Visualizing the size and movement of the portable
festival barks at Karnak temple

Elaine Sullivan

A highly ritualized cycle of festival processions linked the temples of Karnak, Luxor, and the Theban West Bank in the New Kingdom. While a great deal of scholarship has focused on the textual and pictorial records of these festivals, study of the physical movement of the portable barks carrying each temple’s divine statue(s) has been hampered by uneven and unclear evidence. This study uses a 3D model of the Amun-Re temple at Karnak to investigate questions of movement and experience to better understand these ritual events. Questions of interest include both the size of the bark in early Dynasty 18 and the date of its expansion in mid/late Dynasty 18. Also of interest is the concurrence of the bark's enlargement and the increased monumentality of Karnak temple in Dynasty 19. The challenge of moving the bark through the physical space of the temple is also addressed. 

Visualizing the size and movement of the portable festival barks at Karnak temple

To reference this article we suggest:

Sullivan, Elaine. 2012. Visualizing the size and movement of the portable festival barks at Karnak temple. BMSAES 19: 1–37. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/online_journals/bmsaes/issue_19/sullivan.aspx

Contact the author

elainesullivan@ucla.edu