The splendid chapel of the 18th Dynasty Queen Hatshepsut (c. 1479 – 1457 BC) will be there for visitors to see at the Karnak open museum in Luxor by the end of February, fully restored and reconstructed
The splendid chapel of the 18th Dynasty Queen Hatshepsut (c. 1479 – 1457 BC) will be there for visitors to see at the Karnak open museum in Luxor by the end of February, fully restored and reconstructed.
The chapel, known as the “sacred monument”, was made of limestone to worship the Thebes ancient Egyptian god Amun-Re. It includes an open court and two inner halls embellished with blocks engraved with scenes depicting Hatshepsut before Amun-Re, with her husband king Thutmose II, as well as their cartouches. Some of the blocks bear the name of Hatshepsut##s predecessor king Thutmose III.
Ibrahim Soliman, general manager of Karnak antiquities, told Watani said that the majority of blocks of this chapel were found scattered at the beginning of the 20th century in the Karnak courtyard cachette where a collection of gigantic colossi of different New Kingdom kings, queens, nobles and top officials as well as deities were discovered. Another batch of the blocks was found during excavation works in 1954.
Until 2005, all the blocks had been stored in Karnak galleries. The mission of the Centre Franco-Egyptian D##Etude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK) began restoring the blocks then, studying them and published their findings.
In 2008, CFEETK started reconstruction work on the chapel, which was completed earlier this year.
Mr Soliman says that the chapel holds particular significance, since it reveals how strong Hatshepsut was even before she became queen, then later as a pharaoh queen.
Hatshepsut##s limestone chapel was reconstructed at the entrance of the open court, along with another of her chapels known as the Red Chapel, the White Chapel of king Sanusert I, and the calcite shrine of king Amenhotep II.
Adel Hussein, director of antiquities of the Delta and Upper Egypt, told Watani that, despite the current unrest in Egypt, Karnak was a very well guarded spot. The complex itself is enclosed within high walls, which makes it easier to secure.
Karnak Temples on Luxor##s east bank is a vast mix of ancient Egyptian temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings in ruins. Construction at the complex began in 2000BC in the reign of the Middle Kingdom king Sesostris I and continued into the Ptolemaic period in the fourth century BC, but most of the buildings date to the New Kingdom.
26 February 2013
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