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The Mortuary Temple Of Queen Hatshepsut - Assignment Example

She ruled through the 18th Dynasty from 1490 to 1460 BCE. Although she was not the first Queen to ever rule Egypt, Hatshepsut became an exceptional leader after she denied her stepson the right to inherit his father’s throne for approximately two decades. The temple was designed and built in 1470 BCE by the Queen’s royal architecture named Senenmut. It is a product of strategic ancient architectural techniques and calculations. The temple’s colonnaded terraces contain two strong ramps which lie both vertically and horizontally adjacent to the surrounding cliffs1. After Hatshepsut’s death, the Mortuary Temple was significantly disfigured and its artistic pieces destroyed under authority of the Queen’s stepson. Conflicting Theories of the Mortuary Temple Controversy on the Queen’s Gender In contemporary history, discussions relating to the Mortuary Temple are surrounded by numerous controversies. Scholars and archeologists are offering conflicting analysis on architectural, religious and social aspects of the temple. One conflicting theory surrounding this historic building revolves around the role of artistic paintings and sculptures in portraying the Pharaoh’s gender. Some Ancient literature about the Middle Kingdom ascertains that Hatshepsut was a female ruler who rose to the Pharaoh’s title after her husband’s death. ...
However, conflicting arguments are quick to point out the fact that Egyptian royal art were representations of pharaonic powers rather than a ruler’s gender. Actually,

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many young sons inherited their father’s thrones during their teenage years. It is possible that at such a young age, most of those pharaohs had not grown beards. However, depiction of such teenage rulers shows them wearing stylized and false beards around their faces. Possibly, a beard was associated with maturity and authority in the society, which were characteristic attributes of a pharaoh’s throne. This explains why Queen Hatshepsut was portrayed as having false beards only when dressed in her official attire. With respect to delineation of breasts, early scholars interpreted that even Egyptian goddesses were traditionally portrayed without breasts. It means that contemporary values of symbolic art were not applicable in the Middle Kingdom. Consequently, the physical attributes of gender were not of great importance as opposed to the symbolic significance of art. Religious Significance of Art Apart from conflicting issues surrounding the Queen’s gender, scholars also differs on religious significance of artistic pieces associated with the Mortuary Temple. Hatshepsut instructed creation of sculptures and paintings showing her close association with the god Amun and the cult of Osiris. Amun was the god of sun, responsible for giving life and power to Egyptian pharaohs. Paintings on the temple’s walls procedurally describe how Hatshepsut was born and elevated by god Amun into the position of Pharaoh. Hatshepsut alleges that she was conceived and given birth under intervention of Amun, the god who later appointed her as the successor
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Currently, one of the most notable royal structures of Ancient Egypt is the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut was the fifth Egyptian Pharaoh and the first female king in the history of the New Kingdom. …
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