Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut

History of the temple Djeser djeseru

last update: 29.08.2010
Phase 1

Possible layout of the temple in the 1. building phase under Thutmosis II (according to Wysocki, 1992); the thick lines mark the walls of the upper
terrace, thin those the middle terrace; simple crosses indicate the locations
of columns on the upper terrace, crosses in a square mark columns on the
lower terrace (Felssims = rock-ledge)

According to Wysocki (Wysocki, Z., "The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari - The Raising of the Structure in View of Architectural Studies", MDAIK 48, 1992) the first building phase was already started with the execution of upper terrace during the reign of Thutmosis II.
During the 1st period of phase I (arrangement according to Wysocki, loc. cit.) at first a rectangular platform for the terrace had to be build to carry future structures. On its western side the platform abutted on the wall of rock, on its northern and southern side it was surrounded by rock sloping eastwards. However, since the rock sloped down towards the south retaining walls at these sides had to be built in order to construct an artificial south-east corner. The debris hewn out of the rock massif was used later as a filler for the walls and the terrace.
At the same time when the retaining walls for the terrace were erected in the southeast area the foundations for future temple walls in this area had to be built.
The foundations for future temple walls were built directly on the bedrock and consisted of double walls whereby the space in between was filled just like the terrace with debris. According to Wysocki the rows of stone blocks for the retaining wall and the foundation wall were always set at the same time, afterwards the spaces in between were filled and consolidated. Then the next row of blocks followed until the terrace had reached the desired level. Parallel, the rock-ledge (= Felssims; s. figure) above the temple was cut out of the mountain massif in order to protect the temple from falling rocks. The idea of the protective rock-ledge was probably taken from the temple of Mentuhotep II, where the remains of a similar protective device were discovered. In the middle part of the rock-ledge, along the temple axis, a cavity was cut for the main sanctuary of the temple.

After the terrace had been completed the building of the temple walls was started in the 2nd period of phase I. According to Wysocki it is not possible anymore today to find out exactly how far and/or how high the walls had been built when the work was interrupted by death of Thutmosis II. In his opinion the western wall including the protective wall against falling rocks might have reached their planned height. From the western wall some incomplete walls branched off to the east and enclosed the current upper terrace. Furthermore, the walls around the Chapel of Amun and the Chapel of the ithyphallic Amun probably were ready at that time.

According to Wysocki (loc. cit.) the construction of the chapel of Hathor was already started during the first building phase. Wysocki explained that by the fact that later the name-rings of Hatshepsut had been replaced by that of her husband and by architectural evidence.
Wysocki also believed that the work on the Chapel of Hathor and its 1st portico was continued under Hatshepsut.

View from the worker's trail down to the 3. terrace. The photo shows the situation in December 1999; on the right the rock-ledge, on the left the south-wall with the large gate to the portico and the ramp leading down to the middle terrace, above one recognizes the room with the window (direct beside the south-wall, on the right of it there is a vestibule in front of the Chapels of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis I (covered with corrugated iron); above the south-wall there is the Chapel of Hathor, at the upper left corner there is the platform of the temple of Mentuhotep II.

Phase 2


Djeser djeseru Location of the Monument Description of the Monument Djeser djeseru - the times after

Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)