History Podcasts

Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Hatshepsut, daughter of King Thutmose I, became queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother, Thutmose II, around the age of 12. Upon his death, she began acting as regent for her stepson, the infant Thutmose III, but later took on the full powers of a pharaoh, becoming co-ruler of Egypt around 1473 B.C. As pharaoh, Hatshepsut extended Egyptian trade and oversaw ambitious building projects, most notably the Temple of Deir el-Bahri, located in western Thebes, where she would be buried. Depicted (at her own orders) as a male in many contemporary images and sculptures, Hatshepsut remained largely unknown to scholars until the 19th century. She is one of the few and most famous female pharaohs of Egypt.

Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power

Hatshepsut was the elder of two daughters born to Thutmose I and his queen, Ahmes. After her father’s death, 12-year-old Hatshepsut became queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother Thutmose II, the son of her father and one of his secondary wives, who inherited his father’s throne around 1492 B.C. They had one daughter, Neferure. Thutmose II died young, around 1479 B.C., and the throne went to his infant son, also born to a secondary wife. According to custom, Hatshepsut began acting as Thutmose III’s regent, handling affairs of state until her stepson came of age.

After less than seven years, however, Hatshepsut took the unprecedented step of assuming the title and full powers of a pharaoh herself, becoming co-ruler of Egypt with Thutmose III. Though past Egyptologists held that it was merely the queen’s ambition that drove her, more recent scholars have suggested that the move might have been due to a political crisis, such as a threat from another branch of the royal family, and that Hatshepsut may have been acting to save the throne for her stepson.

Hatshepsut as Pharaoh

Knowing that her power grab was highly controversial, Hatshepsut fought to defend its legitimacy, pointing to her royal lineage and claiming that her father had appointed her his successor. She sought to reinvent her image, and in statues and paintings of that time, she ordered that she be portrayed as a male pharaoh, with a beard and large muscles. In other images, however, she appeared in traditional female regalia. Hatshepsut surrounded herself with supporters in key positions in government, including Senenmut, her chief minister. Some have suggested Senenmut might also have been Hatshepsut’s lover, but little evidence exists to support this claim.

As pharaoh, Hatshepsut undertook ambitious building projects, particularly in the area around Thebes. Her greatest achievement was the enormous memorial temple at Deir el-Bahri, considered one of the architectural wonders of ancient Egypt. Another great achievement of her reign was a trading expedition she authorized that brought back vast riches–including ivory, ebony, gold, leopard skins and incense–to Egypt from a distant land known as Punt (possibly modern-day Eritrea).

Hatshepsut’s Death and Legacy

Hatshepsut probably died around 1458 B.C., when she would have been in her mid-40s. She was buried in the Valley of the Kings (also home to Tutankhhamum), located in the hills behind Deir el-Bahri. In another effort to legitimize her reign, she had her father’s sarcophagus reburied in her tomb so they could lie together in death. Thutmose III went on to rule for 30 more years, proving to be both an ambitious builder like his stepmother and a great warrior. Late in his reign, Thutmose III had almost all of the evidence of Hatshepsut’s rule–including the images of her as king on the temples and monuments she had built–eradicated, possibly to erase her example as a powerful female ruler, or to close the gap in the dynasty’s line of male succession. As a consequence, scholars of ancient Egypt knew little of Hatshepsut’s existence until 1822, when they were able to decode and read the hieroglyphics on the walls of Deir el-Bahri.

In 1903, the British archeologist Howard Carter discovered Hatshepsut’s sarcophagus (one of three that she had prepared) but it was empty, like nearly all of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. After launching a new search in 2005, a team of archaeologists discovered her mummy in 2007; it is now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. A life-size statue of a seated Hatshepsut that escaped her stepson’s destruction is on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.


Page options

Pharaoh Hatshepsut enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous reign. She built magnificent temples, protected Egypt's borders and masterminded a highly profitable trading mission to the mysterious land of Punt. She should have been feted as one of the most successful of the 18th Dynasty kings. Not everyone, however, was impressed by her achievements.

The female king vanished from Egyptian history.

Soon after her death in 1457 BC, Hatshepsut's monuments were attacked, her statues dragged down and smashed and her image and titles defaced. The female king vanished from Egyptian history. She would remain lost until, almost three thousand years later, modern Egyptologists reconstructed her damaged inscriptions and restored her to her rightful dynastic place.

The Egyptians believed that the spirit could live beyond the grave, but only if some remembrance - a body, a statue, or even a name - of the deceased remained in the land of the living. Hatshepsut had effectively been cursed with endless death. Who could have done such a terrible thing, and why? Tuthmosis III, stepson and successor to Hatshepsut, seems the obvious culprit, but we should not condemn him unheard. There are two major crimes to be considered before we draw any conclusion.


Contents

Although contemporary records of her reign are documented in diverse ancient sources, Hatshepsut was thought by early modern scholars as only having served as a co-regent from about 1479 to 1458 BC, during years seven to twenty-one of the reign previously identified as that of Thutmose III. [11] Today Egyptologists generally agree that Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh. [12] [13]

Hatshepsut was described as having a reign of about 21 years by ancient authors. Josephus and Julius Africanus both quote Manetho's king list, mentioning a woman called Amessis or Amensis who has been identified (from the context) as Hatshepsut. In Josephus' work, her reign is described as lasting 21 years and nine months, [14] while Africanus stated it was twenty-two years. At this point in the history records of the reign of Hatshepsut end, since the first major foreign campaign of Thutmose III was dated to his 22nd year, which also would have been Hatshepsut's 22nd year as pharaoh. [15]

Dating the beginning of her reign is more difficult, however. Her father's reign began in either 1526 or 1506 BC according to the high and low estimates of her reign, respectively. [16] The length of the reigns of Thutmose I and Thutmose II, however, cannot be determined with absolute certainty. With short reigns, Hatshepsut would have ascended the throne 14 years after the coronation of Thutmose I, her father. [17] Longer reigns would put her ascension 25 years after Thutmose I's coronation. [16] Thus, Hatshepsut could have assumed power as early as 1512 BC, or, as late as 1479 BC.

The earliest attestation of Hatshepsut as pharaoh occurs in the tomb of Ramose and Hatnofer, where a collection of grave goods contained a single pottery jar or amphora from the tomb's chamber—which was stamped with the date "Year 7". [18] Another jar from the same tomb—which was discovered in situ by a 1935–36 Metropolitan Museum of Art expedition on a hillside near Thebes — was stamped with the seal of the "God's Wife Hatshepsut" while two jars bore the seal of "The Good Goddess Maatkare." [19] The dating of the amphorae, "sealed into the [tomb's] burial chamber by the debris from Senenmut's own tomb," is undisputed, which means that Hatshepsut was acknowledged as king, and not queen, of Egypt by Year 7 of her reign. [19]

Trade routes Edit

Hatshepsut re-established the trade networks that had been disrupted during the Hyksos occupation of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, thereby building the wealth of the Eighteenth Dynasty. She oversaw the preparations and funding for a mission to the Land of Punt. This trading expedition to Punt was during the ninth year of Hatshepsut's reign. It set out in her name with five ships, each measuring 70 feet (21 m) long, bearing several sails [ dubious – discuss ] and accommodating 210 men that included sailors and 30 rowers. [ citation needed ] Many trade goods were bought in Punt, notably frankincense and myrrh.

Hatshepsut's delegation returned from Punt bearing 31 live myrrh trees, the roots of which were carefully kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage. This was the first recorded attempt to transplant foreign trees. It is reported that Hatshepsut had these trees planted in the courts of her mortuary temple complex. Egyptians also returned with a number of other gifts from Punt, among which was frankincense. [20] Hatshepsut would grind the charred frankincense into kohl eyeliner. This is the first recorded use of the resin. [21]

Hatshepsut had the expedition commemorated in relief at Deir el-Bahari, which is also famous for its realistic depiction of the Queen of the Land of Punt, Queen Ati. [22] Hatshepsut also sent raiding expeditions to Byblos and the Sinai Peninsula shortly after the Punt expedition. Very little is known about these expeditions. Although many Egyptologists have claimed that her foreign policy was mainly peaceful, [22] it is possible that she led military campaigns against Nubia and Canaan. [23]

Building projects Edit

Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in Ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Arguably, her buildings were grander and more numerous than those of her Middle Kingdom predecessors. Later, pharaohs attempted to claim some of her projects as theirs. She employed the great architect Ineni, who also had worked for her father, her husband, and for the royal steward Senenmut. During her reign, so much statuary was produced that almost every major museum with Ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world has Hatshepsut statuary among their collections for instance, the Hatshepsut Room in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated solely to some of these pieces.

Following the tradition of most pharaohs, Hatshepsut had monuments constructed at the Temple of Karnak. She also restored the original Precinct of Mut, the great ancient goddess of Egypt, at Karnak that had been ravaged by the foreign rulers during the Hyksos occupation. It later was ravaged by other pharaohs, who took one part after another to use in their own pet projects. The precinct awaits restoration. She had twin obelisks, at the time the tallest in the world, erected at the entrance to the temple. One still stands as the tallest surviving ancient obelisk on Earth the other has broken in two and toppled. The official in charge of those obelisks was the high steward Amenhotep. [24]

Another project, Karnak's Red Chapel, or Chapelle Rouge, was intended as a barque shrine and originally may have stood between her two obelisks. It was lined with carved stones that depicted significant events in Hatshepsut's life.

Later, she ordered the construction of two more obelisks to celebrate her 16th year as pharaoh one of the obelisks broke during construction, and a third was therefore constructed to replace it. The broken obelisk was left at its quarrying site in Aswan, where it still remains. Known as the Unfinished Obelisk, it provides evidence of how obelisks were quarried. [25]

Hatshepsut built the Temple of Pakhet at Beni Hasan in the Minya Governorate south of Al Minya. The name, Pakhet, was a synthesis that occurred by combining Bast and Sekhmet, who were similar lioness war goddesses, in an area that bordered the north and south division of their cults. The cavernous underground temple, cut into the rock cliffs on the eastern side of the Nile, was admired and called the Speos Artemidos by the Greeks during their occupation of Egypt, known as the Ptolemaic Dynasty. They saw the goddess as akin to their hunter goddess, Artemis. The temple is thought to have been built alongside much more ancient ones that have not survived. This temple has an architrave with a long dedicatory text bearing Hatshepsut's famous denunciation of the Hyksos that James P. Allen has translated. [26] The Hyksos occupied Egypt and cast it into a cultural decline that persisted until a revival of her policies and innovations. This temple was altered later, and some of its inside decorations were usurped by Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty in an attempt to have his name replace that of Hatshepsut.

Following the tradition of many pharaohs, the masterpiece of Hatshepsut's building projects was a mortuary temple. She built hers in a complex at Deir el-Bahri. It was designed and implemented by Senenmut at a site on the West Bank of the Nile River near the entrance to what now is called the Valley of the Kings because of all the pharaohs who later chose to associate their complexes with the grandeur of hers. Her buildings were the first grand ones planned for that location.

The complex's focal point was the Djeser-Djeseru or "the Holy of Holies," a colonnaded structure of perfect harmony built nearly one thousand years before the Parthenon. Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of terraces that once were graced with lush gardens. Djeser-Djeseru is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it. Djeser-Djeseru and the other buildings of Hatshepsut's Deir el-Bahri complex are significant advances in architecture. Another one of her great accomplishments is the Hatshepsut needle [27] (also known as the granite obelisks).

Official lauding Edit

Hyperbole is common to virtually all royal inscriptions of Egyptian history. While all ancient leaders used it to laud their achievements, Hatshepsut has been called the most accomplished pharaoh at promoting her accomplishments. [28] This may have resulted from the extensive building executed during her time as pharaoh, in comparison with many others. It afforded her many opportunities to laud herself, but it also reflected the wealth that her policies and administration brought to Egypt, enabling her to finance such projects. Aggrandizement of their achievements was traditional when pharaohs built temples and their tombs.

Women had a relatively high status in Ancient Egypt and enjoyed the legal right to own, inherit, or will property. A woman becoming pharaoh was rare, however only Sobekneferu, Khentkaus I and possibly Nitocris preceded her. [29] Nefernferuaten and Twosret may have been the only women to succeed her among the indigenous rulers. In Egyptian history, there was no word for a "queen regnant" as in contemporary history, "king" being the ancient Egyptian title regardless of gender, and by the time of her reign, pharaoh had become the name for the ruler. [ citation needed ] Hatshepsut is not unique, however, in taking the title of king. Sobekneferu, ruling six dynasties prior to Hatshepsut, also did so when she ruled Egypt. Hatshepsut had been well-trained in her duties as the daughter of the pharaoh. During her father's reign she held the powerful office of God's Wife. [ citation needed ] She had taken a strong role as queen to her husband and was well experienced in the administration of her kingdom by the time she became pharaoh. There is no indication of challenges to her leadership and, until her death, her co-regent remained in a secondary role, quite amicably heading her powerful army—which would have given him the power necessary to overthrow a usurper of his rightful place, if that had been the case. [ citation needed ]

Hatshepsut assumed all the regalia and symbols of the Pharaonic office in official representations: the Khat head cloth, topped with the uraeus, the traditional false beard, and shendyt kilt. [28] Many existing statues alternatively show her in typically feminine attire as well as those that depict her in the royal ceremonial attire. After this period of transition ended, however, most formal depictions of Hatshepsut as pharaoh showed her in the royal attire, with all the Pharaonic regalia, and some previously feminine depictions were carved over to now be masculine. [30]

She also named herself Maatkare, or “Truth is the Soul of the Sun God.” This name emphasized the Pharaoh Maatkare Hatshepsut’s connection to one of the many evolutions of Amun while referencing a Pharaoh's responsibility to maintain “ma’at,” harmony, through respecting tradition. [31]

Moreover, the Osirian statues of Hatshepsut — as with other pharaohs — depict the dead pharaoh as Osiris, with the body and regalia of that deity. All the statues of Hatshepsut at her tomb follow that tradition. The promise of resurrection after death was a tenet of the cult of Osiris.

One of the most famous examples of the legends about Hatshepsut is a myth about her birth. In this myth, Amun goes to Ahmose in the form of Thutmose I and awakens her with pleasant odors. At this point Amun places the ankh, a symbol of life, to Ahmose's nose, and Hatshepsut is conceived by Ahmose. Khnum, the god who forms the bodies of human children, is then instructed to create a body and ka, or corporal presence/life force, for Hatshepsut. Heket, the goddess of life and fertility, and Khnum then lead Ahmose along to a lioness' bed where she gives birth to Hatshepsut. [ citation needed ] Reliefs depicting each step in these events are at Karnak and in her mortuary temple.

The Oracle of Amun proclaimed that it was the will of Amun that Hatshepsut be pharaoh, further strengthening her position. She reiterated Amun's support by having these proclamations by the god Amun carved on her monuments:

Welcome my sweet daughter, my favorite, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the Pharaoh, taking possession of the Two Lands. [32]

Furthermore, on Khnum's potter's wheel, she is depicted as a little boy to further cement her divine right to rule. [31]

Hatshepsut claimed that she was her father's intended heir and that he made her the heir apparent of Egypt. Almost all scholars today view this as historical revisionism or prolepsis on Hatshepsut's part, since it was Thutmose II — a son of Thutmose I by Mutnofret — who was her father's heir. Moreover, Thutmose I could not have foreseen that his daughter Hatshepsut would outlive his son within his own lifetime. Thutmose II soon married Hatshepsut and the latter became both his senior royal wife and the most powerful woman at court. Biographer Evelyn Wells, however, accepts Hatshepsut's claim that she was her father's intended successor. Once she became pharaoh herself, Hatshepsut supported her assertion that she was her father's designated successor with inscriptions on the walls of her mortuary temple:

Then his majesty said to them: "This daughter of mine, Khnumetamun Hatshepsut—may she live!—I have appointed as my successor upon my throne. she shall direct the people in every sphere of the palace it is she indeed who shall lead you. Obey her words, unite yourselves at her command." The royal nobles, the dignitaries, and the leaders of the people heard this proclamation of the promotion of his daughter, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare—may she live eternally. [33]

Hatshepsut died as she approached what we would consider middle age given typical contemporary lifespans in her twenty-second regnal year. [34] The precise date of Hatshepsut's death—and when Thutmose III became the next pharaoh of Egypt—is considered Year 22, II Peret day 10 of her reign, as recorded on a single stela erected at Armant [35] or 16 January 1458 BC. [36] This information validates the basic reliability of Manetho's king list records since Hatshepsut's known accession date was I Shemu day 4 [37] (i.e., Hatshepsut died nine months into her 22nd year as king, as Manetho writes in his Epitome for a reign of 21 years and nine months). No contemporary mention of the cause of her death has survived.

Hatshepsut had begun constructing a tomb when she was the Great Royal Wife of Thutmose II. Still, the scale of this was not suitable for a pharaoh, so when she ascended the throne, preparation for another burial started. For this, KV20, originally quarried for her father, Thutmose I, and probably the first royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings, was extended with a new burial chamber. Hatshepsut also refurbished her father's burial and prepared for a double interment of both Thutmose I and her within KV20. Therefore, it is likely that when she died (no later than the twenty-second year of her reign), she was interred in this tomb along with her father. [38] During the reign of Thutmose III, however, a new tomb (KV38), together with new burial equipment, was provided for Thutmose I, who then was removed from his original tomb and re-interred elsewhere. At the same time, Hatshepsut's mummy might have been moved into the tomb of her nurse, Sitre In, in KV60. It is possible that Amenhotep II, son to Thutmose III by a secondary wife, was the one motivating these actions in an attempt to assure his own uncertain right to succession. Besides what was recovered from KV20 during Howard Carter's clearance of the tomb in 1903, other funerary furniture belonging to Hatshepsut has been found elsewhere, including a lioness "throne" (bedstead is a better description), a senet game board with carved lioness-headed, red-jasper game pieces bearing her pharaonic title, a signet ring, and a partial shabti figurine bearing her name. In the Royal Mummy Cache at DB320, a wooden canopic box with an ivory knob was found that was inscribed with the name of Hatshepsut and contained a mummified liver or spleen as well as a molar tooth. There was a royal lady of the twenty-first dynasty of the same name, however, and for a while, it was thought possible that it could have belonged to her instead. [39]

In 1903, Howard Carter had discovered a tomb (KV60) in the Valley of the Kings that contained two female mummies, one identified as Hatshepsut's wetnurse and the other unidentified. In the spring of 2007, the unidentified body, called KV60B, was finally removed from the tomb by Dr. Zahi Hawass and brought to Cairo's Egyptian Museum for testing. This mummy was missing a tooth, and the space in the jaw perfectly matched Hatshepsut's existing molar, found in the DB320 "canopic box". Based on this, Dr. Zahi Hawass and other Egyptologists have all agreed that the KV60A mummy is very like Hatshepsut. While the mummy and the tooth could be DNA tested to see if belonged to the same person and confirm the mummy's identity, Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Cairo Museum and some Egyptologists have refused to do it as it would require destroying the tooth to retrieve the DNA. [40] [41] [42] [43] Her death has since been attributed to a benzopyrene carcinogenic skin lotion found in possession of the Pharaoh, which led to her having bone cancer. Other members of the queen's family are thought to have suffered from inflammatory skin diseases that tend to be genetic. It is likely that Hatshepsut inadvertently poisoned herself while trying to soothe her itchy, irritated skin. [44] [45] [3] [46] It also would suggest that she had arthritis and bad teeth, which may be why the tooth was removed. [3]

Toward the end of the reign of Thutmose III and into the reign of his son, an attempt was made to remove Hatshepsut from certain historical and pharaonic records — a damnatio memoriae. This elimination was carried out in the most literal way possible. Her cartouches and images were chiseled off some stone walls, leaving very obvious Hatshepsut-shaped gaps in the artwork.

At the Deir el-Bahari temple, Hatshepsut's numerous statues were torn down and in many cases, smashed or disfigured before being buried in a pit. At Karnak, there even was an attempt to wall up her obelisks. While it is clear that much of this rewriting of Hatshepsut's history occurred only during the close of Thutmose III's reign, it is not clear why it happened, other than the typical pattern of self-promotion that existed among the pharaohs and their administrators, or perhaps saving money by not building new monuments for the burial of Thutmose III and instead, using the grand structures built by Hatshepsut.

Amenhotep II, the son of Thutmose III, who became a co-regent toward the end of his father's reign, is suspected by some as being the defacer during the end of the reign of a very old pharaoh. He would have had a motive because his position in the royal lineage was not so strong as to assure his elevation to pharaoh. He is documented, further, as having usurped many of Hatshepsut's accomplishments during his own reign. His reign is marked with attempts to break the royal lineage as well, not recording the names of his queens and eliminating the powerful titles and official roles of royal women, such as God's Wife of Amun. [47]

For many years, presuming that it was Thutmose III acting out of resentment once he became pharaoh, early modern Egyptologists presumed that the erasures were similar to the Roman damnatio memoriae. This appeared to make sense when thinking that Thutmose might have been an unwilling co-regent for years. This assessment of the situation probably is too simplistic, however. It is highly unlikely that the determined and focused Thutmose—not only Egypt's most successful general, but an acclaimed athlete, author, historian, botanist, and architect—would have brooded for two decades of his own reign before attempting to avenge himself on his stepmother and aunt. According to renowned Egyptologist Donald Redford:

Here and there, in the dark recesses of a shrine or tomb where no plebeian eye could see, the queen's cartouche and figure were left intact . which never vulgar eye would again behold, still conveyed for the king the warmth and awe of a divine presence. [48]

The erasures were sporadic and haphazard, with only the more visible and accessible images of Hatshepsut being removed had it been more complete, we would not now have so many images of Hatshepsut. Thutmose III may have died before these changes were finished and it may be that he never intended a total obliteration of her memory. In fact, we have no evidence to support the assumption that Thutmose hated or resented Hatshepsut during her lifetime. Had that been true, as head of the army, in a position given to him by Hatshepsut (who was clearly not worried about her co-regent's loyalty), he surely could have led a successful coup, but he made no attempt to challenge her authority during her reign, and her accomplishments and images remained featured on all of the public buildings she built for twenty years after her death.

Tyldesley hypothesis Edit

Joyce Tyldesley hypothesized that it is possible that Thutmose III, lacking any sinister motivation, may have decided toward the end of his life to relegate Hatshepsut to her expected place as the regent—which was the traditional role of powerful women in Egypt's court as the example of Queen Ahhotep attests—rather than pharaoh. Tyldesley fashions her concept as, that by eliminating the more obvious traces of Hatshepsut's monuments as pharaoh and reducing her status to that of his co-regent, Thutmose III could claim that the royal succession ran directly from Thutmose II to Thutmose III without any interference from his aunt.

The deliberate erasures or mutilations of the numerous public celebrations of her accomplishments, but not the rarely seen ones, would be all that was necessary to obscure Hatshepsut's accomplishments. Moreover, by the latter half of Thutmose III's reign, the more prominent high officials who had served Hatshepsut would have died, thereby eliminating the powerful religious and bureaucratic resistance to a change in direction in a highly stratified culture. Hatshepsut's highest official and closest supporter, Senenmut, seems either to have retired abruptly or died around Years 16 and 20 of Hatshepsut's reign, and was never interred in either of his carefully prepared tombs. [49] According to Tyldesley, the enigma of Senenmut's sudden disappearance "teased Egyptologists for decades" given "the lack of solid archaeological or textual evidence" and permitted "the vivid imagination of Senenmut-scholars to run wild" resulting in a variety of strongly held solutions "some of which would do credit to any fictional murder/mystery plot." [50] In such a scenario, newer court officials, appointed by Thutmose III, also would have had an interest in promoting the many achievements of their master in order to assure the continued success of their own families.

Presuming that it was Thutmose III (rather than his co-regent son), Tyldesley also put forth a hypothesis about Thutmose suggesting that his erasures and defacement of Hatshepsut's monuments could have been a cold, but rational attempt on his part to extinguish the memory of an "unconventional female king whose reign might possibly be interpreted by future generations as a grave offence against Ma'at, and whose unorthodox coregency" could "cast serious doubt upon the legitimacy of his own right to rule. Hatshepsut's crime need not be anything more than the fact that she was a woman." [51] Tyldesley conjectured that Thutmose III may have considered the possibility that the example of a successful female king in Egyptian history could demonstrate that a woman was as capable at governing Egypt as a traditional male king, which could persuade "future generations of potentially strong female kings" to not "remain content with their traditional lot as wife, sister and eventual mother of a king" and assume the crown. [52] Dismissing relatively recent history known to Thutmose III of another woman who was king, Sobekneferu of Egypt's Middle Kingdom, she conjectured further that he might have thought that while she had enjoyed a short, approximately four-year reign, she ruled "at the very end of a fading [12th dynasty] Dynasty, and from the very start of her reign the odds had been stacked against her. She was, therefore, acceptable to conservative Egyptians as a patriotic 'Warrior Queen' who had failed" to rejuvenate Egypt's fortunes. [2] In contrast, Hatshepsut's glorious reign was a completely different case: she demonstrated that women were as capable as men of ruling the two lands since she successfully presided over a prosperous Egypt for more than two decades. [2] If Thutmose III's intent was to forestall the possibility of a woman assuming the throne, as proposed by Tyldesley, it was a failure since Twosret and Neferneferuaten (possibly), a female co-regent or successor of Akhenaten, assumed the throne for short reigns as pharaoh later in the New Kingdom.

"Hatshepsut Problem" Edit

The erasure of Hatshepsut's name—whatever the reason or the person ordering it—almost caused her to disappear from Egypt's archaeological and written records. When nineteenth-century Egyptologists started to interpret the texts on the Deir el-Bahri temple walls (which were illustrated with two seemingly male kings) their translations made no sense. Jean-François Champollion, the French decoder of hieroglyphs, was not alone in feeling confused by the obvious conflict between words and pictures:

If I felt somewhat surprised at seeing here, as elsewhere throughout the temple, the renowned Moeris [Thutmose III], adorned with all the insignia of royalty, giving place to this Amenenthe [Hatshepsut], for whose name we may search the royal lists in vain, still more astonished was I to find upon reading the inscriptions that wherever they referred to this bearded king in the usual dress of the Pharaohs, nouns and verbs were in the feminine, as though a queen were in question. I found the same peculiarity everywhere. [53]

The "Hatshepsut Problem" was a major issue in late 19th century and early 20th century Egyptology, centering on confusion and disagreement on the order of succession of early 18th Dynasty pharaohs. The dilemma takes its name from confusion over the chronology of the rule of Queen Hatshepsut and Thutmose I, II, and III. [54] In its day, the problem was controversial enough to cause academic feuds between leading Egyptologists and created perceptions about the early Thutmosid family that persisted well into the 20th century, the influence of which still can be found in more recent works. Chronology-wise, the Hatshepsut problem was largely cleared up in the late 20th century, as more information about her and her reign was uncovered.

Archaeological discoveries Edit

The 2006 discovery of a foundation deposit including nine golden cartouches bearing the names of both Hatshepsut and Thutmose III in Karnak may shed additional light on the eventual attempt by Thutmose III and his son Amenhotep II to erase Hatshepsut from the historical record and the correct nature of their relationships and her role as pharaoh. [55]

Sphinx of Hatshepsut with unusual rounded ears and ruff that stress the lioness features of the statue, but with five toes – newel post decorations from the lower ramp of her tomb complex. The statue incorporated the nemes headcloth and a royal beard two defining characteristics of an Egyptian pharaoh. It was placed along with others in Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri. Thutmose III later on destroyed them but they were reassembled by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Date: 1479–1458 BC. Period: New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Granite, paint. [56]

These two statues once resembled each other, however, the symbols of her pharaonic power: the Uraeus, Double Crown, and traditional false beard have been stripped from the left image many images portraying Hatshepsut were destroyed or vandalized within decades of her death, possibly by Amenhotep II at the end of the reign of Thutmose III, while he was his co-regent, in order to assure his own rise to pharaoh and then, to claim many of her accomplishments as his.

The image of Hatshepsut has been deliberately chipped away and removed – Ancient Egyptian wing of the Royal Ontario Museum

Dual stela of Hatshepsut (centre left) in the blue Khepresh crown offering wine to the deity Amun and Thutmose III behind her in the hedjet white crown, standing near Wosret – Vatican Museum. Date: 1473–1458 BC. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Limestone. [57]

This Relief Fragment Depicting Atum and Hatshepsut was uncovered in Lower Asasif, in the area of Hatshepsut's Valley Temple. It depicts the god Atum, one of Egypt's creator gods, at the left, investing Hatshepsut with royal regalia. Date: 1479–1458 BC. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Painted limestone. [58]

Hieroglyphs showing Thutmose III on the left and Hatshepsut on the right, she having the trappings of the greater role — Red Chapel, Karnak

A Fallen obelisk of Hatshepsut – Karnak.

Life-sized statue of Hatshepsut. She is shown wearing the nemes-headcloth and shendyt-kilt, which are both traditional for an Egyptian king. The statue is more feminine, given the body structure. Traces of blue pigments showed that the statue was originally painted. Date: 1479–1458 BC. Period: New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Indurated limestone, paint. Location: Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, Egypt. [59]

A kneeling statue of Hatshepsut located at the central sanctuary in Deir el-Bahri dedicated to the god Amun-Re. The inscriptions on the statue showed that Hatshepsut is offering Amun-Re Maat, which translates to truth, order or justice. This shows that Hatshepsut is indicating that her reign is based on Maat. Date: 1479–1458 BC. Period: New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Granite. Location: Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, Egypt. [60]

Left – Knot Amulet. Middle – Meskhetyu Instrument. Right – Ovoid Stone. On the knot amulet, Hatshepsut's name throne name, Maatkare, and her expanded name with Amun are inscribed. The Meskhetyu Instrument was used during a funerary ritual, Opening of the Mouth, to revive the deceased. On the Ovoid Stone, hieroglyphics was inscribed on it. The hieroglyphics translate to "The Good Goddess, Maatkare, she made [it] as her monument for her father, Amun-Re, at the stretching of the cord over Djeser-djeseru-Amun, which she did while alive." The stone may have been used as a hammering stone. [61]

Kneeling figure of Queen Hatshepsut, from Western Thebes, Deir el-Bahari, Egypt, c. 1475 BC. Neues Museum

Art Edit

The feminist artwork for The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago features a place setting for Hatshepsut. [62]

Television Edit

  • Farah Ali Abd El Bar portrayed her in the Discovery Channel documentary, Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen. portrayed her in the 2009 TV adaptation of Horrible Histories (written by Terry Deary).
  • The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney, 2014
  • She is depicted as a direct ancestor, and the original recipient of the powers, of the titular protagonist of The Secrets of Isis in the series' opening credit sequence
  • Hend Sabri played her in the Egyptian movie “El Kanz” (The treasure) 2017

Music Edit

  • A reincarnated Hatshepsut is the subject of the Tina Turner song "I Might Have Been Queen".
  • Musician Jlin names a song after Hatshepsut on her 2017 album Black Origami.
  • Rapper Rapsody names a song after Hatshepsut on her 2019 album Eve.

Literature Edit

Hatshepsut has appeared as a fictional character in many novels, including the following:


Making—and losing—her name

Hatshepsut couldn’t match her father’s conquests by leading troops into battle, a role strictly reserved for men. Instead, she took the military out of the equation. Rather than sending soldiers to war, she sent them on what became her proudest venture: a trading expedition to the fabled land of Punt, along the southern shore of the Red Sea, where no Egyptian had been for 500 years. As portrayed on the walls of Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple, the expedition returned laden with gold, ivory, live myrrh trees, and a menagerie of exotic animals, including apes, panthers, and giraffes. The successful campaign significantly enhanced her reputation and popularity.

Hatshepsut did not banish Thutmose III, who technically served as her co-ruler, but she clearly overshadowed him. Her 21-year reign—15 as principal monarch—was a time of peace and prosperity for Egypt. She undertook grand building projects, including two pairs of imposing obelisks at Karnak and at her mortuary temple, Djeser-Djeseru. Upon Hatshepsut’s death in 1458 B.C., Thutmose III at last got the throne to himself.

Hatshepsut’s groundbreaking reign remained a secret for centuries. Before his own death, Thutmose III moved to erase Hatshepsut from the historical record by defacing her monuments and removing her name from the list of kings. When archaeologists began deciphering the hieroglyphics at Deir el Bahri in 1822, and later found her tomb in 1903, Hatshepsut’s legacy as Egypt’s powerful female pharaoh was restored.


Death of the Formidable Female Pharaoh

22 years after taking her reign as pharaoh, in around 1458 BC, Hatshepsut died, aged in her late 40s. It is believed that she died of bone cancer, possibly related to her usage of a carcinogenic skin cream . Scans of her mummy also show that she had suffered from diabetes and arthritis. She was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, in the hills behind Deir el-Bahri . She had her father’s sarcophagus relocated into her tomb as well, so they could lie together in death.

After her passing, Thutmose III, Hatshepsut’s stepson, claimed the role of pharaoh, ruling for 30 years beyond Hatshepsut’s death. It was Thutmose III who demanded that evidence of Hatshepsut’s rule be eradicated. He arranged for her image as pharaoh to be removed from temples and monuments.

It is likely that Thutmose III wanted to remove any evidence that they had been led by a strong female ruler. For this reason, scholars knew very little of Hatshepsut’s existence prior to 1822 AD, when the hieroglyphics on the walls of Deir el-Bahri were decoded.

Statue of Hatshepsut at her temple at Deir el-Bahri. (Alicia McDermott)

Upon discovery of her existence, there was much speculation and wonder as to the location of her remains. In 1902, archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Hatshepsut’s sarcophagus, but it was empty. He had also found fragmented remains of funerary furniture and some broken stone vessels at the site, including the only known shabti of Hatshepsut. Many researchers believe that tomb KV20 in the Valley of the Kings could have been her original burial place.

Many years later, Dr. Zahi Hawass began searching for Hatshepsut’s mummy. First, he searched tomb KV20 too. When he did not find anything, he moved onto another tomb, located at Deir el-Bahari, near Hatshepsut's famous mortuary temple, known as DB320.

One of the two sarcophagi found in KV20, originally intended for Hatshepsut, but re-inscribed for her father Thutmose I. By Keith Schengili-Roberts. ( CC BY SA 2.5 )

While this tomb did not date back to Hatshepsut’s reign, it was a tomb where many royal mummies had been reburied after their tombs had been ransacked during the 21st and 22nd Dynasties. While Thutmose I, II, and III were all discovered at DB320, Hatshepsut was nowhere to be found.

Dr. Hawass visited one final tomb within the Valley of the Kings , known as KV60, where two mummies had been discovered by Howard Carter. After several tests and scans, with no answers, Dr. Hawass was unsure how to proceed with identifying the mummies.

He then remembered a small box which he thought might contain a decomposed internal organ. Upon scanning the box, he discovered the organ was accompanied by a tooth. The researchers reviewed the scans of the female mummies and discovered that one of the mummies had an empty tooth socket, to which the discovered tooth was a perfect match. Further testing was conducted, and through the power of modern forensic science , the mummy was positively identified as Hatshepsut in 2007.

Remains of Pharaoh Hatshepsut. A DNA test of a single tooth was key to solving one of the greatest mysteries of ancient Egypt. ( CC BY SA 4.0)

The identification of Hatshepsut’s mummy is an archaeological wonder . While her son had gone to great lengths to erase Hatshepsut from the memory of her people and from the pages of history, modern science has ensured that this did not happen.

Top Image: Pharaoh Hatshepsut. Source: Miguel Cabezon /Adobe Stock


1. Hatshepsut Ma’at-ka-Ra was the first female pharaoh of Kemet. She reigned between 1650-1600 BC during the 18th dynasty. Ma’at-ka-Ra means ‘Truth/Order/Balance (“Ma’at”) and the Spirit/Double (“ka”) of Ra’. Hatshepsut means ‘Foremost of Noble Women’

2. Hatshepsut was the longest reigning female pharaoh in Kemet, ruling for more than 20 years. She is considered one of Kemet’s most successful pharaohs.

3. The only child born to the King Thutmose I by his principal wife and queen, Ahmose. After the death of her father at age 12, Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose II in 1615 BC who reigned for 15 years.

4. During their marriage, Hatshepsut and Thutmose II were not able to produce a male heir but had a daughter named Neferure.

5. Thutmose II died after a 15 year reign, making Hatshepsut a widow before the age of 30. The throne fell to Thutmose III, a step-son and nephew of Hatshepsut. As Thutmose III was a child and unable to rule Kemet, Hatshepsut served as regent for three years until she proclaimed herself Pharaoh.

6. Hatshepsut dressed as a king, even wearing a false beard. She began having herself depicted in the traditional king’s shendyt kilt and crown, along with a fake beard and male body as a way of asserting her authority.

7. Hatshepsut dropped her titles relating to those only a woman could hold, and took on those of the Pharaoh. She even, eventually, dropped the female ending from her name (‘t’) and became His Majesty, Hatshepsu

8. Under Hatshepsut’s reign, Egypt prospered. Unlike other rulers in her dynasty, she was more interested in ensuring economic prosperity and building and restoring monuments throughout Kemet and Nubia than in conquering new lands.

9. Hatshepsut built two obelisks, cut at the Ancient Granite quarry in Aswan and transported them to Karnak Temple. One of the obelisks still stands today.


Speculation Without a Mummy

In the late nineteenth and through the twentieth century, scholars speculated on the cause of her death. She died shortly after Thutmose III returned from a military campaign as head of the armies. Because apparently her mummy had been lost or destroyed, and Thutmose III had apparently tried to erase her reign, counting his reign from his father's death and erasing signs of her rule, some speculated that her stepson Thutmose III might have had her killed.


Hatshepsut - HISTORY

Hatshepsut was the eldest of two daughters born to Egyptian King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertari. Her younger sister died in infancy, meaning twelve year old Hatshepsut was Thutmose I’s only surviving child from his marriage to the queen. However Thutmose I, like other Egyptian pharaohs, maintained secondary wives also known as harem wives. Any sons born from those relationships could rise to the position of pharaoh should the king and queen be unable to produce a male heir.

So the position of pharaoh skipped Hatshepsut and instead went to her half-brother, Thutmose II. She still came into power as the Queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother at the age of 12. The marriage served a vital purpose of establishing Thutmose II’s legitimacy as king. Being the son of Thutmose I’s harem wife was only one of his problems. Hatshepsut’s grandfather failed to father any male heirs as well. So Thutmose I became king after marrying into the royal family, further diminishing Thutmose II’s claim to the throne. But by marrying his sister, it helped solidify his link with the line of royals.

Engravings from Thutmose II’s reign appeared to show Hatshepsut performing the role of a dutiful queen. Though the union failed to produce a son their only child was a daughter named Neferure. So when Thutmose II died shortly after taking over, his son from a harem wife became the next pharaoh. Except there was a catch- Thutmose III was only an infant at the time of his father’s death and much too young to ascend to the throne.

Hatshepsut stepped up to handle the business of running the Egyptian government as regent for her stepson/nephew. She did not break new ground in that regard as widowed queens often served as regent when the male heir was not old enough to rule the country. Engravings illustrating their relationship for the first years appeared to show a similar scene to those of Thutmose II’s rule: Hatshepsut standing behind Thutmose III as he performed his duties as pharaoh.

Then at some point during the first seven years of Thutmose III’s reign, Hatshepsut took the unprecedented step and declared herself pharaoh and co-ruler with Thutmose III. Women had previously been pharaohs, and there were no laws explicitly forbidding her from holding the position. However, those other female pharaohs only assumed the position when no male heirs existed in the royal family. Thutmose III was very much alive.

Previously Egyptologists attributed her decision to take over as simple ambition and desire for power. However, more recently this idea has been largely dismissed and her takeover is thought to have been about protecting Thutmose III’s throne, which he may have had a tenuous hold over for similar reasons to his father. It is theorized that a political crisis might have forced her to take on the role of king or risk Thutmose III losing his position for good.

The evidence appears to back up this theory as Hatshepsut could easily have ordered Thutmose III’s death while pharaoh, ridding herself of anyone who had as good of a claim on the throne as herself. Instead, she made sure he received a top notch education typically reserved for scribes and priests, creating something of a future scholar-king. Later Thutmose III joined the military. After he gained some experience there and proved himself worthy, Hatshepsut ultimately named Thutmose III the supreme commander of her armies. In this position, had he so chosen, he could have relatively easily overthrown her, but made no such move.

So it would appear the pair were on good terms and comfortable in their respective positions. All evidence indicates she was raising him to be the next pharaoh, and did a phenomenal job of it as well. Like Hatshepsut, he would become one of the great pharaohs in history, in his case both in administration and in battle strategy, since being called “the Napoleon of Ancient Egypt.”

In any event, once the decision was made, Hatshepsut worked quickly to solidify her position as pharaoh. She had herself partially portrayed as a man in engravings and sculpture in addition to wearing clothes worn by male pharaohs and the traditional false pharaoh beard. She also invented a story to justify her ascension to the throne. Illustrations at her mortuary temple tell the story that her father, Thutmose I, wanted her to become pharaoh. Another illustration claim the god Amun took on the appearance of Thutmose I and appeared to her mother the night Hatshepsut was conceived. He supposedly even instructed the Egyptian god of creation, Khnum, to “Go, to fashion her better than all gods shape for me, this daughter, whom I have begotten.”

The stories must have been convincing, or else Hatshepsut cultivated the right friendships among government officials, as she ruled over Egypt for about two decades, much longer than most pharaohs managed. During this time, Egypt enjoyed relative peace and great prosperity. Using the excess, she oversaw grandiose construction projects throughout her kingdom, being one of the most prolific of all pharaohs at instituting such projects, both in number and scale. She also notably orchestrated significant trade with a land called Punt, as well as cultivated many other trade networks to Egypt’s benefit.

Historians believe Hatshepsut died around the year 1458 BC. Based on studying her body, it is generally thought she died of either complications due to diabetes or bone cancer.

Whatever the case, upon her death, Thutmose III ascended to the position of pharaoh. As mentioned, he now presided over an Egypt that had prospered greatly under Hatshepsut’s rule. However, about two decades into his reign, for reasons unclear today, he began ordering his men to remove mentions of Hatshepsut as pharaoh. Her name and image were destroyed, scraped form engravings and her statues toppled- no easy task considering the numerous buildings and other works built under her rule, often featuring her in some way in them.

It was originally speculated that he did this out of anger for her usurping his throne earlier in his life. However, given that about two decades passed before he bothered and the seemingly good relationship the pair had during her rule (as commander of Egypt’s armies and the rightful heir, he could have overthrown her with little difficulty if he had really chafed at her rule), today it’s theorized that this act was probably more about legitimizing his own son’s rule. It’s even possible his son, Amenhotep II, was the one who ordered all this. Thutmose III was getting up in years at the time and Amenhotep II had become coregent around the time Hatshepsut began to be erased from history. It is also known that Amenhotep II did attempt to take credit for many of the things Hatshepsut had actually accomplished.

No matter the reason, much of Hatshepsut’s life was successfully removed from the history books until the 19 th century when her story was uncovered in surviving works, starting with texts on the Deir el-Bahri temple walls.

It was later discovered that even Hatshepsut worried about how she, a female pharaoh, would be remembered, or even if she’d be remembered at all one of her obelisks at Karnak containing the following (translated) text: “Now my heart turns this way and that, as I think what the people will say. Those who see my monuments in years to come, and who shall speak of what I have done.”

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:


RELATED ARTICLES

Hatshepsut had herself crowned in around 1,473BC, changing her name from the female version Hatshepsut - which means Foremost of the Noble Ladies - to the male version, Hatshepsu.

Born into the most advanced civilisation in the ancient world, Hatshepsut commandeered the throne of Egypt from her young stepson, Thutmosis III, and, in an unprecedented move, declared herself pharaoh.

Dr Mahmoud Afify said the building from which the blocks came must have been erected during the early years of her reign, before she began to be represented as a male king. This image shows a female representation of Hatshepsut (highlighted by red lines) that was later replaced by the image of a male king

All mentions of Hatshepsut's (illustrated left) name were erased by Thutmosis on taking power (an erased cartouche that would have held her name is shown left) and all representations of her female figure were replaced by images of a male king

To cement her position as the first female ruler, she donned the traditional clothes, head-dress and even the false beard traditionally worn by male pharaohs of Egypt.

She is thought to have reigned with little opposition for more than two decades before dying in around 1458 BC.

But all mentions of Hatshepsut's name were erased by Thutmosis on taking power and all representations of her female figure were replaced by images of a male king - her deceased husband Thutmosis II.

Only very few buildings from this early stage of her career have been discovered so far, with the only other examples having been found at Karnak, making the 'new' blocks extremely rare.

The Egyptian Antiquities Authority said the newly discovered building sheds light on the early reign of the queen and that of Thutmosis III who is now known as the 'Napoleon of Egypt' so successful was he during his military campaign.

Dr Felix Arnold, the field director of the mission, said the building from which the blocks came probably served as a waystation for the festival barque of the god Khnum – the potter god of creation.

The mysterious blocks were discovered by the German Archaeological Institute on the Island of Elephantine (marked on the map above) in Aswan, Egypt

THE RESTING PLACE OF HATSHEPSUT

The modest resting place of Hatshepsut was discovered by Howard Carter, who famously revealed Tutankhamun's grave.

Her mummy was one of a pair found inside – although that wasn't obvious when they were first found.

Experts analysed a tooth known to belong to the queen to find it matched with the larger of the two mummies, suggesting the queen was obese with rotten teeth and pendulous breasts.

The modest resting place of Hatshepsut was discovered by Howard Carter, who famously revealed Tutankhamun's grave. This mummy is thought to be that of her husband, Pharaoh Tuthomis II

Zahi Hawass, Egypt's chief archaeologist, said in 2007 when the match was made: 'This is the most important discovery in the Valley of the Kings since the discovery of King Tutankhamun and one of the greatest adventures of my life.

'Queens, especially the great ones like Nefertiti and Cleopatra, capture our imaginations.

'But it is perhaps Hatshepsut, who was both a king and a queen who was most fascinating.

'Her reign during the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt was a prosperous one, yet mysteriously she was erased from Egyptian history.'

Born into the most advanced civilisation in the ancient world, Hatshepsut (shown) commandeered the throne of Egypt from her young stepson, Thutmosis III, and, in an unprecedented move, declared herself pharaoh

The building was later dismantled and about 30 of its blocks have now been found in the foundations of the Khnum temple of Nectanebo II – a pharaoh who ruled between 360 and 342 BC.

Some of the blocks were discovered in previous excavation seasons by members of the Swiss Institute, but the meaning of the blocks has only now become clear, showing the queen as a woman early in her reign.

Thanks to the discovery of the blocks, the original appearance of the building can be reconstructed and experts believe it comprised a chamber for the barque of the god Khnum, which was surrounded on all four sides by pillars.

The pillars bear representations of several versions of the god, as well as others such as Imi-peref 'He-who-is-in-his-house', Nebet-menit 'Lady-of-the-mooring-post' and Min-Amun of Nubia.

'The building thus not only adds to our knowledge of the history of Queen Hatshepsut but also to our understanding of the religious beliefs current on the Island of Elephantine during her reign,' the authority said.

A QUEEN IN A MAN'S WORLD AND A TALE OF REVENGE

As a woman living in Egypt's golden age, Hatshepsut was not destined for kingship.

She was prohibited by her gender from ascending the throne even though she was of royal lineage.

Egypt's gods had supposedly decreed that the king's role could never be fulfilled by a woman and although a pharaoh needed a queen to reign with him, she could never rule alone – although later there were notable exceptions.

Hatshepsut refused to submit to this and, to get round the rule, claimed she was married to the king of the gods and therefore had as much right to sit on the throne as any previous pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had herself crowned (illustrated) in around 1,473BC, changing her name from the female version Hatshepsut - which means Foremost of the Noble Ladies - to the male version, Hatshepsu

Her brazen approach worked and she had herself crowned in around 1,473BC, changing her name from the female version Hatshepsut - which means Foremost of the Noble Ladies - to the male version, Hatshepsu.

She reinforced her power by decorating the temples of the gods with portraits of herself in the pharaoh's traditional kilt, wearing all his symbols of office including the black pointed royal beard.

While conducting affairs of state surrounded by male courtiers, she may even have worn men's clothes.

However, previously-found statues show that early in her reign she liked tight-fitting gowns which showed off her figure and is said to have had a habit of bedding her cabinet ministers.

Hatshepsut was the first but not the only woman ruler of male dominated ancient Egypt.

Nefertiti followed her and then Cleopatra took power 1,500 years later, but neither took the title pharaoh like Hatshepsut.

She showed ruthless ambition and exceptional tenacity for the times in which she lived.

Hatshepsut was the first but not the only woman ruler of male dominated ancient Egypt. Nefertiti (bust pictured left) followed her and then Cleopatra (relief shown right) took power 1,500 years later, but neither took the title pharaoh like Hatshepsut

As a result this mysterious and courageous female ruler rewrote the early story of her country and has been called the first great woman in history.

Hatshepsut insisted she had been made official heir to the throne by her father, the pharaoh Thutmosis I.

The pharaoh had several sons who predeceased him and turned to his daughter to safeguard the throne.

What immediately followed was not unusual. Hatshepsut married a much younger half-brother, also called Thutmosis, whereupon she became queen.

Marriages between siblings were the custom in those days and at first the couple reigned together.

But then her brother/husband died, with the markings on his mummy suggesting he suffered from a hideous skin disease.

Hatshepsut became regent for another Thutmosis, her husband's son by a harem girl. By now she was not content simply to be regent.

Within two years she had taken all the power for herself and was running the country from its capital Thebes, donned in her false beard and all the traditional regalia of kingship.

For many years she and her stepson seemed to have lived happily with this arrangement.

She ruled while Thutmosis concentrated on his military career. So successful was he that historians know him as the Napoleon of Egypt.

Historians suspect these campaigns were an excuse to escape from the influence of his merciless step-mother.

She ruled while Thutmosis (shown in a relief wearing an Atef crown) concentrated on his military career. So successful was he that historians know him as the Napoleon of Egypt

She was becoming so powercrazed in her last years that Thutmosis even feared for his life.

In his absence, Hatshepsut built breathtaking temples in her own honour. They were decorated with reliefs telling how she came to the throne of Egypt and with farfetched stories about her divine connections.

Hatshepsut ruled as a master politician and stateswoman for 20 years.

She died around the age of 50 of cancer, according to recent research and expected to be buried in her finest and best-known temple near the Valley of the Kings.

But it appears Thutmosis III got his own back on the woman who usurped his throne, burying her in a lesser location.

He outlived Hatshepsut by 40 years and seems to have set out on a campaign to erase her name from history.

He threw her statues into the quarries in front of the grand temples she built and even defaced the images of her courtiers.


Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut ( / h æ t ˈ ʃ ɛ p s ʊ t / [4] also Hatchepsut Egyptian: ḥꜣt-šps.wt "Foremost of Noble Ladies" [5] 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu. [6] (Various other women may have also ruled as pharaoh's regnant or at least regents before Hatshepsut, as early as Neithhotep around 1,600 years prior.)

Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Her rise to power was noteworthy as it required her to utilize her bloodline, education, and an understanding of religion. Her bloodline was impeccable as she was the daughter, sister, and wife of a king. Hatshepsut's understanding of religion allowed her to establish herself as the God's Wife of Amun. [7] Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III, who had ascended to the throne the previous year as a child of about two years old. Hatshepsut was the chief wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III's father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. According to Egyptologist James Henry Breasted, she is also known as "the first great woman in history of whom we are informed." [8]

Hatshepsut was the daughter and only child of Thutmose I and his primary wife, Ahmose. [9] Her husband Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife who was named Mutnofret, who carried the title King's daughter and was probably a child of Ahmose I. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had a daughter named Neferure. After having their daughter, Hatshepsut could not bear any more children. Thutmose II with Iset, a secondary wife, would father Thutmose III, who would succeed Hatshepsut as pharaoh. [10]

Although contemporary records of her reign are documented in diverse ancient sources, Hatshepsut was thought by early modern scholars as only having served as a co-regent from about 1479 to 1458 BC, during years seven to twenty-one of the reign previously identified as that of Thutmose III. [11] Today Egyptologists generally agree that Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh. [12] [13]

Hatshepsut was described as having a reign of about 21 years by ancient authors. Josephus and Julius Africanus both quote Manetho's king list, mentioning a woman called Amessis or Amensis who has been identified (from the context) as Hatshepsut. In Josephus' work, her reign is described as lasting 21 years and nine months, [14] while Africanus stated it was twenty-two years. At this point in the history records of the reign of Hatshepsut end, since the first major foreign campaign of Thutmose III was dated to his 22nd year, which also would have been Hatshepsut's 22nd year as pharaoh. [15]

Dating the beginning of her reign is more difficult, however. Her father's reign began in either 1526 or 1506 BC according to the high and low estimates of her reign, respectively. [16] The length of the reigns of Thutmose I and Thutmose II, however, cannot be determined with absolute certainty. With short reigns, Hatshepsut would have ascended the throne 14 years after the coronation of Thutmose I, her father. [17] Longer reigns would put her ascension 25 years after Thutmose I's coronation. [16] Thus, Hatshepsut could have assumed power as early as 1512 BC, or, as late as 1479 BC.

The earliest attestation of Hatshepsut as pharaoh occurs in the tomb of Ramose and Hatnofer, where a collection of grave goods contained a single pottery jar or amphora from the tomb's chamber—which was stamped with the date "Year 7". [18] Another jar from the same tomb—which was discovered in situ by a 1935–36 Metropolitan Museum of Art expedition on a hillside near Thebes — was stamped with the seal of the "God's Wife Hatshepsut" while two jars bore the seal of "The Good Goddess Maatkare." [19] The dating of the amphorae, "sealed into the [tomb's] burial chamber by the debris from Senenmut's own tomb," is undisputed, which means that Hatshepsut was acknowledged as king, and not queen, of Egypt by Year 7 of her reign. [19]

Trade routes

Hatshepsut re-established the trade networks that had been disrupted during the Hyksos occupation of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, thereby building the wealth of the Eighteenth Dynasty. She oversaw the preparations and funding for a mission to the Land of Punt. This trading expedition to Punt was during the ninth year of Hatshepsut's reign. It set out in her name with five ships, each measuring 70 feet (21 m) long, bearing several sails [ dubious – discuss ] and accommodating 210 men that included sailors and 30 rowers. [ citation needed ] Many trade goods were bought in Punt, notably frankincense and myrrh.

Hatshepsut's delegation returned from Punt bearing 31 live myrrh trees, the roots of which were carefully kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage. This was the first recorded attempt to transplant foreign trees. It is reported that Hatshepsut had these trees planted in the courts of her mortuary temple complex. Egyptians also returned with a number of other gifts from Punt, among which was frankincense. [20] Hatshepsut would grind the charred frankincense into kohl eyeliner. This is the first recorded use of the resin. [21]

Hatshepsut had the expedition commemorated in relief at Deir el-Bahari, which is also famous for its realistic depiction of the Queen of the Land of Punt, Queen Ati. [22] Hatshepsut also sent raiding expeditions to Byblos and the Sinai Peninsula shortly after the Punt expedition. Very little is known about these expeditions. Although many Egyptologists have claimed that her foreign policy was mainly peaceful, [22] it is possible that she led military campaigns against Nubia and Canaan. [23]

Building projects

Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in Ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Arguably, her buildings were grander and more numerous than those of her Middle Kingdom predecessors. Later, pharaohs attempted to claim some of her projects as theirs. She employed the great architect Ineni, who also had worked for her father, her husband, and for the royal steward Senenmut. During her reign, so much statuary was produced that almost every major museum with Ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world has Hatshepsut statuary among their collections for instance, the Hatshepsut Room in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated solely to some of these pieces.

Following the tradition of most pharaohs, Hatshepsut had monuments constructed at the Temple of Karnak. She also restored the original Precinct of Mut, the great ancient goddess of Egypt, at Karnak that had been ravaged by the foreign rulers during the Hyksos occupation. It later was ravaged by other pharaohs, who took one part after another to use in their own pet projects. The precinct awaits restoration. She had twin obelisks, at the time the tallest in the world, erected at the entrance to the temple. One still stands as the tallest surviving ancient obelisk on Earth the other has broken in two and toppled. The official in charge of those obelisks was the high steward Amenhotep. [24]

Another project, Karnak's Red Chapel, or Chapelle Rouge, was intended as a barque shrine and originally may have stood between her two obelisks. It was lined with carved stones that depicted significant events in Hatshepsut's life.

Later, she ordered the construction of two more obelisks to celebrate her 16th year as pharaoh one of the obelisks broke during construction, and a third was therefore constructed to replace it. The broken obelisk was left at its quarrying site in Aswan, where it still remains. Known as the Unfinished Obelisk, it provides evidence of how obelisks were quarried. [25]

Hatshepsut built the Temple of Pakhet at Beni Hasan in the Minya Governorate south of Al Minya. The name, Pakhet, was a synthesis that occurred by combining Bast and Sekhmet, who were similar lioness war goddesses, in an area that bordered the north and south division of their cults. The cavernous underground temple, cut into the rock cliffs on the eastern side of the Nile, was admired and called the Speos Artemidos by the Greeks during their occupation of Egypt, known as the Ptolemaic Dynasty. They saw the goddess as akin to their hunter goddess, Artemis. The temple is thought to have been built alongside much more ancient ones that have not survived. This temple has an architrave with a long dedicatory text bearing Hatshepsut's famous denunciation of the Hyksos that James P. Allen has translated. [26] The Hyksos occupied Egypt and cast it into a cultural decline that persisted until a revival of her policies and innovations. This temple was altered later, and some of its inside decorations were usurped by Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty in an attempt to have his name replace that of Hatshepsut.

Following the tradition of many pharaohs, the masterpiece of Hatshepsut's building projects was a mortuary temple. She built hers in a complex at Deir el-Bahri. It was designed and implemented by Senenmut at a site on the West Bank of the Nile River near the entrance to what now is called the Valley of the Kings because of all the pharaohs who later chose to associate their complexes with the grandeur of hers. Her buildings were the first grand ones planned for that location.

The complex's focal point was the Djeser-Djeseru or "the Holy of Holies," a colonnaded structure of perfect harmony built nearly one thousand years before the Parthenon. Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of terraces that once were graced with lush gardens. Djeser-Djeseru is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it. Djeser-Djeseru and the other buildings of Hatshepsut's Deir el-Bahri complex are significant advances in architecture. Another one of her great accomplishments is the Hatshepsut needle [27] (also known as the granite obelisks).

Official lauding

Hyperbole is common to virtually all royal inscriptions of Egyptian history. While all ancient leaders used it to laud their achievements, Hatshepsut has been called the most accomplished pharaoh at promoting her accomplishments. [28] This may have resulted from the extensive building executed during her time as pharaoh, in comparison with many others. It afforded her many opportunities to laud herself, but it also reflected the wealth that her policies and administration brought to Egypt, enabling her to finance such projects. Aggrandizement of their achievements was traditional when pharaohs built temples and their tombs.

Women had a relatively high status in Ancient Egypt and enjoyed the legal right to own, inherit, or will property. A woman becoming pharaoh was rare, however only Sobekneferu, Khentkaus I and possibly Nitocris preceded her. [29] Nefernferuaten and Twosret may have been the only women to succeed her among the indigenous rulers. In Egyptian history, there was no word for a "queen regnant" as in contemporary history, "king" being the ancient Egyptian title regardless of gender, and by the time of her reign, pharaoh had become the name for the ruler. [ citation needed ] Hatshepsut is not unique, however, in taking the title of king. Sobekneferu, ruling six dynasties prior to Hatshepsut, also did so when she ruled Egypt. Hatshepsut had been well-trained in her duties as the daughter of the pharaoh. During her father's reign she held the powerful office of God's Wife. [ citation needed ] She had taken a strong role as queen to her husband and was well experienced in the administration of her kingdom by the time she became pharaoh. There is no indication of challenges to her leadership and, until her death, her co-regent remained in a secondary role, quite amicably heading her powerful army—which would have given him the power necessary to overthrow a usurper of his rightful place, if that had been the case. [ citation needed ]

Hatshepsut assumed all the regalia and symbols of the Pharaonic office in official representations: the Khat head cloth, topped with the uraeus, the traditional false beard, and shendyt kilt. [28] Many existing statues alternatively show her in typically feminine attire as well as those that depict her in the royal ceremonial attire. After this period of transition ended, however, most formal depictions of Hatshepsut as pharaoh showed her in the royal attire, with all the Pharaonic regalia, and some previously feminine depictions were carved over to now be masculine. [30]

She also named herself Maatkare, or “Truth is the Soul of the Sun God.” This name emphasized the Pharaoh Maatkare Hatshepsut’s connection to one of the many evolutions of Amun while referencing a Pharaoh's responsibility to maintain “ma’at,” harmony, through respecting tradition. [31]

Moreover, the Osirian statues of Hatshepsut — as with other pharaohs — depict the dead pharaoh as Osiris, with the body and regalia of that deity. All the statues of Hatshepsut at her tomb follow that tradition. The promise of resurrection after death was a tenet of the cult of Osiris.

One of the most famous examples of the legends about Hatshepsut is a myth about her birth. In this myth, Amun goes to Ahmose in the form of Thutmose I and awakens her with pleasant odors. At this point Amun places the ankh, a symbol of life, to Ahmose's nose, and Hatshepsut is conceived by Ahmose. Khnum, the god who forms the bodies of human children, is then instructed to create a body and ka, or corporal presence/life force, for Hatshepsut. Heket, the goddess of life and fertility, and Khnum then lead Ahmose along to a lioness' bed where she gives birth to Hatshepsut. [ citation needed ] Reliefs depicting each step in these events are at Karnak and in her mortuary temple.

The Oracle of Amun proclaimed that it was the will of Amun that Hatshepsut be pharaoh, further strengthening her position. She reiterated Amun's support by having these proclamations by the god Amun carved on her monuments:

Welcome my sweet daughter, my favorite, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the Pharaoh, taking possession of the Two Lands. [32]

Furthermore, on Khnum's potter's wheel, she is depicted as a little boy to further cement her divine right to rule. [31]

Hatshepsut claimed that she was her father's intended heir and that he made her the heir apparent of Egypt. Almost all scholars today view this as historical revisionism or prolepsis on Hatshepsut's part, since it was Thutmose II — a son of Thutmose I by Mutnofret — who was her father's heir. Moreover, Thutmose I could not have foreseen that his daughter Hatshepsut would outlive his son within his own lifetime. Thutmose II soon married Hatshepsut and the latter became both his senior royal wife and the most powerful woman at court. Biographer Evelyn Wells, however, accepts Hatshepsut's claim that she was her father's intended successor. Once she became pharaoh herself, Hatshepsut supported her assertion that she was her father's designated successor with inscriptions on the walls of her mortuary temple:

Then his majesty said to them: "This daughter of mine, Khnumetamun Hatshepsut—may she live!—I have appointed as my successor upon my throne. she shall direct the people in every sphere of the palace it is she indeed who shall lead you. Obey her words, unite yourselves at her command." The royal nobles, the dignitaries, and the leaders of the people heard this proclamation of the promotion of his daughter, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare—may she live eternally. [33]

Hatshepsut died as she approached what we would consider middle age given typical contemporary lifespans in her twenty-second regnal year. [34] The precise date of Hatshepsut's death—and when Thutmose III became the next pharaoh of Egypt—is consideredYear 22, II Peret day 10 of her reign, as recorded on a single stela erected at Armant [35] or 16 January 1458 BC. [36] This information validates the basic reliability of Manetho's king list records since Hatshepsut's known accession date was I Shemu day 4 [37] (i.e., Hatshepsut died nine months into her 22nd year as king, as Manetho writes in his Epitome for a reign of 21 years and nine months). No contemporary mention of the cause of her death has survived. In June 2007, there was a discovery made in the Valley of the Kings. A mummy was discovered in the tomb of Hatshepsut's royal nurse, Sitre-In. A tooth fragment found in a jar of organs was used to help identify the body to be Hatshepsut's. [38] If the recent identification of her mummy is correct, however, the medical evidence would indicate that she suffered from diabetes and died from bone cancer which had spread throughout her body while she was in her fifties. [3] [39] It also would suggest that she had arthritis and bad teeth. [3]
However, in 2011, the tooth was identified as the molar from a lower jaw, whereas the mummy from KV20 was missing a molar from its upper jaw, thus casting doubt on the supposed identification. [40]

Hatshepsut had begun constructing a tomb when she was the Great Royal Wife of Thutmose II. Still, the scale of this was not suitable for a pharaoh, so when she ascended the throne, preparation for another burial started. For this, KV20, originally quarried for her father, Thutmose I, and probably the first royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings, was extended with a new burial chamber. Hatshepsut also refurbished her father's burial and prepared for a double interment of both Thutmose I and her within KV20. Therefore, it is likely that when she died (no later than the twenty-second year of her reign), she was interred in this tomb along with her father. [41] During the reign of Thutmose III, however, a new tomb (KV38), together with new burial equipment, was provided for Thutmose I, who then was removed from his original tomb and re-interred elsewhere. At the same time, Hatshepsut's mummy might have been moved into the tomb of her nurse, Sitre In, in KV60. It is possible that Amenhotep II, son to Thutmose III by a secondary wife, was the one motivating these actions in an attempt to assure his own uncertain right to succession. Besides what was recovered from KV20 during Howard Carter's clearance of the tomb in 1903, other funerary furniture belonging to Hatshepsut has been found elsewhere, including a lioness "throne" (bedstead is a better description), a senet game board with carved lioness-headed, red-jasper game pieces bearing her pharaonic title, a signet ring, and a partial shabti figurine bearing her name. In the Royal Mummy Cache at DB320, a wooden canopic box with an ivory knob was found that was inscribed with the name of Hatshepsut and contained a mummified liver or spleen as well as a molar tooth. There was a royal lady of the twenty-first dynasty of the same name, however, and for a while, it was thought possible that it could have belonged to her instead. [42]

In 1903, Howard Carter had discovered a tomb (KV60) in the Valley of the Kings that contained two female mummies, one identified as Hatshepsut's wetnurse and the other unidentified. In the spring of 2007, the unidentified body was finally removed from the tomb by Dr. Zahi Hawass and brought to Cairo's Egyptian Museum for testing. This mummy was missing a tooth, and the space in the jaw perfectly matched Hatshepsut's existing molar, found in the DB320 "canopic box". [43] [44] [45] Her death has since been attributed to a benzopyrene carcinogenic skin lotion found in possession of the Pharaoh, which led to her having bone cancer. Other members of the queen's family are thought to have suffered from inflammatory skin diseases that tend to be genetic. It is likely that Hatshepsut inadvertently poisoned herself while trying to soothe her itchy, irritated skin. [46] [47]

Toward the end of the reign of Thutmose III and into the reign of his son, an attempt was made to remove Hatshepsut from certain historical and pharaonic records — a damnatio memoriae. This elimination was carried out in the most literal way possible. Her cartouches and images were chiseled off some stone walls, leaving very obvious Hatshepsut-shaped gaps in the artwork.

At the Deir el-Bahari temple, Hatshepsut's numerous statues were torn down and in many cases, smashed or disfigured before being buried in a pit. At Karnak, there even was an attempt to wall up her obelisks. While it is clear that much of this rewriting of Hatshepsut's history occurred only during the close of Thutmose III's reign, it is not clear why it happened, other than the typical pattern of self-promotion that existed among the pharaohs and their administrators, or perhaps saving money by not building new monuments for the burial of Thutmose III and instead, using the grand structures built by Hatshepsut.

Amenhotep II, the son of Thutmose III, who became a co-regent toward the end of his father's reign, is suspected by some as being the defacer during the end of the reign of a very old pharaoh. He would have had a motive because his position in the royal lineage was not so strong as to assure his elevation to pharaoh. He is documented, further, as having usurped many of Hatshepsut's accomplishments during his own reign. His reign is marked with attempts to break the royal lineage as well, not recording the names of his queens and eliminating the powerful titles and official roles of royal women, such as God's Wife of Amun. [48]

For many years, presuming that it was Thutmose III acting out of resentment once he became pharaoh, early modern Egyptologists presumed that the erasures were similar to the Roman damnatio memoriae. This appeared to make sense when thinking that Thutmose might have been an unwilling co-regent for years. This assessment of the situation probably is too simplistic, however. It is highly unlikely that the determined and focused Thutmose—not only Egypt's most successful general, but an acclaimed athlete, author, historian, botanist, and architect—would have brooded for two decades of his own reign before attempting to avenge himself on his stepmother and aunt. According to renowned Egyptologist Donald Redford:

Here and there, in the dark recesses of a shrine or tomb where no plebeian eye could see, the queen's cartouche and figure were left intact . which never vulgar eye would again behold, still conveyed for the king the warmth and awe of a divine presence. [49]

The erasures were sporadic and haphazard, with only the more visible and accessible images of Hatshepsut being removed had it been more complete, we would not now have so many images of Hatshepsut. Thutmose III may have died before these changes were finished and it may be that he never intended a total obliteration of her memory. In fact, we have no evidence to support the assumption that Thutmose hated or resented Hatshepsut during her lifetime. Had that been true, as head of the army, in a position given to him by Hatshepsut (who was clearly not worried about her co-regent's loyalty), he surely could have led a successful coup, but he made no attempt to challenge her authority during her reign, and her accomplishments and images remained featured on all of the public buildings she built for twenty years after her death.

Tyldesley hypothesis

Joyce Tyldesley hypothesized that it is possible that Thutmose III, lacking any sinister motivation, may have decided toward the end of his life to relegate Hatshepsut to her expected place as the regent—which was the traditional role of powerful women in Egypt's court as the example of Queen Ahhotep attests—rather than pharaoh. Tyldesley fashions her concept as, that by eliminating the more obvious traces of Hatshepsut's monuments as pharaoh and reducing her status to that of his co-regent, Thutmose III could claim that the royal succession ran directly from Thutmose II to Thutmose III without any interference from his aunt.

The deliberate erasures or mutilations of the numerous public celebrations of her accomplishments, but not the rarely seen ones, would be all that was necessary to obscure Hatshepsut's accomplishments. Moreover, by the latter half of Thutmose III's reign, the more prominent high officials who had served Hatshepsut would have died, thereby eliminating the powerful religious and bureaucratic resistance to a change in direction in a highly stratified culture. Hatshepsut's highest official and closest supporter, Senenmut, seems either to have retired abruptly or died around Years 16 and 20 of Hatshepsut's reign, and was never interred in either of his carefully prepared tombs. [50] According to Tyldesley, the enigma of Senenmut's sudden disappearance "teased Egyptologists for decades" given "the lack of solid archaeological or textual evidence" and permitted "the vivid imagination of Senenmut-scholars to run wild" resulting in a variety of strongly held solutions "some of which would do credit to any fictional murder/mystery plot." [51] In such a scenario, newer court officials, appointed by Thutmose III, also would have had an interest in promoting the many achievements of their master in order to assure the continued success of their own families.

Presuming that it was Thutmose III (rather than his co-regent son), Tyldesley also put forth a hypothesis about Thutmose suggesting that his erasures and defacement of Hatshepsut's monuments could have been a cold, but rational attempt on his part to extinguish the memory of an "unconventional female king whose reign might possibly be interpreted by future generations as a grave offence against Ma'at, and whose unorthodox coregency" could "cast serious doubt upon the legitimacy of his own right to rule. Hatshepsut's crime need not be anything more than the fact that she was a woman." [52] Tyldesley conjectured that Thutmose III may have considered the possibility that the example of a successful female king in Egyptian history could demonstrate that a woman was as capable at governing Egypt as a traditional male king, which could persuade "future generations of potentially strong female kings" to not "remain content with their traditional lot as wife, sister and eventual mother of a king" and assume the crown. [53] Dismissing relatively recent history known to Thutmose III of another woman who was king, Sobekneferu of Egypt's Middle Kingdom, she conjectured further that he might have thought that while she had enjoyed a short, approximately four-year reign, she ruled "at the very end of a fading [12th dynasty] Dynasty, and from the very start of her reign the odds had been stacked against her. She was, therefore, acceptable to conservative Egyptians as a patriotic 'Warrior Queen' who had failed" to rejuvenate Egypt's fortunes. [2] In contrast, Hatshepsut's glorious reign was a completely different case: she demonstrated that women were as capable as men of ruling the two lands since she successfully presided over a prosperous Egypt for more than two decades. [2] If Thutmose III's intent was to forestall the possibility of a woman assuming the throne, as proposed by Tyldesley, it was a failure since Twosret and Neferneferuaten (possibly), a female co-regent or successor of Akhenaten, assumed the throne for short reigns as pharaoh later in the New Kingdom.

"Hatshepsut Problem"

The erasure of Hatshepsut's name—whatever the reason or the person ordering it—almost caused her to disappear from Egypt's archaeological and written records. When nineteenth-century Egyptologists started to interpret the texts on the Deir el-Bahri temple walls (which were illustrated with two seemingly male kings) their translations made no sense. Jean-François Champollion, the French decoder of hieroglyphs, was not alone in feeling confused by the obvious conflict between words and pictures:

If I felt somewhat surprised at seeing here, as elsewhere throughout the temple, the renowned Moeris [Thutmose III], adorned with all the insignia of royalty, giving place to this Amenenthe [Hatshepsut], for whose name we may search the royal lists in vain, still more astonished was I to find upon reading the inscriptions that wherever they referred to this bearded king in the usual dress of the Pharaohs, nouns and verbs were in the feminine, as though a queen were in question. I found the same peculiarity everywhere. [54]

The "Hatshepsut Problem" was a major issue in late 19th century and early 20th century Egyptology, centering on confusion and disagreement on the order of succession of early 18th Dynasty pharaohs. The dilemma takes its name from confusion over the chronology of the rule of Queen Hatshepsut and Thutmose I, II, and III. [55] In its day, the problem was controversial enough to cause academic feuds between leading Egyptologists and created perceptions about the early Thutmosid family that persisted well into the 20th century, the influence of which still can be found in more recent works. Chronology-wise, the Hatshepsut problem was largely cleared up in the late 20th century, as more information about her and her reign was uncovered.

Archaeological discoveries

The 2006 discovery of a foundation deposit including nine golden cartouches bearing the names of both Hatshepsut and Thutmose III in Karnak may shed additional light on the eventual attempt by Thutmose III and his son Amenhotep II to erase Hatshepsut from the historical record and the correct nature of their relationships and her role as pharaoh. [56]

Sphinx of Hatshepsut with unusual rounded ears and ruff that stress the lioness features of the statue, but with five toes – newel post decorations from the lower ramp of her tomb complex. The statue incorporated the nemes headcloth and a royal beard two defining characteristics of an Egyptian pharaoh. It was placed along with others in Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri. Thutmose III later on destroyed them but they were reassembled by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Date: 1479–1458 BC. Period: New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Granite, paint. [57]

These two statues once resembled each other, however, the symbols of her pharaonic power: the Uraeus, Double Crown, and traditional false beard have been stripped from the left image many images portraying Hatshepsut were destroyed or vandalized within decades of her death, possibly by Amenhotep II at the end of the reign of Thutmose III, while he was his co-regent, in order to assure his own rise to pharaoh and then, to claim many of her accomplishments as his.

The image of Hatshepsut has been deliberately chipped away and removed – Ancient Egyptian wing of the Royal Ontario Museum

Dual stela of Hatshepsut (centre left) in the blue Khepresh crown offering wine to the deity Amun and Thutmose III behind her in the hedjet white crown, standing near Wosret – Vatican Museum. Date: 1473–1458 BC. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Limestone. [58]

This Relief Fragment Depicting Atum and Hatshepsut was uncovered in Lower Asasif, in the area of Hatshepsut's Valley Temple. It depicts the god Atum, one of Egypt's creator gods, at the left, investing Hatshepsut with royal regalia. Date: 1479–1458 BC. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Painted limestone. [59]

Hieroglyphs showing Thutmose III on the left and Hatshepsut on the right, she having the trappings of the greater role — Red Chapel, Karnak

A Fallen obelisk of Hatshepsut – Karnak.

Life-sized statue of Hatshepsut. She is shown wearing the nemes-headcloth and shendyt-kilt, which are both traditional for an Egyptian king. The statue is more feminine, given the body structure. Traces of blue pigments showed that the statue was originally painted. Date: 1479–1458 BC. Period: New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Indurated limestone, paint. Location: Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, Egypt. [60]

A kneeling statue of Hatshepsut located at the central sanctuary in Deir el-Bahri dedicated to the god Amun-Re. The inscriptions on the statue showed that Hatshepsut is offering Amun-Re Maat, which translates to truth, order or justice. This shows that Hatshepsut is indicating that her reign is based on Maat. Date: 1479–1458 BC. Period: New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty. Medium: Granite. Location: Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, Egypt. [61]

Left – Knot Amulet. Middle – Meskhetyu Instrument. Right – Ovoid Stone. On the knot amulet, Hatshepsut's name throne name, Maatkare, and her expanded name with Amun are inscribed. The Meskhetyu Instrument was used during a funerary ritual, Opening of the Mouth, to revive the deceased. On the Ovoid Stone, hieroglyphics was inscribed on it. The hieroglyphics translate to "The Good Goddess, Maatkare, she made [it] as her monument for her father, Amun-Re, at the stretching of the cord over Djeser-djeseru-Amun, which she did while alive." The stone may have been used as a hammering stone. [62]

Kneeling figure of Queen Hatshepsut, from Western Thebes, Deir el-Bahari, Egypt, c. 1475 BC. Neues Museum

The feminist artwork for The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago features a place setting for Hatshepsut. [63]

Television

  • Farah Ali Abd El Bar portrayed her in the Discovery Channel documentary, Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen. portrayed her in the 2009 TV adaptation of Horrible Histories (written by Terry Deary).
  • The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney, 2014
  • She is depicted as a direct ancestor, and the original recipient of the powers, of the titular protagonist of The Secrets of Isis in the series' opening credit sequence
  • Hend Sabri played her in the Egyptian movie “El Kanz” (The treasure) 2017

Music

  • A reincarnated Hatshepsut is the subject of the Tina Turner song "I Might Have Been Queen".
  • Musician Jlin names a song after Hatshepsut on her 2017 album Black Origami.
  • Rapper Rapsody names a song after Hatshepsut on her 2019 album Eve.

Literature

Hatshepsut has appeared as a fictional character in many novels, including the following:


Watch the video: The pharaoh that wouldnt be forgotten - Kate Green (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Milintica

    In my opinion, they are wrong. Let us try to discuss this.

  2. Guktilar

    chance coincidence

  3. Nolen

    In my opinion, he is wrong. Let us try to discuss this.

  4. Gozuru

    From worse to worse.

  5. Herve

    This is the convention

  6. Zuluramar

    the useful piece

  7. Modred

    Thanks for an explanation. I did not know it.



Write a message