MORTUARY TEMPLE OF HATSHEPSUT, Deir-el-Bahri, Egypt, 18th Dynasty
Hatshepsut’s temple rises from the valley floor in three colonnaded terraces connected by ramps on the central axis. The complex and all of the statues and reliefs it contains constitutes the first great tribute to a woman’s achievements in the history of art. In the middle colonnade of the second level, for example, painted limestone reliefs commemorated Hatshepsut’s divine birth. She claimed to be the daughter of Amen, who had assumed the form of the pharaoh Thutmose I in order to impregnate her mother, the king’s principal wife.