West Bank Temples

The west bank is… full of temples and tombs.
The west side of the Nile was the side of sunset or the end of life, of death and tombs, and of funeral temples to the deceased.

Queen Hapshepsut ruled as regent when the next pharoah was too young to take power. She liked the job so much, she sent him off to the remote countryside and proclaimed herself pharoah instead; often in statues and carvings she depicted herself as manly (or at least ambiguous) to help strengthen her claim on the title. When she finally died, the real heir claimed his throne and tried to erase all memory of her. In her temple are reliefs celebrating Hapshepsut’s trade and exploration expedition down the coast of Africa. In many places her name or likeness have been chiseled off by her sucessor.

The temple is immense – but the cliff it sits under is more impressive still.

Horus, the hawk god.

One of the androgynous statues of Hapshepsut as Pharoah.

The multi-level layout of the temple, with the approach path and ramp, is quite unique.

Security is not taken lightly here.

Remains of a tree imported from Punt over 3000 years ago.

Wall carving

Column – an attempt had been made to erase the memory of Hapshepsut.

Wall painting


Wall painting – detail of the wall above

Receiving offerings - wall painting

Receiving offerings – wall painting

A painted wall relief – detail of the offerings for the Gods.

Painted cartouches in wall carvings

Wall carving – note the African-looking houses on stilts in this depiction of the story of Hapshepsut’s expedition to Punt.

A Hathor the Cow Godess scene

A Hathor column decoration. Note the cow ears.

Wall mural

A row of Hapshepsuts in mummy pose.

A row of Hapshepsuts in mummy pose.


The carvings on the temple emphasize the foreign victories of Ramses III – they show him gripping the hair of many captives at once to smite them boldly, and underneath a long carved row of foreign rulers with Assyrian and other foreign features and beards, hands tied behind them, the royal status of his captives obvious by their names in cartouches.

A view from above – Ramses III Temple with the Syrian style of gate.


The Ramsesseum from the air

The remains of the village where the tradesmen lived who built the tombs for Valley of the Kings. The temple beside the village ws turned into a coptic monastery during the early Christian era.

Overhead view (from balloon) of the workers village, and the associated minor temple of Deir el Medina.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: