added by archaeologs
(Greek: 'gate') Classical term for the Egyptian ceremonial gateway or bekhenet used in temples from at least the Middle Kingdom to the Roman period (c.2040 BC–AD 395), probably symbolizing the horizon. The basic structure of a pylon consists of two massive towers of rubble-filled masonry tapering upwards, surmounted by a cornice and linked in the centre by an elaborate doorway. Ancient depictions of pylons show that the deep vertical recesses visible along the facades of surviving examples were intended to hold flag staffs.
T. Dombardt: ‘Der zweitürige Tempelpylon altägyptischer Baukunst und seine religiöse Symbolik’, Egyptian Religion 1 (1933), 87–98; P.A. Spencer: The Egyptian temple: a lexicographical study (London, 1984), 193–4.
added by archaeologs A monumental gateway to Egyptian temples or palaces built in stone and usually decorated with relief figures and hieroglyphs. It was the usual entrance from the Middle Kingdom to the Roman period (c 2055 BC-395 AD). The Egyptians made frequent use of them, usually in the form of foreshortened pyramids to mark the entrances of tombs. A pylon consisted of a pair of massifs (massive towers) flanked by a smaller gateway. All the wall faces were inclined; the corners completed with a torus molding and the top with torus and cavetto cornice. The interior of a pylon contained staircases and chambers. Pairs of colossal statues and obelisks were often erected in front of the pylon. Pylons are the largest and least essential parts of a temple; some temples have series of them (e.g. 10 at Karnak). Rituals relating to the sun god were evidently carried out on top of the gateway.