Last Update 22:51
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Decorative blocks from sacred barque's way station found in Aswan

Blocks from a barque's way station from Queen Hatshepsut's reign were discovered on Elephantine Island in Aswan

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 18 Apr 2016
A pillar found of the way station building (Courtesy of the German Institute)
Views: 8412
Views: 8412

During excavation work carried out by a German-Egyptian mission led by Felix Arnold on Elephantine Island in Aswan, blocks from a way station for the god Khnum's festival barque from Queen Hatshepsut's reign was found.

Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department Mahmoud Afifi said the new discovery was important because it would give scholars some insight into the religious rituals practiced on the island during Hatshepsut's reign. It could also shed more light on the mysterious queen herself during the early period of her reign and her engagement in the Aswan region.

"This is one of very few buildings discovered from the early period of Queen Hatshepsut," Afifi told Ahram Online, adding that the only other one was discovered in Karnak.

erased name elephantine (courtesy of the German Institute)

Arnold pointed out that the barque's way station building was later dismantled in antiquity and some of its blocks were found by Swiss excavators in previous archaeological seasons. This season, he continued, the German excavators discovered about 30 blocks in the foundation of the god Khnum's temple built by King Nectanebo II.

"Although a large amount of blocks from the barque's way-station building were found along several archaeological seasons, the blocks found this season have clarified the meanings of the other blocks," Arnold said.

He explains that the newly discovered blocks are carved of stone and decorated with engravings depicting Queen Hatshepsut as a woman, which highlights that it should have been carved during the early years of her reign. Hatshepsut was represented as a king later in her ruling tenure

In the reign of King Thutmosis III, all mentions of her name were erased and all representations of her female figure were replaced by images of a male king, her deceased husband Thutmosis II.

Afifi told Ahram Online that the building could be reconstructed to its original appearance based on the blocks found so far. The building would probably have had a chamber lined on all four sides with pillars on which Khnum’s barque rested.

The pillars would bear representations of Khnum and other gods, including Imi-peref, which means “He who is in his house,” Nebet-menit or “Lady of the mooring post,” and Min-Amun of Nubia.

a block featuring Hatshepsut as a woman (courtesy of the German Institute)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

Glen Parry
18-04-2016 07:52pm
Yet More Evidence that so Much More Awaits Excavation
Apart from the fact that this discovery represents yet more evidence that excavation can still produce wonderful results, your photographer is to be congratulated on managing to capture the faint traces of Hatshepsut's name, in the defaced cartouche, something that is not always possible in daylight exposures. Is it me, or can anyone else see the queen given the epithet "Daughter of Ra", rather than the more usual male form, immediately above this cartouche? If so this discovery is even rarer &, possibly, more important.
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.