A row of sphinxes in front of columns inside the First Courtyard (pylon at right)

"The columns are stone replicas of the vegetation which was growing in the the marshy land around the mound of creation." - Institute of Egyptian Art and Archeology: Karnak Temple

"Around the temple's unfinished first pylon, vestiges of large mud brick ramps are still visible today, despite partial removal of the brickwork in the nineteenth century. These ramps stood against both the internal and external faces of each tower, providing access to the upper courses of stone as the next layer would be put in place. As the walls grew in height, workers raised the neighboring ramps, about one meter at a time. The mud brick ramp used in the construction of pylon I can still be seen [at right]." - Digital Karnak: Construction Methods and Building Materials