Photo by Erich Lessing

On the Nile’s west bank at Thebes, Hatshepsut’s majestic, colonnaded funerary temple is sheltered by a bay in the desert cliffs at Deir el-Bahri. The complex contained the funerary cults of Hatshepsut and her father, Thutmose I, and probably included the cult of her mother, Ahmose. The terraces of the temple echo the architecture of the funerary complex of Nebhepetra Mentuhotep II (2055–2004 B.C.), located just to the south. The walls of Hatshepsut’s temple complex—which included chapels dedicated to the deities Hathor, Amun and Anubis—contain numerous reliefs depicting, for example, the queen’s divine birth and the expedition she dispatched to the land of Punt.