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space, obviously to increase capacity 9.

Abd el-Rafa Fadl, Ibrahim, Lecuyot and Redon forthcoming


Abd el-Rafa Fadl, Ibrahim, Lecuyot and Redon forthcoming

KARNAK, BATHS NORTH OF THE FIRST PYLON The Ptolemaic bath of Karnak was uncovered in 2006 by the SCA during rescue excavations, led by Salah el-Masekh, under the direction of Mansour Boraik, general director of the SCA for the Upper Egypt.

The bath is built directly on the embankment that protected the temple of Karnak from the rising of the Nile, while enabling boats to moor and pilgrims to disembark. Initial analyses allow us to propose the date of c. 120 BC for the baths’ abandonment, and while its foundation is not fixed with certainty, it probably goes back to the late third century-first half of the second century BC.

The bath of Karnak is one of numerous Greek-style baths built all over Egypt after Alexander's conquest. It fits almost perfectly with the Greco-Egyptian bath model as it has been highlighted recently thanks to the excavations of Taposiris Magna, near Alexandria: it includes a total of five bathing rooms, two additional rooms and a service area, and is organized according to the bathing circuit. The main entrance of the baths is certainly on the east side, providing access to a large hall/cloakroom, with an adjoining room (possibly a locker room or storage place for equipment). The hall gives access to the south to another probable hall, also accompanied by an annex. From rooms 5 and 6, the bathers entered a rotunda, each equipped with 16 hip-bathtubs. Both rotundas open finally onto a long corridor, which leads north to a room that has been very disturbed by the construction of modern tanks. This last room is certainly for relaxation in individual immersion bathtubs (one has been found), a common practice after cleansing in the hip-bathtubs. Corridor 3 also provides access to all technical facilities of the building: a tank in the south, a redistributive basin in the center, and the heating system to the west. The bathing establishment at Karnak stands out for the luxury of its mosaics and wall paintings; furthermore, the hip-bathtubs’ armrests flanking the doors of the two tholoi are decorated with an original and unique pattern in the Greek baths corpus (including the whole Mediterranean area):


Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project