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Temple of Queen Hatshepsut (1508-1458 BC), between the Valley of Kings and the Valley of Queens, in Luxor (Ancient Thebes), Egypt.

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Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the Djeser-Djeseru ("Holy of Holies"), is located beneath the cliffs at Deir el Bahari on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The mortuary temple is dedicated to the sun god Amon-Ra and is located next to the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II, which served both as an inspiration, and later, a quarry. It is considered one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt." [1] The temple was the site of the massacre of 62 people, mostly tourists, by extremists that took place on 17 November 1997.

The Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw is responsible for the study and restoration of the three levels of the temple. As of early 1995, the first two levels were almost complete, and the top level was still under reconstruction.

Astronomical alignment

The main and axis of the temple is set to an azimuth of about 116½° and is aligned to the winter solstice sunrise,[4] which in our modern era occurs around the 21st or 22 December each year. The sunlight penetrates through to the rear wall of the chapel, before moving to the right to highlight one of the Osiris statutes that stand on either side of the doorway to the 2nd chamber. A further subtlety to this main alignment is created by a light-box, which shows a block of sunlight that slowly moves from the central axis of the temple to first illuminate the god Amen-Ra to then shining on the kneeling figure of Thutmose III before finally illuminating the Nile god Hapi.[4] Additionally, because of the heightened angle of the sun, around 41 days on either side of the solstice, sunlight is able to penetrate via a secondary light-box through to the innermost chamber.This inner-most chapel was renewed and expanded in the Ptolemaic era and has cult references to Imhotep the builder of Djoser's Step Pyramid and Amenhotep son of Hapu - the overseer of the works of Amenhotep III.

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Additional Photos by Danos kounenis (danos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13120 W: 298 N: 26110] (104808)
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