Hatshepsut's Monuments In Ancient Egypt

 

 

 

Queen Hatshepsut was the most powerful woman in recorded history, surpassing the might of Cleopatra or Nefertiti. After her husband’s death she deprived her young stepson from becoming the next Pharaoh, dressed herself as a man – complete with a false beard – and proclaimed that she was the new Pharaoh.

Hatshepsut was one of the greatest builders and raised many temples, shrines and necropolis in different parts of Egypt. Yet most of her legacies – including her own mommy – remained in anonymity for a very long time. Her stepson and successor, Thutmose III, out of spite, had systematically erased those from Egyptian history.

Hatshepsut’s Monuments

 

Hatshepsut ruled over the ancient world’s most prosperous country for 22 years. There wasn’t any enemy who dared to challenge her might. The Dowager used the empire’s vast resources for undertaking ambitious construction and restoration projects. After remaining in obscurity for almost 3500 years, archaeologists have identified and restored many of them during the past hundred years.

Mortuary Temple

This Temple at Deir El Bahrai is dramatically located on the West Bank of the Nile River near the entrance to what is now known as the Valley of the Kings. It’s one of the most famous monuments built by the Dowager Pharaoh near the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes. The Temple was then known as Djeser-djeseru, meaning the ‘sacred of sacreds’.

Photo Credit: Ancientegyptonline.co.uk

An avenue lined with trees and sphinxes lead visitors to the temple. There are many painted limestone statues and sphinxes of Hatshepsut throughout the temple. This ancient site also has shrines dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of beauty, and Anubis, the god of afterlife.

The temple’s walls depict the Queen’s major achievements like the expedition to the flourishing port city of Punt near the Red Sea that filled her coffers with enormous resources and provided funds for building massive edifices.

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Karnak Temple Complex

Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor is the largest religious site in the ancient world. Like many pharaohs before her, our Queen Pharaoh also made several contributions to the spectacular temple complex to perpetuate her legacy. The largest of these was the Red Chapel.

Photo Credit: Edupics.com

The Red Chapel was a shrine dedicated to the Amun, Egypt’s creator god. It housed the ceremonial wooden boat that was supposed to carry His statue on the Nile during religious festivals. Hatshepsut’s successor dismantled the shrine, replaced her images on the stones by his own. Such was his hatred for his mighty stepmother.

It might have taken some 3500 years, but archaeologists have now proved that the Chapel was built by the Dowager Queen who longed to be known as the King.

Karnak Obelisks

Hatshepsut also added two monolithic obelisks at the entrance to the temple complex, considered at that time to be the tallest in the world. One has toppled and broken in two; the other still sands as the world’s tallest surviving obelisk.

Temple of Pakhet

Queen Hatshepsut’s favorite architect chose a cavernous rocky site cut into the cliffs on the eastern side of the River Nile for building this unusual temple dedicated to the ancient hunting goddess known then as Pakhet.

Photo Credit: Nefertum.com

During their occupation of Egypt in Alexander‘s time, the Greeks liked this temple that reminded them of their own hunter goddess Artemis and renamed the Egyptian temple Speos Artemidos; many people still call it by that name.

The Lure of Hatshepsut’s Monuments

The magnificent edifices constructed during those ancient times are indeed of considerable architectural significance. But what makes them more alluring is that in spite of ruthless efforts to obliterate her association from these architectural wonders, she has been recognized as a great builder in the ancient world.

Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut's Monuments In Ancient Egypt

Queen Hatshepsut was the most powerful woman in recorded history, surpassing the might of Cleopatra or Nefertiti. After her husband’s death she deprived her

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2024-03-26

 

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