Divine Birth and Coronation Inscriptions of Hatshepsut

(1473 BCE)

Audience

Both Hatshepsut's coronation and her divine birth were inscribed into the walls of her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri, near Luxor, Egypt. The pharaohs of the New Kingdom tended to have a tomb (typically subterranean) and a mortuary temple, which were usually separated. Hatshepsut's mortuary temple, named Djeser-Djeseru, or “holy of holies,” is still largely intact and a phenomenal piece of architecture, with columned courts spanning three levels. It remains a standing monument to the magnificence of Hatshepsut, both visually striking and laden with inscriptions attesting to her divinity and majesty. In ancient times, her mortuary temple was an integral part of an annual procession in which a representation of the god Amon-Re would travel from his major temple across the river to Hatshepsut's temple with great fanfare. This procession furthered her association with Amon-Re.

Who exactly would have seen—and understood—the inscriptions in Hatshepsut's mortuary temple...

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Temple of Deir el-Bahri, built in the reign of Hatshepsut (Library of Congress)

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