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The temple of Queen Hatchesput

pharonic sites

The temple is built t of limestone unlike most of the other like most of the other funerary temples of the New kingdom period.

 

It is thought that Senmut the genius architect who built this temple was inspired in his design by the plan of the neighboring mortuary temple of King Neb-Hept-Re of the 12th dynasty. The temple was built for the great queen Hatshepsut ( 18th dynasty) to commemorate her achievements and to serve as a funerary temple for her.  As well as a a sanctuary of God Amon-Ra.

 

This unique temple reflect clear ideas about the serious conflict between Hatshpesut and her Nephew and son in low Tohutmosis III, since many of her statues were destroyed and most of her Cartouches were damaged by the followers of Tohutmosis III after the mysterious death of the queen.

The temple consists of three raising imposing terraces. The two lower ones would have been full of trees. On the southern end of the 1st colonnade there are some scenes among them the famous scene of the transportation of Hatshepsut's two obelisks.

 

On the north side of the colonnade there is a scene which represents the queen offering four calves to Amon-Re.

 

The 2nd terrace is accessed by a ramp, originally it had stairs.  The famous punt relief had been engraved on the southern side of the 2nd colonnade. This Journey to Punt or Somalia was the 1st Pictorial documentation of a trade expedition recorded and discovered in ancient Egypt, until now. The scenes depict in great details the maritime expedition which queen Hatshepsut sent via  the Red Sea to Punt (Somalia today! ) just before the 9th year of her reign ( 1482 BC ) This famous expedition was headed by her high official Pa-nahsy and lasted 3 years. His mission was to exchange Egyptian merchandise with the products of Punt, especially gold, incense and tropical trees.

 

To the south there is the shrine of Hathor. The court that leads to this chapel has columns where Hathor is shown with a woman's face and cow's ears carrying her sistrum (a musical tool) and on the walls she is depicted as a cow. In this part King Tohtmosis III erased the queen's names.

 

On the northern side of the 2nd colonnade there is a scene of the divine birth of Hatshepsut as the queen claimed that she was the divine daughter of Amon-Re to legitimize her rule.  

Beyond the colonnade to the North are the chapel of Anubis, god of mummification and the keeper of the necropolis.

 

The 3rd terrace is accessed by a ramp, it consists of two rows of columns, the front ones take the Oisirid form (a mummy form) unfortunately they were damaged by Tohtmosis III), while the rear ones have been destroyed.

As well, the colonnade which leads to the sanctuary of the temple has been severely damaged. This sanctuary consists of two small chapels.

In the Ptolemaic period a third chapel was added to the sanctuary and it was decorated with various scenes, here the most remarkable, are the scenes representing Amenhotep son of Hapo (18th dynasty).another genius architect from Ancient Egypt after Imhotep of the 3rd dynasty.

 

In the 7th century AD, it was named after a Coptic monastery in the area known as the Northern monastery. Today it is known as the Temple of El Deir El Bahary which means in Arabic the "Temple of the Northern monastery".  Yet there is another theory suggesting that the temple in the Early Christian Period was used as a Coptic monastery.

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Though movies like “Death on the Nile” show people using this cruise, it has not been possible cover this route since the late 1990’s. Flight or train are the only ways to get from Cairo to Luxor or Aswan nowadays