Temple of Tuthmose III
The Temple of Tuthmose III is high on the hill at Deir el-Bahri, squeezed in between Mentuhotep’s temple and the Temple of Hatshepsut. Tuthmose III’s Temple of Amun was largely destroyed in antiquity when it was hidden by a rock fall from the mountain behind. The causeway, kiosk and Hathor-headed chapel connected to this temple were previously known about but it was not until 1961-2, during the restorations of Hatshepsut’s neighbouring temple that many of the columns and wall fragments of this buried temple were uncovered.
The wall fragment in the picture above is painted limestone, 58.5cm high and carved in raised relief. The king wears the elaborate Atef crown, a royal beard and broad collar. It was found during the clearance of the temple by the Polish Centre of Archaeology in 1962. This relief, as well as another, is now in Luxor Museum.
The site of the mortuary temple of Tuthmose III is further to the south of Deir el-Bahri, closer to the road, though there are few remains of this now. It is currently undergoing excavation in a joint project by the SCA and the Academy of Fine Arts in Seville, Spain.
His Deir el-Bahri temple seems to have been a cult temple named Djeser-Akhet (Sacred Horizon), dedicated to the god Amun and possibly used in connection with celebrations of the ‘Beautiful Feast of the Valley’ during Dynasty XVIII. Remains of the temple consist mostly of the pillared hall in which column bases and some of the round columns can still be seen. Some of the paving in front of the hall is in situ and there are many scattered blocks and architectural fragments still with reliefs and texts. The Shrine of Hathor (now in Cairo Museum) was found by Naville in 1912.
Granite jambs of the doors to the inner chamber were found with the king’s name inscribed as well as several statues of Tuthmose III and other individuals and two fragments with beautifully coloured reliefs can be seen in Luxor Museum. The Kiosk of Tuthmose III was to the east of the temple of Amun, on the causeway and replaced an original building by Tuthmose I. There are no remains of the kiosk left today.
The Amun Temple of Tuthmose III is currently undergoing study and restoration and is not open to the public. The best view of it is looking down from the mountain path above Deir el-Bahri.