Leaving the hot sands of the Valley of the Kings, you will visit the Temple of Hatshepsut, one of the most striking monuments in Egypt. Your guide will introduce you to the history of the temple and the story of Queen Hatshepsut, the famous female ruler of Egypt who posed as a male to gain the throne. There is free time to explore at your leisure as you wander the large courtyards and admire the intricate hieroglyphic decorations.
Returning to Luxor there will be time for a brief photo stop at the Colossi of Memnon, which mark the site of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III. These two giant statues standing tall and proud on the West Bank are all that remain of the ancient complex.
Maybe, the most interesting thing is to look from distance In Luxor. You will have a look of modernity, the building seeming a recent classical construction (maybe because it may have been reconstructed) .
It’s a good opportunity for you to imagine the opulence of all those palaces, when they were not ruins but living places.
Of course, when you approach the temple the centuries come out of the building to confirm it’s authenticity. Then it will have nothing very important to add to the others. But the history…Really a woman?
Or one of those natural sexual accidents that, nowadays, are gold for some media and must have been a drama to antiquity and history to deal with?
Tip on Tip: If you are lucky enough to see people or animals in the mountains behind the temple, use their size to get a exact idea of the proportions of the temple.
Egyptians had an elaborate set of burial customs which, according to their beliefs, were necessary to ensure their immortality after death. During different periods and kingdoms, the customs have been changed.
The rituals and protocols included mummification, casting of magic spells and burial with grave goods thought to be needed in the afterlife. After the mummy was prepared, it would need to be re-animated symbolically by the priest. The tombs were filled with goods of daily life objects, such as furniture, jewelry, bowls, combs, food, pottery and stone vessels. Also, The Book of the Dead which was collection of spells designed to guide the deceased in the afterlife.
Velthy Egyptians were buried in wooden or stone coffins and in later period their coffins were provided with a small "shabti" statues, actually working class who would perfom works for the noble and rich people in their afterlife.
Ancient Egyptians believed that one could only attain an afterlife if one's body was mummified and preserved. That is why criminals and conspirators against the pharaoh, if not being of noble royal origins, have been destroyed in fire so that couldn't expect immortality. If conspirators, however, were of royal origins they have been poisoned in order that their bodies could be mummified.
Hatshepsut was a prolific builder and her mortuary temple is a superb example of architectural design. The architect and builder of the temple was Senenmut and it is his masterpiece. The temple complex is a colonnaded structure of perfect harmony built nearly one thousand years before the Parthenon in Rome.
The Egyptians call it Djeser-Djeseru (Holy of Holiests). Djeser-Djeseru and the other buildings of the complex are considered to be among the great buildings of the ancient world.
After Hatshepsut was crowned pharaoh, she insisted on being portrayed as male. Some Egyptologists call her "the Queen who would be King". She was undoubtelly first great woman in the history. Her chief minister was Senenmut, most probably and lover as well, a person who was co-conspirator in her climb to power.
Upon her death in 1458 B.C., her stepson and new pharaoh Thutmose III had developed a loathing for Hatshepsut, destructing of her monuments, carried out with such apparent fury, as an act of long-awaited and bitter revenge. It is presumed that Thutmose III ordered the systematic erasure of her name from any monumet she had built, including her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri. At the same time, even Senenmut's name was removed.
Hatshepsut mummy was stolen and her tomb completel destroyed, same as the tomb of Senenmut, most probably by order of furious pharaoh Thutmose III.
Senenmut oe Senmut was the Steward of the God's wife (Hatshepsut) and Steward of the King's Daughter (Neferure) and it was very high ranked duty on the pharaohs court. After Hatshepsut was crowned pharaoh Senenmut was given more prestigious titles and became High Steward of the King. Senenmut was very intelligent man and in spite of a fact that his family was low class, he was extremelly well educated.
Senenmut claims to be the chief architect of Hatshepsut's works at Deir el-Bahri. His masterpiece building project was the mortuary temple complex of Hatshepsut. He was, without doubts, the most important man in Hatshepsut's life.
El Khokha necropolis is located on the West Bank at Thebes. The necropolis is based around a hill and has five Old Kingdom tombs and over 50 tombs from the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, as well as some from the first intermediate period and the late period. The site is named after a modern time village. It name is unclear but could be translated as peach or vault. In Arabic it is term in used to describe an "opening in a wall", a gate or a wicked gate, possibly referring to the entrance to the rock-cut tonbs.
There is also cemetery of ancient city Sheikh Abd el-Qurna with a number of necropolis for the noble Egyptians.
After pharaoh Thutmose II died the widowed Queen, in according to custom, had been made regent to rule for her young stepson Thutmose III, until he came to age. Within a few years, however, Hatshepsut proclaimed herself pharaoh, becoming the vilest type of usurper.
Her remarkable reign was from 1479 to 1458 B.C. and her long rule had been a time of peace and prosperity, filled with magnificent art and architectural projects.
Hatshepsut also took a new name, calling herself Maatkare, which is composed of three words (maat=truth, ka=soul, re=son of God). Actually, "maat" is ansient Egyptian expression for order and justice as established by the Gods. By calling herself Maatkare, Hatshepsut was likely reassuring her people that they had a legitime ruler on the throne. One important way pharaohs affirmed maat was by creating monuments and in that field Hatshepsut projects were among the most ambitious of any pharaoh's.
Hatshepsut was the sixth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, one of the few and the most successful woman who ruled Egypt as pharaoh. She was born at the dawn of a glorious age of Egyptia imperial power and prosperity called the New Kingdom. Her father was Thutmose I, a charismatic leader pf legendary military exploits. It seems that Hatshepsut idolized her father.
Thutmose I fathered two sons with Queen Ahmes but both died very young, thus the son of a secondary wife was crowned Thutmose II. Young Thutmose II was married to his half sister Hatshepsut, making her Queen of Egypt at about age of 12.
Architect Senenmut who built this Temple, was inspired in his design by the plan of the neighboring mortuary Temple of the 12th Dynasty King, Neb-Hept-Re. The Temple was built for the great Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty), to commemorate her achievements and to serve as a funerary Temple for her, as well as a sanctuary of the God, Amon Ra.
Queen Hatshepsut ruled for 21 years (1473-1458 BC) during the early part of the New Kingdom, before the vastly successful imperialism of her nephew/stepson and successor Thutmosis III.
One of the buildings she commissioned from her architect Senenmut, was the lovely Djeser-Djeseru, temple of Hatshepsut, rival only to the Parthenon for architectural elegance and harmony.
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