Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Temple of the Queen of the Nile
This is one of the most spectacular ancient buildings in Egypt. It is the mortuary temple of the female pharoah Hatshepsut. There were only a few female rulers of ancient Egypt. Hatshepsut was the most successful of them and ruled for 22 years. Her army secured Egypt's borders and most of her rein was peaceful and prosperous. She sent trading expeditions all over the known world and the results made Egypt very rich. The sign in the left corner of the big photo says that the dead tree stump near it is from a tree brought back by an expedition to the land of Punt, probably Somalia, Eritrea or Arabia. What the Oldies liked best is that there are some really well-preserved hieroglyphs in parts of the temple. Because they have been under cover for thousands of years, rather than buried in sand (the carvings, not the Oldies), the colours have survived. The wall in the photo is covered with hieroglyphs describing an offering to Anubis, the God of mummification. The temple has survived the centuries very well. Restoration is going on, but compared to other buildings in the area, Deir el Bahri, this one is a masterpiece. Let's hope it survives the present troubles in Egypt.