Deir el-Bahari: The opening of the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut

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 at 2 p.m.

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 granite 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 during the ritual and it is the most magnificent part of the complex. The most important moment of this ritual – placing the bark of the deity, which was brought there every year from the Temple at Karnak on the shoulders of priests, on a pedestal – was depicted on the side walls. There were also niches for statues of the members of the royal family who in this way participated in the cult together with the deity.

The Polish-Egyptian Conservation Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari was founded in 1961 by Prof. Kazimierz Michałowski. Since then, archaeologists, restorers and architects associated with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw have been documenting and reconstructing the temple. Since 1999, the director of the Mission is Dr. Z. E. Szafrański. The Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re is one of the best-preserved rooms of the complex. After a hiatus during which they worked in other parts of the temple, archaeologists resumed their activities in the Sanctuary, at first excavating, later restoring, and in recent years documenting it. Since work in the Sanctuary has been completed, it can now be opened to the public.

See the press release on the event (PDF)

Two years ago, on 22 February 2015, another part of the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Complex of the Sun Cult, was opened to the public.