis I«.

Images credit: J. Iwaszczuk.

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