Hatshepsut’s greatest achievement, other than simply ruling male-dominated Egypt, was her funerary temple at Deir el-Bahri, which stretched some 700 feet from east (bottom left) to west, on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes. This photo was taken in 1953, before extensive restorations of the site. Next to Hatshepsut’s double-ramped, multi-terraced temple is the temple of Mentuhotep II (2051–2000 B.C.), which Hatshepsut used as a model.

The first ramp of Hatshepsut’s temple leads from a lower court, through a colonnade, to the lower terrace; from there another ramp leads through a second colonnade to the upper terrace (beyond the gate at the top of the ramp). The upper colonnade was originally adorned with statues of Hatshepsut in the form of Osiris, god of the dead. The holiest part of the temple was its westernmost chamber, which contained a shrine to Amun, chief god of the Egyptian pantheon.