452 PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
in the engraving, stretches the great peristylar court (two hundred and seventy-four feet by
three hundred and twenty-nine feet), with a colonnade at each side and a double row of
columns down the middle, of all which very little remains. A small temple (of Rameses III.)
projects through the south wall (towards the spectator in the engraving), and another, of
Seti IL, stands in the north-west corner of the court. The ruined second pylon leads into the
famous " Hall of Columns," several of which are seen in the centre of the engraving, while
special points of view are shown on pages 449—551. This is really the only approximately
complete part of the Great Temple ; and even here the roof is off, the columns are partly
fallen, and the grated windows of the clerestory are broken in. Beyond the Hall of Columns
—which, to be seen to advantage, should be viewed on a fine moonlit night, when the strong
contrasts of light and shade give distance to what is in sunlight an overcrowded vista—is a
wilderness of ruins, representing a hall of Osiride figures, the sanctuary, and surrounding
chambers; while further back is what remains of the temple of Thothmes III., containing
various indistinguishable divisions. Amid this chaos are the obelisks, two upright and two
fallen, the shorter ones bearing the name of Thothmes I., and the taller (indeed the tallest
known—one hundred and nine feet) that of Hatasu, his daughter, the builder of Deyr El-Bahry.
Round about are the remnants of the Osiride court, the granite sanctuary, and the so-called
proto-Doric columns of Osirtasen I. (Twelfth Dynasty) behind it. As one stands amid the
wilderness of fallen stones, broken obelisks, mutilated statues, the single emotion is wonder,
not so much at how these huge buildings were set up, but how they came to be thus destroyed.
Nothing short of a terrific earthquake, one would say, could have overthrown Karnak; yet
the slow and irresistible sapping of the foundations by the Nile may account for a great deal
of the ruin. The brown river-stained bases of the columns in the great hall warn us that the
time may come when even what remains of Karnak may be overturned.
In spite of its ruined state, Karnak presents many exceedingly interesting wall-pictures.
In one place we see Seti I. making war upon the nations of Asia, compelling the Armenians to
cut down their forests in their conqueror's behoof, driving his chariot among the fleeing Shasu,
or Bedouins, showering his arrows upon the Kharo, dragging home in triumph the prisoners,
taken in his campaign against the Assyrians, warring with the Khetas (Hittites), and holding
the captives of all nations by the hair of their heads while he offers them as victims to Amen-Ra.
In another place is the famous epic of Pentaur, with Rameses charging the foe single-handed;
and on the outside of the south wall of the Hall of Columns is depicted the campaign of the
" Shishak " of the Bible against Palestine. Shishak appears about to slay a row of suppliant
prisoners, and behind is the long series of the Levite cities, each represented by a man hidden,
all but his head, behind a cartouche containing the name of the place. It was believed by
Champollion that one of these heads stood for Jeroboam, but later researches make this more
than doubtful. The list of cities and Rameses' treaty with the Hittites are, however, alone
enough to show the high importance of these sculptures. The walls of Karnak, indeed, even
more than those of most temples, form an historical library of priceless value and interest.