December 6th, 2009 Today we traveled to Hatshepsut's Temple in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of the Nile river. Hatshepsut was the 5th pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. Her reign was long and prosperous (about 23 years). Her temple was impressive and looked like a modern building. When viewing it from afar it looked like it had just been built into the side of the mountains. We encountered some of her other prolific building projects earlier in the trip when we visited the Karnak Temple and saw the obelisks the she erected for the gods. Those obelisks combined with the temple emphasized the impressive nature of her building projects. In front of the temple we saw stumps from trees that were transplanted from the Land of Punt. Queen Hatshepsut was credited with the 1st recorded attempt to do so. The ramps leading up to the temple were also impressive, making it seem as though the grand entrance was a mile long. She wanted to rule like a male, not wanting to be outdone by the previous male pharaohs. This was apparent when we saw the statues in front of the temple that depicted her wearing the false beard and the rest of the same attire that a male pharaoh would wear. A lot of her images in the hierogyphics have been destroyed and chipped away by Thutmose III, her nephew, who was jealous that she took to the throne before him. It was kind of disappointing that these images were damaged, but it is also just another part of history that gives us an interesting story to be told. All in all, it has been a great experience and this temple was no exception to the majestic nature of Egypt. Everything has surpassed my expectations ten-fold!
Posted at 9:05 PM by Matt Parker