Der el-bahri. THEBES (W. BANK). 24. Route. 279
and reliefs were left thus mutilated until the reign of Ramses II.,
who restored them, though with inferior workmanship. For cen¬
turies afterwards the temple remained unaltered; but under Euer¬
getes II. a few slight restorations were undertaken and some unim¬
portant additions were made,without, however, affecting the original
plan. On the introduction of Christianity a community of monks
established themselves in the temple, and founded a convent, known
to the Arabs as Der el-bahri, or the 'Northern Convent', which they
built with bricks brought from an edifice of the 26th Dyn. at Asasif
(p. 283). The chambers of the temple were converted into chapels
and the 'heathen' representations on the walls were barbarously
defaced. Mariette made a few excavations here, but finally in 1894-
96 the entire temple was exhumed at the cost of the Egypt Explor¬
ation Fund under the skilful directions of M. Eduard Naville, while
Mr. Somers Clarke, the architect, has roofed in the colonnades to
protect the reliefs and made other acceptable restorations.
It should be noted that Makere in her capacity as ruler of Egypt is
uniformly represented with the traditional attributes of kingship, viz. the
short apron and elaborate beard, though these, of course, are properly
appropriate to men only.
The temple was dedicated to Ammon; but the goddess Hathor
and Anubis, god of the dead, also had chapels here, and several
chambers were devoted to the worship of the queen (who was prob¬
ably buried in close proximity) and of her parents.
The plan of this temple is remarkable, and is quite different
from all others in Egypt. It occupies three courts or terraces,
rising one above the other from the level ground; these are con¬
nected with each other by inclined planes, which divide the whole
into a N. half, to the right, and a S. half, to the left. At the W. side
of each court is a raised platform, supporting a covered colonnade.
The stages were cut out of the E. slope of the mountain, and sup¬
port was given to the outer and inner walls by means of blocks of
the finest sandstone.
An Avenue of Sphinxes led from the plain to the temple, end¬
ing at the gateway forming the entrance to the temple-precincts.
In front of the gate, in square enclosures of masonry, stood two
Persea trees (Mimusops Schimperi), the stumps of which are still
We first enter the Lower Court. This is in a very dilapidated
condition, but its two Colonnades have lately been restored. Each
colonnade consisted of 22 columns arranged in a double row. The
columns in the back row were sixteen-sided, while the others
were square in front and seven-sided behind. Little now remains
of the reliefs and inscriptions that once adorned the walls.
On the rear-wall of the N. Colonnade, at PL a, are traces of the re¬
presentation of a pond, on which water-fowl are being caught with nets.
— On the rear-wall of the S. Colonnade (from right to left). PL b. The
queen (figure scratched out) sacrificing to the ithyphallic Ammon. PL c.
Inscriptions and representations referring to the erection and dedication