A holy terrace for the beautiful Queen

Added on Dec 17, 2017

When the ruler is a great beautiful queen, her temple must reflect this.

Hatshepsut is perhaps one of the most accomplished women in ancient Egypt. The 22 year-long reign of Hatshepsut is seen as one of Egypt’s most prosperous, as major accomplishments were achieved by this extraordinary queen, including the construction of her funerary temple in Deir el-Bahri.

After the death of her husband, Thutmose II, Hatshepsut served as co-regent to her nephew and stepson, the infant Thutmose III, who would eventually become the 6th pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty.

During the early Christian era of Egypt’s life, a monastery was built in this area. This explains why the ancient temple complex was called a Deir or monastery.

The site of Deir el-Bahari is located on the western bank of the Nile almost directly opposite Karnak Temple in Luxor. Sacred to the deity Hathor, this terrace cliff was chosen by Mentuhotep II, as the site of his mortuary temple and tomb.

The second, the terraced temple of Queen Hatshepsut, was uncovered beneath the monastery ruins and finally, the third terrace, sanctuary, and retaining wall was uncovered in 1968 by a Polish archaeological mission, which also found a third temple, built by Thutmose III, above and between the two earlier temples.

This elegant terraced structure is one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt. It is decorated with carved reliefs illustrating some of the greatest events of Hatshepsut’s life, such as the transportation of her obelisks from the quarries in Aswan to the temple of Amun at Karnak; the queen’s divine birth and her coronation; and a great trading expedition to Punt.

The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut was known to the ancient Egyptians as Djeser-Djeseru (Holy of Holies), and is said to have taken 15 years to complete.