TheMortuary Temple of Hatshepsut: Ancient Egypt
Inall temples of the ancient Egypt, The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsutis the most beautiful. This piece of art is located at the Northernpart of the monastery called the Deir el-Bahri. The Mortuary templeis built beneath a mountain’s peak at the head of a valley. It isseen built or constructed against a huge rock that is naturally seenfoaming an amphitheatre around its base making the temple look likeit is actually growing from the huge rock.
TheMortuary Temple of Hatshepsut belonged to an intriguing Egyptianwoman character that was known as Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut ruled inEgypt as a regent of Thuthmosis who was to become the Pharaoh but wastoo young at the time (Furlong 5). In this regard, she held on thepowers awaiting him to come of age of ruling Egypt. However, sheinstead promoted her position to that of a pharaoh and disregardedher initial plan of passing over the power to her step son. Accordingto historical information, Hatshepsut’s temple was seen as the mostbeautifully constructed as it was designed by a famous architect bythe name of Senenmut (Furlong 8). This man was the most respecteddesigners at that period and was her lover. This temple wasconstructed during the Ptolemaic period when highly regardedindividuals of the Egypt society were accorded Ptolemaic burials.There are other Ptolemaic burials that are seen to be similar to thisparticular temple such as those dedicated to highly regardedindividuals such as Thuthmosis III which are seen at close vicinityto The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut (Furlong 8).
Atthe first level of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, there is agarden that grows in the first courtyard that is surrounded by shrubsand exotic trees. There is a colonnade that is located behind thecourtyard with square pillars that includes a wide ramp, which runsto the second level from the centre of the courtyard (Fazio et al54). At the second level, there are two crouching lion statutes thatflank the ramp’s entrance. There are two colonnades that arelocated at the back of the wide terrace that includes two rows ofcolumns that are square. The entrance of the ramp is flanked bystatutes of falcons with the upper level of the temple consisting ofportico that harbors the central courtyard. All these sculptures andstatutes are made of limestone and bronze materials some of whichwere obtained by Hatshepsut during her expeditions (Fazio et al 55).
Mostof the decorations that are seen in this temple depict ancientEgypt’s religious beliefs and practices. In the third level, thereis birth colonnades that are decorations placed on the sides of theramp. Hatshepsut’s divine birth came as a result of Amun’s divinebreath that impregnated the queen who was her mother (Furlong 12). Herevealed information regarding Hatshepsut becoming a ruler of Egyptas depicted by these decorations. In addition, the area around Deirel Bahri where the temple is situated was associated with Hathor, whowas a famous goddess (Furlong 13). This goddess was Theban necropolismain god who was a highly respected and powerful female deity amongthe Egyptian gods. It is clear that Hatshepsut had a certain kind ofappeal towards this female deity hence choosing her temple to bebuilt there. Additionally, chapels of Hathor are located at thesouthern part of the colonnade in the temple. These include abouttwelve Hathor columns heads depicting her faithfulness and completetrust to this particular god (Fazio et al 58).
Thisparticular piece of art is an important history, archeological oranthropological history of art. This is because it is able to offerconcrete and accurate information regarding the cults practiced bythe royal characters of the ancient Egypt society (Furlong 23). Themost striking informative history that the audience derives from thispiece of art is located at the backside of the columned court. Thisis particularly so, as it offers complete cult practices of the royalpersons during that period. Royal members of Hatshepsut family suchas her mother Queen Senseneb, Tuthmosis, Anubis and Horemakhet areall illustrated presenting offerings and kneeling before a god knownas Amun-Re’s Barque (Fazio et al 61).
Mostof these sculptures are made of limestone materials. It is quiteclear that the royal families believed and worshiped similar gods whohad different functions in their lives (Furlong 31). There were godsof fertility, who were mostly the goddesses, gods of averting evilspirits, gods of protection and also gods who were believed tocontrol and take charge of the weather conditions. All these gods arewell represented in The Mortuary of Hatshepsut Temple as well asother temples of the royal families. However it is important to notethat due to power struggle most of these temples were destroyed andreplaced with other forms of arts. The new form of arts representednew royal families with different styles of designs. However, thereligious artifacts that represented ancient Egyptian gods werespared.
AncientEgypt Art. MortuaryTemple of Queen Hatshepsut.Mary Ann Sullivan, Retrievedfrom>https://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/egypt/deirelbahri/deirelbahri.html. Date Accessed. June 8, 2016.
FazioW. Michael, Moffett Marian, Wodehouse Lawrence. Aworld History of Architecture.London. Lawrence King Publishing. 2003. Print.
FurlongDavid. Hatshepsut’sMortuary Temple: Midwinter Solstice Alignment.Atlanta. Atlanta Publishers. 2010. Print.