The temple was discovered in the 1860’s and was excavated by Edouard Naville between 1903 and 1907, and then by Herbert Winlockh between 1921 and 1930.
The multileveled construction and the plan were entirely new, with no equivalent dating from the Old Kindom.
The complex had a valley temple and a 1,2 km causeway leading to the temple itself.
At the lower level there was a pillared lower hall with two rows of octogonal, decorated, colums.
The upper level had a covered central core dedicated to Mentu-Re (Mentu was a primeval god of Thebes, revered by the the warrior kings that had to reunify Egypt after the anarchy of the First Intermediate Period). The roof may have been flat, or topped by an earth mound. The whole terrace was perhaps conceived as a replica of the primeval mound. The enclosure contained chapels and shaft tombs for the king's wives and family.
Around this core was an upper hall with three rows of colums.
The rear part was devoted to the cult of the deified king, who had a statue in a small chapel. Later this was converted in an Amun sanctuary.