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Temple of Hatshepsut in Istabl Antar

Dating back to the Middle Kingdom, the Temple of Hatshepsut is a rock shrine cut in the cliffs and located about 3 kilometers far from Beni Hassan. The decoration of the temple dates to the reign of Queen Hatshepsut. The scenes depicted are dedicated to a local lion-headed goddess identified with Hathor, Sekhmet and Bastet. Since the Greek equivalent of ‘Bastet’ is ‘Artemis’, temple was known as The Cave of Artemis in the Greek period. The entrance of the temple lies in middle of 4 unfinished pillars cut in the rock. In the pronaos, there are 4 unfinished pillars. Dating back to Hatshepsut, some of the texts in the temple have survived. In these texts, the Queen relates the destruction and chaos that the Hyksos had caused during their invasion of Egypt. The painted scenes depict the Queen worshipping various deities. Usurping part of the scenes, Seti I represented himself receiving the coronation from Amun and Pekhet. A short corridor with traditional scenes (usurped by Seti I) leads to the sanctuary that contained other traditional scenes depicting the coronation of Seti I. In the temple’s area, there is also another unfinished chapel dating back to the reign of Hatshepsut. Also found nearby is a cemetery of cats from the Late Period.

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