Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut

The Lower Chapel of Anubis on the Middle Terrace of the Temple Djeser djeseru

update: 14.03.2011

The following pictures show the floor plan of the Lower Chapel of Anubis and some photos taken in the hypostyle of the chapel. The three rooms of the chapel are not open to the public, only the first room (the Vestibule) can be looked at through the grating of the door.

Ground plan of the Lower Chapel of Anubis; the numbers locate the following scenes:

1. Anubis leading Hatshepsut (erased) into the chapel
2. Hatshepsut (erased) between Nekhbet and Ra-Horakhti, 
3. Hatshepsut (erased) offering to Amun
4. Hatshepsut (erased) offering to Anubis
5. Thutmosis III offering to Sokaris
6. jmj-wt-fetish (Vestibule)
N = Niches

Witkowski (1989) identified the following structural elements H = Hypostyle Hall, V = Vestibule (1st room), and S = Sanctuary (2nd room), A = Annex (3rd room) and made the point that the Lower Chapel of Anubis - in contrast to the Upper Chapel of Anubis - contained all functional elements of an independent temple. Furthermore, he noted that the decoration in the sanctuary (and annex) is nearly identical with the decoration of the corresponding two rooms of the Upper Chapel of Anubis.
The decoration of the two Chapels of Anubis shows at first sight that they were above all the place where the king  practiced the divine cult. Thus, the representations in the hypostyle hall of the Lower Chapel show the beginning of the royal actions: his arriving at and his entering of the temple.

Hypostyle Hall
The hypostyle hall is well preserved. Internally the measurements revealed that the hall is about 11.1 ms wide, about 6.6 ms deep, and about 5.6 ms high (Naville, Part II, 1896). The stone ceiling resting on massive architraves, and the twelve 16-sided columns supporting the latter being all intact. The spacing between the columns is wider in the center to allow a better approach to the chapel. The ceiling is painted blue strewn with yellow stars.

All columns show remains of a vertical inscription on the middle outer surface. However, only on the left column the inscription two cartouches of Hatshepsut have survived (Photo left by E. Noppes).

The floor consists mostly of solid rock. The floor is about 75 cms below that of the 2nd portico and only a few centimeters higher than the middle platform.

The scene above shows the queen (erased) introduced into the chapel by Anubis (pos. 1 in the floor plan). Most of the accompanying text has been destroyed. However, Naville still red: "The going in and out, the introduction of the king into the sacred shrine of Anubis, who is on his mountain, who resides in Djeseru."

The photo above shows the scene of the the southern niche, where Hatshepsut is shown libating before Osiris-Chontamenti (center of the southern wall, between pos. 1 and 2). The text above Osiris reads: "Wsjr-#ntj-jmntj nTr aA nb pt = Osiris-Chontamenti, Great God, Lord of Heaven."

The scene shows the queen (erased) between Nekhbet and Ra-Horakhti (pos. 2).

The following scene on the west-wall of the Hypostyle Hall showed the queen on the southern side (left) of the entrance to the vestibule with the White Crown of Upper-Egypt and on the northern side (right) with the Red Crown of Lower-Egypt (Naville, Part II, 1896).

Amun seated in front of a table with offerings, the figure of Hatshepsut, depicted left of the table, had been erased (pos. 3)

The next photo taken in the portico shows Anubis enthroned in front of a table with offerings. The figure of Hatshepsut who was depicted right of the pile of offerings had been erased (pos. 4)

The photo above taken from the western part of the north-wall of the portico shows the jmj-wt-fetish inside a shrine. The figure of Hatshepsut sanding in front the fetish had been erased (left of pos. 5).

Thutmosis III offering wine to Sokarj, The Great God, Lord of Heaven, (pos. 5, above the northern niche)

On the eastern side of the north-wall the last scene of the hypostyle shows again Anubis leading the queen (erased) into the sanctuary.

The Niches of the Hypostyle Hall
The southern niche was dedicated to Amun, the northern one to Anubis. The frames around the niches contained nothing but names and titles of the queen, mostly erased.

The rear wall of the southern niche showed Hatshepsut (erased) before Amun. On the side walls Mut and Buto were depicted.

The rear wall of the northern niche showed Hatshepsut (erased) before Anubis. On the side walls Nekhbet and Buto were depicted.

A few steps are leading to the entrance of the vestibule (see photo below) and the two chambers.

The following two horizontal lines right (see photo below) and left of the doorway contain - covered by a "pt"-sign - the name of the doorway "The door [named] Hatshepsut (changed to Thutmosis II), with lasting DfAw-food in the house of Anubis [= sbA aA-xpr-n-Ra mnt DfAw m pr Inpw]" (Grallert, 2001).

The Chambers
The rooms of the chapel shows a typical arrangement. The rooms were not built in a row but every successive room was positioned in a right angle to the preceding room. This blocked the view into the depth of the chapel and emphasized the secret nature of the ceremonies performed there.
Anubis was an important god participating in the transformation of the deceased on his way to the afterworld. Anubis was responsible not only for the deceased to overcome the trauma of death but also for the deceased king to become a powerful god. Only then the deceased king could have taken over his part in the cosmic cycle of the daily journey of the sun god.
Apart from Anubis the scenes also depict other deities (e.g. Osiris and Sokar) and symbols (jmj-wt-fetishes) which played an important role in overcoming the trauma of death.

The scenes on the side-walls of the vestibule (see photo above from Werbrouck, 1949) show repeatedly Hatshepsut (figures destroyed) officiating before Amun. The rear wall shows the queen (figure destroyed) before the jmj-wt-fetish which is mounted in a shrine (see photo below).

The photo above (taken from Werbrouck, 1949) shows the vestibule. Near to the rear wall opens in the right wall the entrance to the sanctuary.

The photo shows the jmj-wt-fetish mounted in a shrine depicted on the west-wall of the vestibule.

The scene on the north wall of the sanctuary shows Hatshepsut (erased) standing between Anubis (left) und Hathor , "Lady of the Mountain" (right), who both promise to the queen protection and a long life.

The photo above shows the sanctuary of the Lower Chapel (photo taken from Werbrouck, 1949).

The east-wall (right) of the sanctuary shows several offering scenes before different divinities: first Anubis appears twice to whom Hatshepsut probably offered grains of incense, behind these scenes Osiris receives four red vases of water from Hatshepsut. The following scene shows Thutmosis III officiating before Sokar, " Lord of the cave", presenting him four offers four vases. The last scene shows again the queen who opens the shutters of the shrine of Ptah and draws away the veil from the face of the god.
Naville (1896) gives no detailed description about the decoration of the west-wall of the Lower Chapel of Anubis . After Witkowski (1989) the sanctuaries of the Upper and the Lower Chapel of Anubis were nearly identically decorated. Therefore, the west wall should show at least 3 scenes in which Hatshepsut presents gifts to Anubis (2 times) and to Amun. However, the photo by Werbrouck (see above) shows three scenes in which Anubis is shown receiving the gifts.

A bench extended over the entire lower range of the north wall which probably had been used to put up gifts for the gods.
After a few meters the entrance to a small room (Annex) opens in the western wall of the sanctuary.

About the decoration of the annex Naville gives no information.
However, the photo taken from Werbrouck (below) shows that the scene on the west-wall (rear wall) presents Hatshepsut (figure destroyed) standing before Anubis.
The tympanum shows the cartouche of Hatshepsut in the center, framed on both sides by "Dj anx-f". The cartouche is protected by a winged sun-disk with two pending uraeus (= BHdtj). Again the whole scene is covered by the sign of the heaven which is decorated with stars. The heaven-sign is carried on both sides by a "wAs"-sign. The whole scene is enclosed by a colored band and a chain of cartouches.

The scene on the west-wall of the last room (see photo above from Werbrouck, 1949) show Hatshepsut before Anubis.

The photo from Werbrouck gives no information about the decoration of the side-walls.

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

Description of the Building 2nd Portico

Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)