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

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ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION

By SOMERS CLARKE.

The funerary temple at Deir el Bahari is undoubtedly
one of the most interesting monuments in Egypt, and
was until recently believed to be utiique ; but we now
see in the Temple of Mentuhotep, a building of the
Xlth Dynasty which lies immediately to the south,
that it had a predecessor to which, in many ways, it
bore a considerable resemblance.
The plan deserves our especial consideration, as
it differs a good deal from the types of plan most
prevalent in the Nile Valley.
It will perhaps be well, first of all, to consider its
position, as this had a considerable influence on the
plan. The reader must be asked to excuse the fact
that not a few of the remarks now to be made and
descriptions given have been anticipated to a certain
extent in the volumes already published by the Egypt
Exploration Fund relating to the temple. It has,
however, been hitherto taken in fragments. Now we
are bound to consider it as a whole.
The various parts, in detail, are to be found as
follows:—
Vol. I., Plate I. Plan of the north-west portion
of the Upper Platform, with sections (see
pp. 2, 3, 4, 5 for description). Also, Great
Altar. Plan and elevations, Plate VIII. (see
p. 1 for description).
Vol. II., Plate XXX. Plan, elevations, and sec-
tions of north-west half of Middle Platform
(description pp. 4—8).
Vol. III., Plate LXVIII. Plan, elevations, and
sections of southern half of Middle Platform
(description pp. 0, 10).

Vol. V., Plate CXIX. Plan, elevation and
sections of Upper Court and Sanctuary
(description pp. 1, 2).
Vol. VI., Plate CLI. (description p. 1).
The Site.
The site selected is on a slope, falling from west to
east. It is situated at the very head of a valley, inclosed
on its south, west, and north sides by vertical cliffs
rising some 500 feet above the temple, and is open only
to the east. The beautiful golden-tinted cliffs form a
" circle." The southern part of this " circle " had been
already taken possession of by the builders of the
Temple of Mentuhotep. On this side, therefore, the
new temple was bounded by the old. On the west and
north it runs right up to the feet of the cliffs, the in-
closing walls touching them; on the east, and with
returns on the north and south sides, its inclosing wall
stands free.
In consequence of the slope of the ground two
courses only were open to the architect. One was to
create a large artificial platform on which the temple
could be raised, the other was to arrange the site in
terraces rising from east to west in successive steps.
The latter was the plan adopted; and in consequence
the structure is not formed by a series of halls in the
usual way, but by a series of courts, one at a higher
level than the other.
In most cases the growth of a temple can be made
out by observing certain peculiarities in the masonry,
more especially by tracing the existence of " straight
joints," which are found where new walls, inclosing
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