The Sun Cult complex composition in the Hatshepsut’s temple

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

The Sun Cult complex of Queen Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahari consists of two main rooms: the Night Sun chapel (Vestibule) and the Altar courtyard with two small transitory rooms. The first room separates the Night Sun chapel from the Altar courtyard and the other separates the Night Sun chapel from the rest of the upper courtyard.

There are also 3 small niches - two in the west and south walls of the Altar courtyard and one in the north wall of the Night Sun chapel. The upper Anubis shrine, adjacent to the north wall of the altar courtyard, apparently was not an essential part of the complex and the exact function of this temple unit remains to be determined.

The Night Sun chapel

The Night Sun chapel in the Sun Cult komplex was decorated with representations of the solar bark with the sun god while his nocturnal journey to the underworld. The location of the Night Sun chapel in the eastern part of the Sun Cult complex emphasizes the idea of resurrection of the sun in the eastern horizon after having travelled through the netherworld at night. From this chapel dones also the very first attestation of the text called King as a Sun Priest. This is an important theological treatise, which emphasizes the role of the pharaoh as the heir and the servant of the solar god.

The main deity worshiped in the complex of the Sun cult he was Amun-Re, but an important place was reserved also for Ra-Horakhty and Atum-Amun, which are three different aspects and forms of the solar god. The rituals depicted on the complex walls were performed by the pharaoh, which once again emphasized his role as heir to the sun god. In the case of Hatshepsut it had also an additional purpose of the legitimisation of her kingships as she claimed to be the bodily daughter of Amun-Ra himself.

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