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Deir el-Bahari: The opening of the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut


The interior of the Sanctuary of Amun-Re after the completion of work. Photo M. Jawornicki

Another part of the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari will be available to the public. The opening  ceremony of the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re and the Ptolemaic Portico preceding it will take place on 9 December 2017 at 2 p.m.

The ceremony will be hosted by the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities, represented by the Minister of Antiquities Prof. Khaled el-Enani, and the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw, represented by its Director, Prof. Tomasz Waliszewski, with the participation of the Polish Ambassador, H.E. Michał Murkociński, and the Governor of Luxor, Mohamed Badr.

The PCMA will be also represented by Dr. Artur Obłuski, Director of the Research Centre in Cairo, and Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański, director of the Polish-Egyptian Archaeological and Conservation Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari.

The Sanctuary of Amun-Re is located in the middle of the west wall of the Upper Courtyard of the Temple of Hatshepsut. It can be entered through the granite through the Ptolemaic Portico and the granite portal, situated exactly on the prolongation of the line of the ramps leading to the Lower and Middle Terrace. The Main Sanctuary consists of the Bark Hall and the Statue Room with three chapels. The first room housed the sacred bark of Amun during the ritual and it is the most magnificent part of the complex.  The most important moment of this ritual – placing the bark of the deity, which was brought there every year from the Temple at Karnak on the shoulders of priests, on a pedestal – was depicted on the side walls. There were also niches for statues of the members of the royal family who in this way participated in the cult together with the deity.

The Polish-Egyptian Conservation Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari was founded in 1961 by Prof. Kazimierz Michałowski. Since then, archaeologists, restorers and architects associated with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw have been documenting and reconstructing the temple. Since 1999, the director of the Mission is Dr. Z. E. Szafrański. The Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re is one of the best-preserved rooms of the complex. After a hiatus during which they worked in other parts of the temple, archaeologists resumed their activities in the Sanctuary, at first excavating, later restoring, and in recent years documenting it. Since work in the Sanctuary has been completed, it can now be opened to the public.

 

Two years ago, on 22 February 2015, another part of the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Complex of the Sun Cult, was opened to the public.


For more information on the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari, see the Mission’s website.

 

   

I.    Deir el-Bahari. The terraced Temple of Hatshepsut. Photo W. Jerke
II.   The Ptolemaic Portico at the entrance to the Sanctuary. Photo M. Jawornicki

 

III. Granite portal and the interior of the Sanctuary after conservation. Photo  M.Jawornicki

IV. The interior of the Sanctuary after the completion of work. Photo M. Jawornicki

 

 V. Queen Hatshepsut, the founder of the Temple, in a ritual scene before Amun-Re. Photo M. Jawornicki

 VI. Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański in the Sanctuary. Photo M. Jawornicki 

 

VII. Plan of the Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari:

1. Bark Hall
2. Statue Room
3–4. Chapels
5. Ptolemaic Sanctuary
6. Ptolemaic Portico