Egyptian Architecture
Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Deir el-Bahari, Egypt

The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari (1570-1314 BC) is a remarkable piece of architecture. Setting at the foot of a mountain cliff, it raises from one platform to another connected by series of huge axial ramps. The temple, unique in its design, sits at the highest level at the base of the cliffs. It is selected as one of the major components of the library for it represents Egyptian culture and is ruined at the current time.

According to Jordan (1970) "The main avenue of sphinexes ran from the Nile to the foot of the first ramp. On the platform between the top of this first ramp and the foot of the next one, the sphinxes were of red granite. The platform was probably planted with cedar trees..." In this reconstructed model, the sphinexes and cedar trees were not included.

The incised figures and hieroglyphs on the walls of the first floor were scanned from Edouard Naville (1895) and included in the model. Naville indicated that the entire building was at one time covered in a white plaster. He mentioned that this would create an illusion that the temple was carved from a single massive piece of stone, and that rays from the sun would be reflected by the plaster and cause the building to shimmer and glow in an almost blinding white light. Thus, most of the walls have a light sandstone-like texture. A few in the lower colonnade are textured to simulate the appearance of the stone pillars and columns before they were plastered over.

In order to establish an efficient VRML model, the model should be streamlined as much as possible to increase the speed of accessibility through the Internet. Thus, the polygon count of the model had been simplified. Because part of the temple is excavated into the surrounding cliffs, the backs of the walls were not modeled.

The main structure of this model was completed by QiYi Sun and the texturing was done by Hamlin Krewson.


Furneaux Jordan, (1970), A Concise History of Western Architecture, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, pp. 17-20.

Edouard Naville, (1895), The Temple of Deir El Bahari (London: Offices of the Egypt exploration fund), pp. 1-6.