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Hatshepsut's limestone chapel at Karnak to open soon for public
After reconstruction, the limestone chapel of queen Hatshepsut will be put on display for the first time at Karnak Temples' open air museum
Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 10 Feb 2013
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Hatshepsut's cartouche
The chapel
During reconstruction, photos courtesy of CFEETK
The blocks on mastabas, Photos courtesy of CFEETK

At the end of February visitors to Karnak Temples will be able to admire the second chapel of the 18th dynasty Queen Hatshepsut after four years of restoration and reconstruction.

The chapel was constructed in limestone to worship Thebes ancient Egyptian god Amun-Re. It includes an open court and two inner halls embellished with blocks engraved with very distinguished religious scenes depicting Hatshepsut before Amun-Re, with her husband king Thutmose II, as well as their cartouches. Some of the blocks bear the name of Hatshepsut's predecessor king Thutmose III.  

Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said that the majority of blocks of this chapel were found scattered at the beginning of the 20th century in the Karnak courtyard cachette where a collection of gigantic colossi of different New Kingdom kings, queens, nobles and top officials as well as deities were discovered. Another batch of the blocks, Ibrahim added, was found in mid 1950's during excavation works carried out by Sheata Adam and Farid El-Shaboury at the cachette.

All blocks were stored in Karnak galleries until 2005 when the mission of the Centre Franco-Egyptian D'Etude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK) restored the blocks, studied them and published their findings.

The blocks stood on mastabas at the open air museum until 2008 when the CFEETK started a comprehensive reconstruction work on all chapels that were dismantled in previous ages.

Some of its blocks were used in the construction of other monuments inside Karnak and elsewhere in Luxor.

Hatshepsut's limestone chapel was reconstructed at the entrance of the open court, along with another one of her chapels known as the Red Chapel, the White Chapel of king Sanusert I, and the calcite shrine of king Amenhotep II.

Mansour Boreik, the supervisor of Luxor Antiquities, told Ahram online in a telephone interview that the newly reconstructed chapel, which is known as the "Sacred Monument," is a very important monument in ancient Egyptian history since it is one of the few still surviving records that attests explicitly to the power of Hatshepsut as ruler before her ascendancy to the throne as king.

Karnak Temples on Luxor's east bank is a vast mix of ancient Egyptian temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings in ruins. Construction at the complex began in the reign of the Middle Kingdom king Sesostris I and continued into the Ptolemaic period, but most of the buildings date to the New Kingdom.

Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby modern village of El-Karnak, some 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.

Reconstruction work on this chapel is now completed and it would be open to public end of February.

 





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farang
24-02-2013 07:06pm
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Wrong
This is incorrect: "Some of the blocks bear the name of Hatshepsut's predecessor king Thutmose III." The author must have meant "Successor" as everyone knows Thutmose III (Biblical model for "King David" followed Hetsheput (the biblical "Deborah, the only female 'judge'."
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Saxon de Kock
21-02-2013 11:59am
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Mrs.
Wonderful news! I long to visit Egypt soon again to come and enjoy this for myself. I am a fan of this great Pharaoh.
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Glen Parry
13-02-2013 07:43pm
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Continued
Sorry for the browser glitch. As for the reconstruction itself. Having seen the blocks displayed whilst in storage several times, and admired the superb quiality of their relief decoration I'm glad to see the chapel has been restored and will be displayed within the Open Air Museum. This is yet another reason why this little visited area of the Karnak complex deserves more attention from visitors than it receives at present. Congratulations to all those, from both the CFEETK and the Ministry of Antiquities, who have been involved in its restoration.
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Ozy
03-06-2014 01:31am
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only 20 LE...
The Red Chapel and the White Chapel alone are worth it, they are some of the most gorgeous monuments in all of Egypt. Don't skip them for what is less than the price of a cup of coffee!
Kevin
26-02-2013 04:44pm
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Visitors..
People don't visit this area because it requires the additional cost of another ticket. Your ticket to Karnak does not give you access to this museum. I saw area from afar and decided it wastn't worth the extra cost. For someone who lives and breathes Egyptian antiquities, it may be worth the cost, but for the casual tourist it is not.
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horatio
12-02-2013 08:41pm
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dinasty succession
I think Thutmose III succeeded Hatshepsut regency as `king`,displacing her from power as son of Thutmose II and legitime inheritor.
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Glen Parry
13-02-2013 07:38pm
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In a Way, Yes
Thoth-moses III actually succeeded his father but Hat-shep-sut declared herself to be King, rather than regent, around year 8 of his reign. However, both she and her stepson continued to be represented on monuments after this.

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