Saturday, February 25, 2017

Currency - Egypt - 1 Pound- Year 1960

Item code : 32/EG-1

Funerary mask and statue of Hatshepsut Maatkare (although it is usually thought to be Tutankhamun's death mask or statue)
Philae Temple of Isis (Goddess of health, marriage, and wisdom), on Agilkia Island in Lake Nasser. The Kiosk of Trajan is in the foreground, while the Temple of Isis is at the right rear
161x 86 mm

Obverse description:                              
Hatshepsut (1479-1458 BCE) was the first female ruler of ancient Egypt to reign as a male with the full authority of pharaoh. Her name means "Foremost of Noble Women" or "She is First among Noble Women".  She began her reign as regent to her stepson Thuthmose III (1458-1425 BCE) who would succeed her and, initially, ruled as a woman as depicted in statuary. In around the seventh year of her reign, however, she chose to be depicted as a male pharaoh in statuary and reliefs though still referring to herself as female in her inscriptions. She was the fifth pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty during the period known as the New Kingdom (1570-1069 BCE) and regarded as one of the best.

lthough she is sometimes cited as the first female ruler of Egypt, or the only one, there were women who reigned before her such as Merneith (c. 3000 BCE) in the Early Dynastic Period (probably as regent) and Sobeknefru (c. 1807-1802 BCE) in the Middle Kingdom and Twosret (1191-1190 BCE) after her toward the end of the 19th Dynasty. Hatshepsut, though not the first or last, is undoubtedly the best known female ruler of ancient Egypt after Cleopatra VII (c. 69-30 BCE) and one of the most successful monarchs in Egyptian history.

Djeser-Djeseru is the main building of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri. Designed by Senemut, her Vizier, the building is an example of perfect symmetry that predates the Parthenon. It was the first complex built on the site, which would become known as the Valley of the Kings.

Further, her name was erased from her monuments following her death which strongly suggests that someone, most likely Thutmose III, wanted to remove all evidence of her from history. Later scribes never mention her and her many temples and monuments were often claimed to be the works of later pharaohs. Her existence only came to light fairly recently in history when the orientalist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832 CE), most famous for deciphering the 
Rosetta stone, found he could not reconcile hieroglyphics indicating a female ruler with statuary obviously depicting a male. These hieroglyphics were found in the inner chambers of Hatshepsut's temple 
at Deir el-Bahri; all public recognition of her had been erased.
Since the Egyptians believed that erasing one's name from history hampered one's afterlife, it is believed that whoever removed her from public knowledge did not wish her ill after death and so preserved her name in more secluded areas. It has also been suggested that her name was simply overlooked in some places out of the public eye. Hatshepsut's building projects were numerous, after all, and it is certainly possible that those responsible for blotting her name out simply missed some. Efforts to erase Hatshepsut from memory were ultimately unsuccessful, however, as she is well known today as one of the greatest pharaohs of ancient Egypt. 

Reverse description:
Philae Temple

Philae Island was a rocky island in the middle of the River Nile, south of Aswan. It was called in Hieroglyphic "Apo" which means Ivory. It was also known by the Greek "Elephantine", most probably because it was an important center of trade, especially for ivory.

The temple of Isis from Philae at its current location on Agilkia Island in Lake Nasser

The Ancient Egyptians built a beautiful and magnificent Temple on this island for the Goddess Isis, but the Temple became submerged after the first Aswan dam was built in 1906, and it was not until the seventies that many nations attempted to save the Temple. All these countries, together with UNESCO, selected a suitable place, but they had to wait until the completion of the High Dam, in 1971, which would stabilize the level of the water around their chosen island. The new island was called Egilica (also called Agilika), and it was completely reshaped to imitate Philae Island as closely as possible.

Firstly, a coffer dam was built around the Temple and the water was drained. Next, the Temple was dismantled and transferred, stone by stone, from the submerged Philea Island to the redesigned Egilica Island. Each and every stone had to be numbered, and then replaced, in the same position, in the new location. It was a massive, and very complicated, project taking over 9 years to be accomplished.

The Temple of Isis
The Temple of Isis is one of the greatest Temples in Egypt and it occupies about a quarter of the island. It is the main Temple on the island, with its huge, complete, pylons and beautiful scenes. The construction began during the reign of King Ptolemy II, and then other Ptolemaic Kings (Ptolemy's IV, V, VI, VII and XI) contributed by adding more parts to the main Temple.

Isis (Goddess of health, marriage, and wisdom)

The Temple is built in the same style as the Temples of the New Kingdom, as well as some other elements, which appeared in the Greco-Roman period, such as the Mamisi (the House of the divine birth of Horus), and a Nilometer.

The Temple of Isis consists of The 1st Pylon, which is a great traditional pylon with two towers, and an open forecourt, which leads to the 2nd pylon. On the left side of this court is the Mamisi, which has scenes depicting the birth of the God Horus by his mother Isis. The 2nd Pylon leads to a Hypostyle Hall with 10 columns, and then 3 vestibules leading to a sanctuary. The oldest remains, of the Temple of Philae, date back to the reign of King Taharqa (25th Dynasty), who built the first chapel for the Goddess Isis. In addition to the main Temple of Isis there are other monuments here, such as The Kiosk of Trajan, the Chapel of Osiris, The Temple of Horus, The Temple of Hathor, The Gateway of Tiberius, the Gateway of Diocletian, and the Temple of Augustus. The Temples of the island were neglected, and some of them even destroyed, after the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperors. During the reign of the Emperor Justinian (527-565 A.D), the main Temple was converted to a church.

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