Barque station of Queen Hatshepsut discovered on Elephantine Island

Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector Dr. Mahmoud Afify
declared the discovery of a number of blocks that most
probably belong to a previously unknown building of Queen
Hatshepsut that was discovered this year by the German
Archaeological Institute on the Island of Elephantine,
According to Dr Felix Arnold, the field director of the mission,
the building served as a waystation for the festival barque
of the god Khnum. The building was later dismantled and about
30 of its blocks have now been found in the foundations of
the Khnum temple of Nectanebo II. Some of the blocks were
discovered in previous excavation seasons by members of
the Swiss Institute, but the meaning of the blocks has only
now become clear.
On several of the blocks discovered this year Queen Hatshepsut
was originally represented as a woman. The building must
therefore have been erected during the early years of her
reign, before she began to be represented as a male king. Only
very few buildings from this early stage of her career have
been discovered so far. The only other examples have been
found at Karnak. The newly discovered building thus adds to
our knowledge of the early years of Queen Hatshepsut and her
engagement in the region of Aswan. In the reign of Thutmosis III,
all mentions of her name were erased and all representations
of her female figure were replaced by images of a male king,
her deceased husband Thutmosis II.
Based on the blocks discovered so far the original appearance
of the building can be reconstructed. The building thus
comprised a chamber for the barque of the god Khnum, which
was surrounded on all four sides by pillars. On the pillars
are representations of several versions of the god Khnum, as
well as other gods, such as Imi-peref “He-who-is-in-his-house”,
Nebet-menit “Lady-of-the-mooring-post” and Min-Amun of Nubia.
The building thus not only adds to our knowledge of the history
of Queen Hatshepsut but also to our understanding of the
religious beliefs current on the Island of Elephantine during
her reign.
‪(c) Ministry of Antiquities, Press Office
Based on the the Mission’s Report.

Previous Season Reports on the excavations at Elephantine by
the German Archaeological Institute Cairo, in cooperation with
the Swiss Institute for Egyptian Building Archaeology, may
be found online at:

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