Deir el Bahri

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Deir el Bahri


a complex of ancient buildings near the city of Thebes in Egypt. In 1881 the French Egyptologist G. Maspero discovered a hiding place here with the mummies of some of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom. Systematic excavations were conducted from 1893 to 1898 and from 1903 to 1908 (E. Navil, Switzerland), from 1911 to 1931, with interruptions (Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA), and from 1961 to 1966 (K. Michałowski, Poland).

The excavations uncovered the remains of two mortuary temples partially carved into the cliffs. One was the temple of Pharaoh Mentuhotep I (21st century B.C.), which was enclosed by a colonnade and topped with a pyramid. The other was the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut (designed by Senenmut, beginning of the 15th century B.C.). Hatshepsut’s temple was constructed on three terraces with proto-Doric porticoes. The terraces were joined by ramps. In the porticoes, in the hypostyle located at the foot of the cliffs, and in the sanctuaries adjoining the hypostyle, numerous sculptures were found, including statues of Queen Hatshepsut, as well as reliefs depicting the expedition to the country of Punt and other scenes. Deir el Bahri is also the site of the ensemble of the mortuary temple of Thutmose III (15th century B.C.). Many inscriptions on plates, graffiti, and papyri have been found there.


Mat’e, M. E. Iskusstvo-Drevnego Egipta. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.
Winlock, H. E. Excavations at Deir el Bahri 1911–1931. New York, 1942.
Leclant, J. “Fouilles et travaux en Egypte et au Soudan.” Orientalia, Nova series, 1964–67, no. 33–36.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The Valley stands on the west bank of the Nile River, just across from the city Thebes, and it's hidden behind the cliffs that form that backdrop to the temple complex of Deir el Bahri. The Valley is dominated by a peak sacred to the goddess Hathor and is shaped like a pyramid.
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