Four seasons of documentation in the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari

Reading November 09. 2018

Project description

The Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology dedicated four seasons between 2011 and 2015 in Deir el-Bahari to the documentation of the wall decoration in the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut.

Decorative program

The conservation of the architecture and wall decoration in the Temple of Hatshepsut by the Polish-Egyptian mission brought back “a wealth of painted details, alterations and later graffiti. Identification of these changes and inscriptions, and their documentation were often of key importance, allowing the sequence of changes to be established, first by the queen herself and then by successive rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty: Tuthmosis III, Akhenaten, Tutankhamon and Horemheb. This in turn supports a reconstruction of the building history, the architectural transformation of the sanctuary and its functioning. To date, it was clear foremost that the shrine had undergone extensive modification during the Ptolemaic period, specifically in the rule of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II.”

Documentation method

Not specified by the author.

Visual example(s)

Fig. 1. Tympanum of the east wall of the Bark Hall (Drawing F. Pawlicki, A. Golijewska).

Fig. 3. The sign kA below the skylight embrasure; the frieze of the skylight from the original phase of the decoration marked in red (Photo M. Jawornicki). 

Fig. 4. Cryptogram of the Maatkare name of Queen Hatshepsut with an inscription, east wall of the Bark Hall (Drawing F. Pawlicki, A. Golijewska).

Fig. 6. High stand with traces of a dedicatory inscription on the south wall of the Bark Hall (Drawing F. Pawlicki, A. Golijewska).

Fig. 7. Representation of Hatshepsut changed to Tuthmosis III in the eastern niche on the north wall of the Bark Hall (Drawing A. Golijewska).

Fig. 8. Hatshepsut censing and offering water to Montu and Atum. Figures of gods restored after the Amarna destruction, back wall of the Northern Side Chapel (Drawing A. Golijewska).

What we like

  • The carved decorative surface is represented by solid, single weight lines; the consistent omission of indicating damaged areas (except for damage outlines on each blocks that are captured by thinner, light gray solid lines) add a lot of clarity to the overall presentation. 

  • Heavily modified areas appear to have a semi-transparent homogeneous gray fill, while intentional hacking is often represented by the addition of individual chisel marks to the scenes.

  • There are multiple phases of carving captured on each drawing. Although these separate layers are not always distinguishable (see Fig. 1.), earlier decorative phases are mostly highlighted in red that is in stark contrast with the grayscale appearance of the rest of the drawing and instantly draws our attention towards these areas.

  • In some instances, basic reconstruction is added to specific parts of the drawings, represented by lighter gray dotted outlines, that is provided to extend and elaborate on visualizing the context of each scenes. 

Additional reading

For the original context of the material appearing in this article see Franciszek Pawlicki - Four seasons of documentation in the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari

For more informationon on the main sanctuary of Amon-Re in the Deir el-Bahari temple of Hatshepsut and the work of the Polish mission, click here.

The additional information about the many different projects carried out by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, visit their website.

 

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The Temple of Tuthmosis III at Deir el-Bahari

The Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology’s present project began in 2008, with the aim of completing the study, restoration and publication of the Deir el-Bahari temple of Tuthmosis III. The work is the continuation of a previous mission led by prof. Jadwiga Lipińska, which was suspended in 1996.

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