Naville, Edouard
The temple of Deir el Bahari (Band 6): The lower terrace, additions and plans — London, 1908

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THE

TEMPLE OF DEIK EL BAHAET,

THE LOWER TERRACE.

EXCAVATION

" In many respects the lower and middle colonnades
resemble each other. Seen from a distance they
might indeed be taken for duplicates. Square piers
are seen in each case carrying an architrave, the
number of intercolumniations being twelve in each
case. When we examine the lower colonnade near at
hand, we observe, however, that it differs from both
the middle and the upper in the following respect: —
" The roof of the middle colonnade was supported
by two ranges of square piers. The roof of the
upper colonnade was supported by an outer range
of square piers, and an inner of polygonal columns.
The roof of the lower colonnade was supported
by an inner range of polygonal columns; but the
outer range, although square towards the exterior,
were rounded off within, showing a polygonal
surface, corresponding with the second range of
columns.
" In this we observe that interesting undercurrent
of variety, which may be so often found beneath the
appearance of a somewhat fixed symmetry that is
generally considered as the ruling characteristic of
Egyptian architecture."'
This terrace has suffered more than the others.
The monks when they built their convent carried away
a great number of the stones, which they used for the
partition walls of the chambers of the Upper Terrace.
Nearly all the fragments of the transportation of
the obelisks, which have been replaced, were from
the Upper Court, from the Coptic constructions built
1 This description lias been written by Mr. Somers Clarke.

between the central way and the wall of the altar-
court. What remained of the colonnades on both
sides of the ramp was hidden by rubbish which made
a sloping ascent towards the convent.
Both Lepsius and Mariette saw part of the lower
colonnade, which seems to have been in a better state
in Lepsius' time than afterwards. But only the top
emerged out of the sand, since neither of them saw the
inscriptions which are on the walls. When we dug
to the pavement we found fragments of an historical
inscription which related to a campaign of the queen,,
evidently at the beginning of her reign (pi. CLXVI.) ;
the floor of the colonnade being above the ground,
access to it was given by steps against each side of
the ramp.
There does not seem to have been a pavement in
front of the colonnade; for we found that on both
sides the open space was used as a kind of garden.
There were many small round pits about ten feet deep,
tilled with Nile mud, in which trees had been planted.
The stumps of two palm trees are still in situ, but there
were other trees. Several times at the top of the pit
we found small alabaster pots, probably filled with
sacred oil or incense, which may have been amulets put
there to insure the growth of the trees. All this
vegetation must have required a great deal of artificial
watering, since these pits were numerous. The natives
call them sagiehs, and they say that there are a great
number of them along the avenue where the sphinxes
stood. The two perseas which stood on each side of
the door in the enclosure wall were planted in similar
pits, and were watered in the same way.
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