HA IN SHETA Cover Image


Author(s): Andrzej Ćwiek
Subject(s): Archaeology, Cultural history, Ancient World
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: Hatshepsut; Deir el-Bahari; Ha; Sheta; enthronement; purification

Summary/Abstract: The coronation cycle in the Portico of the Birth in the temple of Deir el-Bahari includes a scene of purification of Hatshepsut by a god captioned as Ha in Sheta. This seemingly hapax toponym provides the key to a proper understanding of the highly symbolic meaning of the scene. The place name, composed of basic cosmographical hieroglyphs, has at the same time a spelling that refers to a vast semantic field of the notions of “mystery”, “secret”, “be hidden”, etc. It appears that the purification made by a god of the western desert in a “mysterious” place refers to the initiation of the female pharaoh into the secrets of the sun god, enabling her to fulfill her role as the provider of sustenance for humanity. The role of the god Ha as a protector against hunger, rooted in the Old Kingdom tradition and expressed also in the text of BD 178 in the Offering Chapel of Hatshepsut, is crucial in this respect.

  • Issue Year: 2/2015
  • Issue No: XXIV
  • Page Range: 83-92
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English