News

Unique representations of the secretary bird identified in Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahari!

Among the products imported to Egypt as a result of Hatshepsut’s Punt expedition, there is a big bird, whose identity used to puzzle scholars since the discovery of the reliefs in 1858. It has been suggested that it might have been a crane due to its relatively big size, but this identification could not have been confirmed due to the fragmentary state of preservation of this part of the wall. While re-examining the famous Punt reliefs of Deir el-Bahari our colleague Filip Taterka noted the presence of yet another previously unknown representation of the bird in question. The latter is more complete, thanks to which it is now possible to identify the mysterious creature as the secretary bird (Lat. Sagittarius serpentarius), a species endemic to Africa, which has far-reaching consequences for the discussion on the exact location of the land of Punt. Moreover, the representations of the secretary bird of Deir el-Bahari are the only depictions of this creature known to date of the pharaonic period. For more information on Filip Taterka’s discovery see:

 

press report in English:

http://www.pap.pl/en/news/news,1457007,polish-egyptologist-discovers-unique-depictions-of-secretary-bird.html

 

press report in Polish:

http://www.pap.pl/aktualnosci/news,1456794,polski-egiptolog-odkryl-w-swiatyni-hatszepsut-sekretarza.html

http://naukawpolsce.pap.pl/aktualnosci/news%2C29918%2Cpolski-egiptolog-odkryl-w-swiatyni-hatszepsut-sekretarza.html

Lecture about the recent work at the Temple

We cordially invite for the lecture "The Highlights of the Recent Work Results of the Polish-Egyptian Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari" by Dr Zbigniew E. Szafrański (Director of the Polish-Egyptian Archaeological and Conservation Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari)
date: Monday 16th April 2018 at 6 p.m.
place: Thebes Hotel, Luxor West Bank

Booklet about the Main Sanctuary of Amun is available online!

Booklet about the Main Sanctuary of Amun is available online! It can be downloaded HERE.

Spring season 2018

The spring season 2018 of works at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari will begin in the end of March. Egyptological activity will be concentrated in the Lower South Portio, the Complex of Royal Cult and in the Southern Room of Amun. Conservation works will be carried out by the northern osiride statue in the Lower North Portico. The project of Thutmose I's Temple will be continued as well. The season will last a month. Photos of the spring season will be available on our fanpage on Facebook - HERE.

Information boards and booklet about the Main Sanctuary of Amun

For the opening of the Main Sanctuary of Amun, in the preceding it Ptolemaic Portico, two information boards for toursit were installed. Texts were prepared by Dr F. Pawlicki and layout was designed by A. Golijewska. Moreover, a booklet about the sanctuary was printed out (Z.E. Szafrański - editor, F. Pawlicki - text, A. Golijewska - layout and typesetting). Boards and booklet were sponsored by the Polish Embassy in Cairo.

 

 

Broszurka-przewodnik po Głównym Sanktuarium Amona (Z.E. Szafrański, F. Pawlicki, A. Golijewska)

 

Plansza nr 1 (F. Pawlicki, A. Golijewska)

Plansza nr 2 (F. Pawlicki, A. Golijewska)

 

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Polish Mission in the Temple of Hatshepsut wishes you Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Another part of the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari will be available to the public!

 Main Sanctuary of Amun, phot. M. Jawornicki

(Phot. M. Jawornicki)

 

Another part of the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari will be available to the public. The opening ceremony of the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re and the Ptolemaic Portico preceding it will take place on 9 December 2017.
The ceremony will be hosted by the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities, represented by the Minister of Antiquities Prof. Khaled el-Enani, and the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw, represented by its Director, Prof. Tomasz Waliszewski, with the participation of the Polish Ambassador, H.E. Michał Murkociński, and the Governor of Luxor, Mohamed Badr. The PCMA will be also represented by Dr. Artur Obłuski, Director of the Research Centre in Cairo, and Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański, Director of the Polish-Egyptian Archaeological and Conservation Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari.
The Sanctuary of Amun-Re is located in the middle of the west wall of the Upper Courtyard of the Temple of Hatshepsut. It can be entered through the Ptolemaic Portico and the granite portal, situated exactly on the prolongation of the line of the ramps
leading to the Lower and Middle Terrace. The Main Sanctuary consists of the Bark Hall and the Statue Room with three chapels. The first room housed the sacred bark of Amun and is decorated with representations of mentioned bark and members of Hatshepsut's family. In the next room, the Statue Room, where the figure of Amun-Re was situated, the most important rituals related to the cult of this deity were performed. The statue was illuminated by sunlight thanks to a system of skylights situated above the lintels of the entrances to the Bark Hall and the Statue Room. In the middle of the north and south walls, there are entrances to two narrow chapels devoted to the Ennead. The last chapel, and the farthest room, is the so-called Ptolemaic Sanctuary. Its present shape dates to the reign of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II.

During the works of Polish Mission, the original ceiling of the Bark Hall and the wall of the facade were protected, and a protective platform was built over the Upper Terrace. Thanks to these measures, the pressure of rocks and stones and the destructive influence of rainwater on the structure of the Sanctuary were eliminated. The walls of the complex were stabilized and their decoration reconstructed, including two of the four Osiride statues of Hatshepsut and the reliefs in the Bark Hall. Moreover, the preserved reliefs were cleaned and protected by restorers which brought out the bright colours of the original paint layer. 3D scanning was also carried out as part of comprehensive documentation work. Since work in the Sanctuary has been completed, it can now be opened to the public. Research on the Egyptological aspects of the Sanctuary is conducted by Dr. F. Pawlicki (author of, among others, a guide booklet accompanying the opening) to be published as a monograph. Research on the Ptolemaic part has already been published by Assoc. Prof. Ewa Laskowska-Kusztal, Polish Academy of Sciences (Le Sanctuaire Ptolémaïque de Deir el-Bahari, Deir el-Bahari III, Varsovie 1984).

Research grant to study Portico of Obelisks

National Science Centre of Poland has awarded the project "The Western Wall of the Portico of Obelisks of Hatshepsut's Temple in Deir el-Bahari in historical, ideological and ritual dimensions" by Ewa Józefowicz with a grant PRELUDIUM. The scientific aim of the project is the theoretical reconstruction of the original appearance of the western wall of the Portico of Obelisks (South Lower Portico) and the interpretation of the meaning of its decoration. The unique scenes of the transport and setting of two obelisks in Karnak and the foundation ritual for the Djeser-djeseru temple can be interpreted in three dimensions: historical (events, works, persons engaged, identification of obelisks), ideological (legitimization of Hatshepsut’s power by the foundation of and additions to temples, reasons for erecting the obelisks, their solar, Osiris and regenerative character, meaning of the scenes’ location within the decoration programme of the temple) and ritual (celebrations at the setting of obelisks and during temple foundation). Comprehensive studies of the western wall of the Portico of Obelisks are crucial to understand the role of the portico in the decoration programme of Hatshepsut’s temple, its ideological meaning and the historical events and rituals shown. The project will provide new data in all these dimensions. 

Preparations for the opening of new parts in the temple

Constructing works are undertaken to prepare new parts of the temple to be open for visitors - Ptolemaic Portico and Main Sanctuary of Amun. Engineer Mieczysław Michiewicz together with Sayed Tg and rais Ragab Yaseen are constructing the platform above the entrance to the main sanctuary. The opening of the new visitor's path is scheduled for the beginning of December 2017.

 

 

More photos are on Missions's Facebook page - HERE.

Winter season of 2017 has already begun!

Winter season 2017 in the Temple of Hatshepsut has already been started on October 11, 2017. Works during this season will be dedicated mainly to the comprehensive documentation of the Upper Courtyard, Northern Room of Amun and Punt Portico. It is planned to supplement the documentation, both drawings and photographs, and to perform 3D scanning. In addition, projects related to Hatshepsut Mission will be continued - works in the necropolis of northern Asasif and in the magazine with blocks from Tuthmosis III temple. Winter season of 2017 will last until mid-December. Follow us on Facebook to get more info about the work progress.