The queen pharaoh
Hatshepsut (c.1473–1458 BC), the queen who became Pharaoh, built a magnificent temple at Deir al-Bahari, on the west back of Luxor. It lies directly across the Nile from Karnak Temple, the main sanctuary of the god Amun. Hatshepsut’s temple, Djeser-djeseru “the Holy of Holies” was designed by the chief steward of Amun, Senenmut.
The temple consists of three levels each of which has a colonnade at its far end. On the uppermost level, an open courtyard lies just beyond the portico. Mummiform statues of Hatshepsut as Osiris, the god of the dead, lean against its pillars.
This is because Djeser-djeseru is Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple, where her cult was practiced after her death, when she attained the blessed state of Osiris. Far from being devoted solely to her, the temple also includes sections for the cults of her revered father Thutmose I, the goddess Hathor, and the funerary god Anubis. An altar, open to the sky and the sun, was dedicated to the cult of the solar Ra‑Horakhty. Pride of place was given to Amun. At the far end of the upper courtyard, on the temple’s central axis, a passage cut directly into the living rock culminates in his sanctuary.
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