Thursday, September 10, 2009

Karnak Coronation Ritual

In honor of my friend Josh and his family who just moved to Cairo I am posting a photograph I took of a relief depicting a coronation ritual at the Karnak Temple near Luxor, Egypt. In the relief are a series of panels which are intended to be viewed as a succession of events similar to a comic strip. In the first panel the initiate (Pharaoh) is washed by two individuals who appear to be Thoth and Horus. Next Pharaoh is crowned and an ankh is placed in his mouth. Finally he passes through the curtain and into the presence of Osiris.

This relief has been a source of interest for Latter-Day Saint scholars because the themes of washing, coronation and union with deity can also be found in modern temples. Additionally, kings in ancient Egypt typically had two names. One name was given at birth and the other was given at the monarch's coronation. Taking upon oneself additional names is another theme found in modern temples as well as in the ordinance of baptism.


  1. Nice. I'll have to track that down.


  2. Yeah, it's pretty cool. It's on the outside wall of the holy of holies. If you're facing the entrance it's around the right side. Let me know when you guys head down there and I'll tell you a couple other things to look for.