In the time since I last posted we have been on yet another amazing trip, and I was tempted to skip to that locale for next post, and then I looked back at our Egypt pictures. We were very lucky to see what we saw, when we saw it, given that conditions there have devolved somewhat. So, for those of you who may not get to go for awhile, I give you Hatshepsut’s Temple!
If you have seen the image of female pharaoh, it was probably Hatshepsut (she has a whole room at the Met). Hatshepsut ruled Egypt for approximately 20 years around 1470 BC. She spent a lot of time commissioning temples and statues, and conquering neighbors, where she placed more temples and statues. We visited her burial temple, Deir el-Bahri, on the left bank of the Nile in Luxor. Carved into a desert valley hillside, it is remarkably well preserved and just plain fantastic.
If you look at all of our photos, you might notice that many of Hatshepsut’s likenesses are defaced. It seems that someone (archeologists disagree who) was interested in downgrading Hatshepsut from Pharaoh to Queen Mum. But luckily due to the sheer number of statues, etc., the job was not completed. [Note to megalomaniacal types: the more images, the harder it is to get rid of you.] Moreover, future pharaohs were so impressed by Hatshepsut’s Temple, they too decided to inter themselves in the nearby canyon, creating the Valley of the Kings.
Made famous by the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb, the valley is a warren of underground burial chambers. There are many, many of these burial chambers with new ones being discovered annually. A cool cross-section of the site looked like ant hill of antiquities. The tomb structure is interesting, but at this point, a tomb is a tomb is a tomb. I was primarily focused on the hieroglyphics and images (which I got way more out of due to the Kane Chronicles- young adult fiction, must read primers before visiting Egypt!).
Our pictures are not great because, to preserve the site, only a few tombs are open at a time and you get what you get. Plus, you aren’t allowed to take any photos, so these are all from Kevin’s phone, shot from the hip. The rest of our Valley of the King hip-shots are here.