of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri.
The sprawling mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Thebes, called the "Holy
of Holies," dominates the impressive cliff-rimmed bay at the foot
of the Libyan plateau on the west bank of the Nile. The terraced design
of her temple copies and elaborates upon the design of the earlier temple
to the left, belonging to Mentuhotep Nebhepetra, the Theban king who finally
defeated the Heracleopolitan rulers of Middle Egypt, reuniting the country
and founding the Middle Kingdom (c. 2060-1785 B.C.). Immediately to the
south of Hatshepsut's temple, and attached to it, is a sanctuary dedicated
to the goddess Hathor. This shrine is a hemispeos, as the inner rooms
are partially cut into the rock, an elaborate architectural image of the
far-wandering goddess Hathor, eye of the sun, coming out of the desert
back into the land of Egypt. Hathor herself is commonly represented in
the tombs of western Thebes as the head and front of a cow emerging from
the western cliffs.
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