Deir el Bahri (A Shot of Perspective)


This photo provides a glimpse of the vast mortuary complex of the pharaoh Hatchepsut, one of the few women to rule ancient Egypt. She followed the tradition of the pharaohs and had her mortuary temple, Deir el Bahri, erected in the Valley of the Kings. The ancient Egyptians called this place the Djeser-djeseru, the “Holy of Holies.” The temple is believed to have been built by Senenmut, who was a teacher of Hatchepsut’s daughter Neferure. The temple is made up of three courtyards separated by columnades. It is inside this temple that one can find the famous carvings of Hatchepsut’s expeditions to the land of Punt in Eastern Africa. An inscription inside the temple describes import goods obtained during the expeditions.

“…loading of the ships very heavily with marvels of the country of Punt; all goodly fragrant woods of God’s-Land, heaps of myrrh resin, with fresh myrrh trees, with ebony and pure ivory, with green gold of Emu, with cinnamon wood, khesyt wood, with two kinds of incense, eye cosmetics, with apes, monkeys, dogs, and with skins of the southern panther, with natives and their children. Never was brought the like of this for any king who has been since the beginning.”

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