Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut

1. Portico (Hall of Obelisks and Hall of Hunting)

update: 26.04.2009

At the eastern side of the temple the 1. portico forms the border between the lower and the middle terrace.
The southern wing shows beside a few religious decorations the queen as a outstanding builder. Beside the report over the production, the transport, an the erection of 2 obelisks, the western rear wall of the south wing shows also the foundation (" Stretching the cord") and dedication of the temple. The representations of obelisk transport on the ships from Aswan to Luxor probably was the reason for the archaeologists to call the hall " Obelisk Hall".
The northern wing shows several mythological scenes among them the hunting of birds in the swamp. This scene probably was the reason for the archaeologists to call the hall "Hall of hunting".

The side walls of the wings had been decorated with scenes showing "Destruction of the enemies". The two side walls directly beside the ramp the show the queen as human -headed sphinx "Trampling the enemies", the two side walls furthest from the ramp show her as a king "Smiting the enemies".

However, as the drawings of Naville (1884-1908) show, already about 100 years ago both halls were in very bad condition. The bad condition of the relief is certainly a reason for the fact that both wings of the 1. portico are very rarely visited by local tourist guides. As we will learn from the example of the Hall of Obelisks it requires a pronounced fantasy or a very good guide to recognize that there is still something to be seen on the walls.

A comparison of both halls reveals a false reconstruction of the ceiling done at the beginning of the last century. The southern hall of the portico was reconstructed with an vaulted roof the northern hall with a flat roof. Most likely, technical problems had been the reason for the wrong reconstruction of the southern hall. However, this means that the roof must be taken down because the vault does not give allow to install available preserved blocks of the uppermost row

1st Portico - Hall of Obelisks

1st Portico - Hall of Hunting

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Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)