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Two bark repositories used to stand on Elephantine Island until the beginning of the 19th century: an almost complete chapel called ‘South Temple’, built by Amenhotep III, probably on the occasion of his second heb-sed, and a much ruined but similar building, the ‘North Temple’, built by Sety I or Ramesses II. Both were destroyed by the local governor in 1822 and the stone blocks reused for new constructions. Nowadays, not a single trace of them is left on the field: the only sources available are architectural cross sections and plans, relief copies, textual descriptions, and landscape views made by travellers before that date. These comprise Norden, Bruce, Jomard, Vivant Denon, Ricci, Huyot, Linant, Barry, and Wilkinson among the others. The remarkably high quality of their drawings and texts allows an almost complete reconstruction of the two buildings and their history. The use of archival sources poses some methodological questions that are addressed in this paper: how to locate the original construction site, assess measurements and proportions of the buildings, collate different copies of a single scene, create a palaeography for copies of hieroglyphic inscriptions, and choose the right colours for a 3D reconstruction