The Temple of Medinet Habu is the mortuary temple of Ramesses III on the West bank at Thebes in Upper Egypt.
Ramesses III copied many scenes directly from those at the Ramesseum, which is abundantly clear as there are many almost identical scenes throughout the temple complex. The procession of the Festival of Min is no exception, it is very similar to the Ramesseum scenes. The reliefs are clear with much of the colouring still intact, especially considering that the temple is about 3200 years old. The scenes depict episodes from the Festival of Min, celebrating the continued rule of the king. A large ceremonial procession brought offerings to a figure of Min, the god of fertility and harvests, presided over by Ramesses III himself. Statues of venerated ancestors were also carried along the procession, in all there are sixteen cartouches with the names of nine kings.
The scene is located in the upper register on the east wall of the Second pylon in the Second Court.🧭
Siptah and Amenmesse of the Nineteenth Dynasty are both excluded, as is Tausret who was ousted by Ramesses III’s father Setnakht. Exactly like at the Ramesseum, the scenes can be found in the second court, in the upper register of the second eastern pylon.
|#||Hieroglyphs||Name in list||Pharaoh|
|1, 5, 8||User Maat Ra, mery Amun|
|2, 6, 9||User khau Ra, mery Amun|
|3, 12||User Maat Ra, setep en Ra|
|4, 11||Ba en Ra, mery Amun|
|7, 10||User kheperu Ra, setep en Ra|
|13||Men Maat Ra|
|14||Men pehty Ra|
|15||Djoser kheperu Ra, setep en Ra|
|16||Neb Maat Ra|
The scene was first published by Vivant Denon in 1802 after his return from Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt in 1798-1801. It was a very crude sketch of the procession and only the hieroglyphs of Ramesses III are shown. When Description de l'Égypte was published ten years later it improved upon Denon’s sketch, but omitted the hieroglyphs completely. It was not until Wilkinson’s edition in 1837 that we got the first view of the actual hieroglyphs. Champollion improved upon the details in 1845, which was followed a few years later by Lepsius in 1849. Henri Gauthier published the complete Medinet Habu in 1931, including photos, going over the Festival scenes in detail, examining its similarities with the Ramesseum.
OK – Old Kingdom
MK – Middle Kingdom
NK – New Kingdom
SIP – Second Intermediate Period
Thebes – The Southern capital
Memphis – The Northern capital
Epitome – Manetho’s original Aegyptiaca was lost in antiquity, and in the following centuries, it was replaced by Epitomes (summaries) by rivalling advocates of Jewish, Egyptian, and Greek history that saw each side trying to establish the truth according to their point of view.
Vorlage – From the German for prototype or template, a vorlage is a prior version of a manuscript, in this case an earlier version of the canon.
Recto and verso – Recto is the front side and verso is the back side of a written or printed text.
Cartouche – oval band enclosing a pharaohs name
Hieratic – cursive form of hieroglyphic script
Hyksos – Greek form of
Mortuary Temple – where the gods and the king who built the temple were worshipped.