Deir el-Bahari or Dayr al-Bahri (Arabic: الدير البحريromanized: al-Dayr al-Baḥrīlit. ‘the Monastery of the North’, Coptic: ⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲙⲱⲛlit. ‘the monastery of Apa Phoibammon’, Ancient Egyptian: djeser-djeseru) is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt. This is a part of the Theban Necropolis.

It includes:

  • Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut
  • Mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II
  • Temple of Thutmose III

The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh Dynasty. Constructed during the 21st century BC.

During the Eighteenth Dynasty, Amenhotep I and Hatshepsut also built extensively at the site.


Sanctuary doorways

While Hatshepsut used Mentuhotep’s temple as a model, the two structures are significantly different. Hatshepsut employed a lengthy colonnaded terrace that deviated from the centralized massing of Mentuhotep’s model – an anomaly that caused by the decentralized location of her burial chamber.

There are three layered terraces reaching 97 feet (30 m) in height. Each ‘story’ articulated by a double colonnade of square piers, with the exception of the northwest corner of the central terrace, which employs Proto-Doric columns to house the chapel. These terraces are connected by long ramps which were once surrounded by gardens. The layering of Hatshepsut’s temple corresponds with the classical Theban form, employing pylon, courts, hypostyle hall, sun court, chapel, and sanctuary.

Stone chest in Deir el-Bahari

In March 2020 archeologists from Warsaw University’s Institute of Archaeology, led by Andrzej Niwiński, discovered a treasure chest and a wooden box dating back 3,500 years in the Egyptian site of Deir el-Bahari.

In fact, the stone chest contained several items, with all of them covered with linen canvas. Three bundles of flax found during the excavation. A goose skeleton, sacrificed for religious purposes,  found inside one of them. The second one included goose eggs. People believed that what the third bundle contained was an ibis egg, which had a symbolic meaning for the ancient Egyptians. In addition, a little wooden trinket box discovered inside the bundle; the box is believed to contain the name Pharaoh Thutmose II.

According to the Andrzej Niwiński, “The chest itself is about 40 cm long, with a slight smaller height. Perfectly camouflaged, looked like an ordinary stone block. Only after a closer look did it turn out to be a chest.”