Hatshepsut’s building programs during her ruling are considered to be one of the most well-known construction work in all ancient Egypt. With her rise as Pharaoh, the construction of the monuments demonstrated a close connection to the gods, ensured her a safe place in the afterlife and to honour the pharaohs achievements. Hatshepsut’s top priority seemed to be her building program as she repeatedly refers to it. She outlined her policy in the text inscribed on the façade of a small rock-cut temple near Beni Hassan, which the Greeks referred to as Speos Artmeidos.
By building monuments, Hatshepsut opened up job opportunities for the Egyptian population, which would boost the economy and express her political and economical agenda. Hatshepsut paid attention to helping grow the Egyptian commerce and repairing Egypt’s monuments, which were destroyed after the Hyksos war. Many temples and buildings were left neglected after the war with the Hyksos, which Hatshepsut had then decided to reconstruct. Restoring these buildings shows Hatshepsut’s political agenda as she was fulfilling her role as king.
An important building of Hatshepsut’s was her rock-cut cliff temple at Beni-Hasan I Middle Egypt. This temple was dedicated to Pakhet, the lioness goddess of the desert. In dedicating her temple to Pakhet, was thus continuing her identification with Hathor that was seen so prominent at Deir el-Bahri. In the reliefs of the Speos Artemidos, Hathor, in the form of Pahket, gives Hatshepsut’s both the terrifying and protective qualities she needs as pharaoh of Egypt. Inscription: “I have done this by the plan of my mind. I do not sleep forgetting, but have made form from what was ruined… They ruled without the sun”. Shows herself as upholder of Ma’at by repairing Hyksos damage.
“Hear ye, all people and folk as many as they may be, I have done these things through the counsel of my heart. I have not slept forgetfully, (but) I have restored that which had been ruined. I have raised up that which had gone to pieces formerly, since the Asiatics were in the midst of Avaris of the Northland, and vagabonds were in the midst of them, overthrowing that which had been made.”
From the Speos Artemidos Inscription
Pritchard, James B. ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts, Princeton, 1969, p. 231.
Through the inscription Hatshepsut talks about how she has restored monuments that had been ruined from the Hyksos war, this proves her fulfilling her duties as the king to the Egyptian society with restoring the buildings.
Hatshepsut also constructed many monuments such as Djeser-djeseru, which was her mortuary temple in Deir El-Bahri. Hatshepsut was dedicated at her birth to Amun-Re and built the Deir El-Bahri temple for his glory, she immediately went to work on great public works projects, commissioning her exquisite temple at Deir el-Bahri at Thebes early on. In reliefs carved at this site Hatshepsut claims divine origin as the daughter of the god Amun and so clearly states her right to rule Egypt legitimately. The temple was not only built for carrying out daily offerings to Hatshepsut after death but was a dedication to the god Amun, a mortuary temple for her father and a place of worship for many others. Inscriptions and reliefs on the walls of her temple justify her claims to the throne and advertise her major achievements.
Karnak was the central precinct of the cult of Amun, Hatshepsut built there the Red Chapel, The 8th Pylon and the four obelisks. Hatshepsut build the Red Chapel was build to not only prover her ruling but was built to replace Amenhotep I’s chapel which was dedicated to Amun-Min There are also scenes showing the oracle of Amun proclaiming the divine choice of Hatshepsut as King, her coronation and heb sed.
Hatshepsut’s building program not only expressed her devotion to the gods but also reflected the general prosperity of her reign.