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2015 | 24(2) | 61-74

Article title

King, lion and falcon at Deir el-Bahari: from Rw.ty to Horus. A study of the ramp newel posts in the Temple of Hatshepsut



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The newel posts of the first ramp had lion representations, those of the second one were decorated with composite falcon statues. It is the purpose of this article to study the surviving architectural elements of the ramp newel posts in detail and to explore the function of these elements in Hatshepsut’s temple cosmology. Rw.ty, the four seated lions of the first ramp, are guarding the passage from land to the intermediate level of the temple, “begetting” Horus the king, allowing him to rise in life like the sun in its daily resurrection trip, and this forever and ever. In turn, the falcon god of the second ramp hovers in protection, as witness and helper in the passage to the third and highest level of the temple, where the king will achieve full resurrection through the Amun sanctuary and fly up to the sky as a falcon in its name of MAa.t-kA-Ra. The cartouche raised by the anx sign on the first ramp finds an echo in the Sn sign held by the falcon on the second ramp: they both tie and establish the king into his solar renewal destiny, helped by the Dual-lions and Horus of Behedet, lion and falcon from earth to heaven.





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