Friday, April 15, 2016

New Discovery, Aswan: Barque Shrine of Hatshepsut Unearthed in Aswan’s Elephantine Island

CAIRO: Egypt has unearthed an archaeological barque shrine from the era of Queen Hatshepsut, that was dedicated to worship of the Egyptian god Khnum in Elephantine Island in the central of the Nile at Aswan, announced Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Thursday.

The shrine consists of a number of blocks for the four-pillar shrine, and was discovered by German and Swiss missions in Elephantine Island, the statement said, adding that it could be reconstructed after discovering 30 blocks.

“On the pillars are representations of several versions of the god Khnum, as well as other gods, such as Imi-peref ‘He-who-is-in-his-house’, Nebet-menit ‘Lady-of-the-mooring-post’ and Min-Amun of Nubia,” the statement continued.

It was found in foundations of the Khnum temple of Nectanebo II. The new discovery has carvings depict Queen Hatshepsut as a woman before her inauguration; Hatshepsut (1479 B.C.-1458 B.C,) whose name means “her majesty;” following her inauguration, she was depicted wearing male uniforms. She was the 5th Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty (1580B.C.-1080B.C.).

“The newly discovered building thus adds to our knowledge of the early years of Queen Hatshepsut and her engagement in the region of Aswan” the statement said, noting “the building served as a way station for the festival barque of the god Khnum.”

Queen Hatshepsut was known for erecting obelisks, some of which still stand at the ancient Egyptian temples in Luxor while some others are scattered in squares all over the world. After her death, her monuments, names and statues were deliberately defaced and demolished apparently by her co-ruler and step-son/nephew Thutmose III. Two days ago, a 4,200 year-old statue of an ancient Egyptian monarch was unearthed at Elephantine Island in Aswan.

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