Model of a Temple Gateway
Quartzite, 9 1/2 x 44 x 34 in., 1025 lb. (24.1 x 111.8 x 86.4 cm, 464.9kg)
New Kingdom, Dynasty XIX, reign of Seti I (circa 1294-1279 B.C.)
Found in Tell el Yahudiya but perhaps from Heliopolis
Brooklyn #49.183 [66.229], Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
(Relief of Ramses II in background)
Photo © Joan Lansberry, May 2008-2016

Photo © photo, showing two sides, (used with permission), Color-adjusted 2016

One of the more interesting pieces at the Brooklyn Museum is the model of a temple gateway, commissioned by Seti I. Between my photos, those of the webmistress of the now defunct and the museum website photos, we can have a fairly thorough examination of this piece, for they captured it with different angles and under different light conditions than I did.

I decided to seek out more info on the temple model, and Peter Brand's _Monuments of Seti I_ came to my aid.

"This celebrated piece is the base of a 'model' temple of Seti I from Heliopolis. It was found at Tell el-Yahudia by fellahin sometime before 1875 and eventually acquired by the Brooklyn Museum. Only the base of the model is preserved, bearing sockets that once held now missing elements of a gateway with statuary and obelisks for a pylon gateway of Seti I. Badawy developed a largely plausible reconstruction of these lost architectural elements."("Catalog of Monuments", page 143)

This Brooklyn Museum photograph from above shows those sockets.

The Brooklyn Museum has the reconstruction Brand speaks of. My own photo was hopelessly fuzzy, so I will share instead the museum's photo:

Model of a Votive Temple Gateway at Heliopolis
Plaster, 40 5/16 x 34 7/16 x 44 1/8 in. (102.4 x 87.5 x 112 cm)
Brooklyn #66.228, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Photo © Brooklyn Museum, "Creative Commons" given

Brand proposes a few corrections to this reconstruction and then says:

"It is unfortunate that the texts on the model's base nowhere give the official name of the proposed structure. In fact, the bandeau texts describing it are somewhat vague. The inscription on its right side does list the individual elements of the models, but only so as to catalogy the materials of which its various parts, and not the actual building, were made. The left bandeau text describes the monument as an 'August sanctuary,' shm špss, which seems to be a generic term meaning 'shrine/sanctuary'.

"Only one part of Seti's projected pylon gateway and forecourt can be identified with any degree of certainty, namely the Flaminian obelisk. As of yet, no trace of the pylon itself, or of the colossal statues or sphinxes that might have stood in front of it, have been found."("Catalog of Monuments", page 145)

It's quite a mystery. Perhaps Seti I died before he could make this temple a reality. If that's the case, some of his plans may have been preserved in a slightly different form, as Brand explains:

"The side walls at the back of the model may represent a court similar to the Ramsesside court at Luxor Temple. In fact, the building represented by the Brooklyn model is strikingly close in design to that of the Luxor forecourt. This is perhaps more significant now that the latter appears to have been planned and partially constructed late in Seti I's reign."

My capture of Seti I on the side, showing his cartouche with the Set hieroglyph...

(From Museum website:
"The decoration depicts Seti in a standard, expressive pose of offering before each of the three gods to whom he is dedicating the model."("Khepri (the rising sun), Re-Horakhty (the risen sun), and Atum (the setting sun)."

I zero in on his cartouche... (this is from the other side)
(This photo will print to 4x6, while the other two of Seti's model will print to 6x8 inches.)