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Temple of Hatshepsut
Silver gelatin on glass
23.5 x 29.5 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri.
The sprawling mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Thebes, called the "Holy of Holies," dominates the impressive cliff-rimmed bay at the foot of the Libyan plateau on the west bank of the Nile. The terraced design of her temple copies and elaborates upon the design of the earlier temple to the left, belonging to Mentuhotep Nebhepetra, the Theban king who finally defeated the Heracleopolitan rulers of Middle Egypt, reuniting the country and founding the Middle Kingdom (c. 2060-1785 B.C.). Immediately to the south of Hatshepsut's temple, and attached to it, is a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Hathor. This shrine is a hemispeos, as the inner rooms are partially cut into the rock, an elaborate architectural image of the far-wandering goddess Hathor, eye of the sun, coming out of the desert back into the land of Egypt. Hathor herself is commonly represented in the tombs of western Thebes as the head and front of a cow emerging from the western cliffs.

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