One thousand two hundred years after Imhotep another architect, Senmut, won himself a place in Egyptian history by designing another architectural masterpiece. Queen Hatshepsut who was more of a patron of the arts than a military commander, ordered a funerary monument to be built for her father Tutmose I and herself, choosing for the site a valley which had already been consecrated to the goddess Hathor but had then been abandoned. The great insight of her architect- minister was the way in which he exploited the rocks spread out in a fan shape behind the monument. The conception of the monument was thus new, indeed revolutionary. The temple, pointing to the east, consisted of a series of vast terraces which by means of ramps led to the sanctuary. Access to the first terrace was by means of an avenue lined with sphinxes and obelises. At the end of this terrace was a portico from which a ramp led to the second terrace which was also closed at the end by a portico.
|Deir El-bahari Map|