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

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After having completed the description of the
temple, let us take a general view of it and dwell on
a few historical facts concerning its construction, as
well as some religious ideas which inspired the queen
and her architect.
The name of Hatshepsu will always be associated
with the temple situated in that part of the mountains
of Thebes called the Assassif, at the end of the horse-
shoe formed by the wall of sheer rocks whose majestic
and wild aspect excites the admiration of all travellers.
But Hatshepsu was not the first to choose this locality,
and to build there her funeral temple. The kings of
the Xlth Dynasty were particularly fond of this place ;
it was originally called ^"^ ^ Djesert; after they
made it their cemetery it was called ^b» Jl <^ Khuast.
It was specially dedicated to Amon and Hathor. Many
great persons belonging to that dynasty had been
buried there in tombs more or less deeply cut in the
One of the first kings of the dynasty Co ^E
( p*S ^>^^], Mentuhotep, had his tomb in that neigh/
bourhood, in the shape of a pyramid placed on a base-
ment. But the most important building was a funerary
temple built in the south part of the amphitheatre, and
standing against the rocks. This chapel was made on
a natural rock platform, of which three sides had been
cut back so as to give it a rectangular shape, and
had been then faced with masonry, on which were
sculptured the principal events of the king's life. At
the top a triple row of columns surrounded a compact
mass of masonry, on which perhaps stood an altar, or
probably a pyramid.
King Mentuhotep had evidently been a great prince,
with whom his successors liked to connect themselves.
He reigned at least forty-six years ; he made cam-
paigns both in Nubia and in the peninsula of Sinai.
He had as ka name T =>, "he who joins the two
lands," which seems to indicate that he perhaps
reunited the two parts of Egypt which had been
separated by disturbances or by anarchy, as Menes
had done in the beginning. The Xllth Dynasty seems
1 This chapter is taken from the biography of the queen, which
I have written for Mr. Davis's book on the queen's tomb.

also to have specially venerated this king. Usertesen
III. placed in the king's temple a gallery of his own
statues, six of which are still preserved; and the
real head of the XVIIIth Dynasty, Amenophis I., also
raised many statues of himself, in the pose and costume
of the king celebrating the Sed festival, in the same
Hatshepsu could therefore not find a better spot
on which to erect her temple, intended to eclipse in
beauty and splendour all that had preceded it. Beside
her building, Mentuhotep's chapel was to look small.
She did not shrink from placing her erection over some
tombs of the Xlth Dynasty. We do not know to
whom many of them belonged, their names not having
been preserved ; the inscriptions and part of the paint-
ings of one only are still extant, showing it to be that
of queen Til Neferu. All the north side of the amphi-
theatre was free ; Mentuhotep had not occupied even
half of the space; so the building could spread itself
against the rocks on the north side, as she placed it.
In the rock was a cavern, no doubt the home of
Hathor, the goddess of the mountain, the sacred cow
of the West. A sanctuary would be made of it, where
her emblems would be kept; and being the abode of
the goddess, it was certainly there also that she nursed
the young princess, the daughter of Amon. The divine
cow herself suckled her with her milk, as Isis had fed
Horus in the marshes of the north.
We note in the first place that Hatshepsu separates
her " Memnonium " from her tomb. The temple stands
in the desert, not far from the cultivated ground. The
tomb, on the contrary, is in the desolate and wild
valley called Biban el Molouk, where it has lately been
found. This idea of not joining temple and tomb, and
I mean by tomb the place where the dead body lies,
seems to date as far back as the first dynasties, as is
shown by the monuments found at Abydos, which I
judge to be chapels only. That does not mean that
the chapels were not burial places. On the contrary,
all the great men in the kingdom, all the persons of
high rank, wished to be buried in those temples where
the king was not himself laid, but where he was wor-
shipped. This we see clearly at Deir el Bahari, which


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