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Emanuele Squarci | profile | all galleries >> Ancient Egypt - Egitto classico >> Hatshepsut's Temple tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Hatshepsut's Temple

Deir el-Bahari is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor.The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh dynasty, but the focal point of the Deir el-Bahari complex is the Djeser-Djeseru meaning "the Holy of Holies", the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. It is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and implemented by Senemut, royal steward and architect of Hatshepsut (and believed by some to be her lover), to serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun.
Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of colonnaded terraces, reached by long ramps that once were graced with gardens. It is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it, and is largely considered to be one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt". The unusual form of Hatshepsut's temple is explained by the choice of location, in the valley basin of Deir el-Bahari, surrounded by steep cliffs. It was here, in about 2050 BC, that Mentuhotep II, the founder of the Middle Kingdom, laid out his sloping, terrace-shaped mortuary temple. The pillared galleries at either side of the central ramp of the Djeser Djeseru correspond to the pillar positions on two successive levels of the Temple of Mentuhotep. Today the terraces of Deir el-Bahari only convey a faint impression of the original intentions of Senenmut. Most of the statue ornaments are missing - the statues of Osiris in front of the pillars of the upper colonnade, the sphinx avenues in front of the court, and the standing, sitting, and kneeling figures of Hatshepsut; these were destroyed in a posthumous condemnation of this pharaoh. (cfr.Wikipedia)
The Temple consists of three imposing terraces Once terraces were graced with lush gardens The ramp to the upper layer Before the last reconstructions works
Before the last reconstructions works Osirian statue of Hatshepsut Osirian statues of Hatshepsut
Amun before a table of offerings; the figure of Hatshepsut, depicted left of the table, had been erased Thutmosis III offering wine to Sokarj, The Great God, Lord of Heaven Osirian statue of Hatshepsut Osirian statue of Hatshepsut
Head of Hatshepsut Hatshepsut and the goddess Hathor in the form of a cow Painted bas-relief The pictorial cycle  tell of an expedition to the Land of Punt
Particular The key of life Columnes with goddess Hathor The Hawk of the pharaoh Hatshepsut