Queen Hatshepsut. 18th Dynasty

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(18th Dynasty, part VII)
Birth name: Hat-shepsut (Foremost of Noble Ladies)
Throne name: Maat-ka-re (Truth is the Soul of Ra)
Father: Tuthmosis I
Mother: Ahmose
Husband: Tuthmosis II
Daughter: Neferure
Burial: Tomb KV 20, Valley of the Kings (Thebes)
Queen Hatshepsut

As Tuthmosis II had realized early on, Hatshepsut was a strong-willed woman who would not let anyone or anything stand in her way. By Year 2 of her co-regency with the child king Tuthmosis III she begun her policy to subvert his position. Initially, she had been content to be represented in reliefs standing behind Tuthmosis III and to be identified simply by her titles as queen and 'great king's wife' of Tuthmosis II. This changed as she gathered support from the highly pIaced officials, and it was not long before she began to build her splendid mortuary temple in the bay of the cliffs at Deir el-Bahari.
Constructed under the supervision of the queen's steward Senenmut - who was to rise to the highest offices during her reign - Hatshepsut's temple took its basic inspiration from the 12th Dynasty temple of Mentuhotep, adjacent to the site on the south. The final plan of the temple made it unique in Egyptian architecture: built largely of limestone, it rose in three broad, colonnade-fronted terraces to a central rock-cut sanctuary on the upper terrace. The primary dedication" was to Amon but there were also smaller shrines to Hathor (who earlier small cave shrine on the site) and Anubis, respectively located on the south and north sides of the second terrace. A feature of the temple was its alignment to the east directly with the great temple of Amon across the Nile at Karnak. 

The queen legitimizes her rule
Hatshepsut recorded that she had built her mortuary temple as a 'gar­den for my father Amon', Certainly, it was a garden, with small trees and shrubs lining the entrance ramps to the temple, Her focus on Amon was strengthened in the temple by a propaganda relief, known as the 'birth relief', on the walls of the northern half of the middle terrace, Here Amon is shown visiting Hatshepsut's mother, Queen Ahmose, while nearby are the appropriate deities of childbirth (the ram-headed Khnum and the frog-headed goddess Heqet) and the seven 'fairy-god­ mother' Hathors, The thrust of all this was to emphasize that she, Hatshepsut, had been deliberately conceived and chosen by Amon to be king. She was accordingly portrayed with all the regalia of kingship, even down to the official royal false beard. 
To symbolize her new position as king of Egypt, Hatshepsut took the titles of the Female Horus Wosretkau, 'King of Upper and Lower Egypt'; Maat-ka-re, 'Truth is the Soul of Re'; and Khnemetamun Hatshepsut, 'She who embraces Amon, the foremost of women'. Her coronation as a child in the presence of the gods is represented in direct continuation of the birth relief at Deir el-Bahari, subsequently confirmed by Atum at Heliopolis, The propaganda also indicated that she had been crowned before the court in the presence of her father Tuthmosis I who, accord­ing to the inscription, deliberately chose New Year's Day as an auspi­cious day for the event! The whole text is fictitious and, just like her miraculous conception, a political exercise. In pursuing this Hatshepsut makes great play upon the support of her long-dead but still highly revered father, Tuthmosis 1.

Temples and trading
The cult of Amon had gradually gained in importance during the Middle Kingdom under the patronage of the princes of Thebes. Now the more powerful New Kingdom kings associated the deity with their own fortunes. Hatshepsut had built her mortuary temple for Amon on the west bank, and further embellished the god's huge temple on the bank. Her great major-domo, Senenmut, was heavily involved in all her building works and was also responsible for the erection of a panir of red granite obelisks to the god at Karnak. Their removal from the quarries at Aswan is recorded in inscriptions there, while their actual transport butt-ended on low rafts calculated to be over 300 ft (100 m) long and 100 ft (30 m) wide, is represented in reliefs at the Deir el-Bahari temple a second pair was cut later at Aswan and erected at Karnak under the direction of Senenmut's colleague, Amunhotep; one of them still stands in the temple.
The queen did not, however, build only to the greater glory of Amon at Thebes: there are many records of her restoring temples in areas of Middle Egypt that had been left devastated under the Hyksos.
While Hatshepsut is not known for her military prowess, her reign is noted for its trading expeditions, particularly to the land of Punt (proba­bly northern Somalia or Djibouti) - a record of which is carved on the walls of her temple. It shows the envoys setting off down the Red Sea (with fish accurately depicted in the water) and later their arrival in Punt, where they exchange goods and acquire the fragrant incense trees. Other trading and explorative excursions were mounted to the turquoise mines of Sinai, especially to the area of Serabit el-Khadim, where Hatshepsut's name has been recorded.

Queen Hatshepsut's tomb
Hatshepsut had her tomb dug in the Valley of the Kings (KV 20) by her vizier and High Priest of Amon, Hapuseneb. She had previously had a tomb cut for herself as queen regnant under Tuthmosis II, its entrance 220 ft (72 m) up a 350-ft (91-m) cliff face in a remote valley west of the Valley of the Kings. This was found by locals in 1916 and investi­gated by Howard Carter in rather dangerous circumstances. The tomb had never been used and still held the sandstone sarcophagus inscribed for the queen. Carter wrote: 'as a king, it was clearly necessary for her to have her tomb in The Valley like all other kings - as a matter of fact I found it there myself in 1903 - and the present tomb was abandoned. She would have been better advised to hold to her original plan. In this secret spot her mummy would have had a reasonable chance of avoiding disturbance: in The Valley it had none. A king she would be, and a king's fate she shared.'
Hatshepsut's second tomb was located at the foot of the cliffs in the eastern corner of the Valley of the Kings. The original intention seems to have been for a passage to be driven through the rock to locate the burial chamber under the sanctuary of the queen's temple on the other side of the cliffs. In the event, bad rock was struck and the tomb's plan takes a great U-turn back on itself to a burial chamber that contained two yellow quartzite sarcophagi, one inscribed for Tuthmosis I and the other for Hatshepsut as king (p. 101). The queen's mummy has never been identified, although it has been suggested that a female mummy rediscovered in 1991 in KV 21 (the tomb of Hatshepsut's nurse) might have been her body. 
Hatshepsut died in about 1483 BC. Some suggest that Tuthmosis III, kept so long in waiting, may have had a hand in her death. Certainly he hated her enough to destroy many of the queen's monuments and those of her closest adherents. Perhaps the greatest posthumous humiliation she was to suffer, however, was to be omitted from the carved king lists: her reign was too disgraceful an episode to be recorded.

Check The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in details


Chronicles of the Pharaohs

If you want to learn more about the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, you will love the book Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (The Chronicles Series)


This book tells you the complete story of ancient Egypt through its pharaohs' lives. You will not only learn about the famous pharaohs, but you will also meet infamous pharaohs, maybe for the first time.

Purchase your copy from Amazon and write a review about it here for other visitors, please.

Queen Hatshepsut. 18th Dynasty

(Don't forget to sign up for the FREE Egyptology course from Ancient Egypt History) 
(18th Dynasty, part VII)
Birth name: Hat-shepsut (Foremost of Noble Ladies)
Throne name: Maat-ka-re (Truth is the Soul of Ra)
Father: Tuthmosis I
Mother: Ahmose
Husband: Tuthmosis II
Daughter: Neferure
Burial: Tomb KV 20, Valley of the Kings (Thebes)
Queen Hatshepsut

As Tuthmosis II had realized early on, Hatshepsut was a strong-willed woman who would not let anyone or anything stand in her way. By Year 2 of her co-regency with the child king Tuthmosis III she begun her policy to subvert his position. Initially, she had been content to be represented in reliefs standing behind Tuthmosis III and to be identified simply by her titles as queen and 'great king's wife' of Tuthmosis II. This changed as she gathered support from the highly pIaced officials, and it was not long before she began to build her splendid mortuary temple in the bay of the cliffs at Deir el-Bahari.
Constructed under the supervision of the queen's steward Senenmut - who was to rise to the highest offices during her reign - Hatshepsut's temple took its basic inspiration from the 12th Dynasty temple of Mentuhotep, adjacent to the site on the south. The final plan of the temple made it unique in Egyptian architecture: built largely of limestone, it rose in three broad, colonnade-fronted terraces to a central rock-cut sanctuary on the upper terrace. The primary dedication" was to Amon but there were also smaller shrines to Hathor (who earlier small cave shrine on the site) and Anubis, respectively located on the south and north sides of the second terrace. A feature of the temple was its alignment to the east directly with the great temple of Amon across the Nile at Karnak. 

The queen legitimizes her rule
Hatshepsut recorded that she had built her mortuary temple as a 'gar­den for my father Amon', Certainly, it was a garden, with small trees and shrubs lining the entrance ramps to the temple, Her focus on Amon was strengthened in the temple by a propaganda relief, known as the 'birth relief', on the walls of the northern half of the middle terrace, Here Amon is shown visiting Hatshepsut's mother, Queen Ahmose, while nearby are the appropriate deities of childbirth (the ram-headed Khnum and the frog-headed goddess Heqet) and the seven 'fairy-god­ mother' Hathors, The thrust of all this was to emphasize that she, Hatshepsut, had been deliberately conceived and chosen by Amon to be king. She was accordingly portrayed with all the regalia of kingship, even down to the official royal false beard. 
To symbolize her new position as king of Egypt, Hatshepsut took the titles of the Female Horus Wosretkau, 'King of Upper and Lower Egypt'; Maat-ka-re, 'Truth is the Soul of Re'; and Khnemetamun Hatshepsut, 'She who embraces Amon, the foremost of women'. Her coronation as a child in the presence of the gods is represented in direct continuation of the birth relief at Deir el-Bahari, subsequently confirmed by Atum at Heliopolis, The propaganda also indicated that she had been crowned before the court in the presence of her father Tuthmosis I who, accord­ing to the inscription, deliberately chose New Year's Day as an auspi­cious day for the event! The whole text is fictitious and, just like her miraculous conception, a political exercise. In pursuing this Hatshepsut makes great play upon the support of her long-dead but still highly revered father, Tuthmosis 1.

Temples and trading
The cult of Amon had gradually gained in importance during the Middle Kingdom under the patronage of the princes of Thebes. Now the more powerful New Kingdom kings associated the deity with their own fortunes. Hatshepsut had built her mortuary temple for Amon on the west bank, and further embellished the god's huge temple on the bank. Her great major-domo, Senenmut, was heavily involved in all her building works and was also responsible for the erection of a panir of red granite obelisks to the god at Karnak. Their removal from the quarries at Aswan is recorded in inscriptions there, while their actual transport butt-ended on low rafts calculated to be over 300 ft (100 m) long and 100 ft (30 m) wide, is represented in reliefs at the Deir el-Bahari temple a second pair was cut later at Aswan and erected at Karnak under the direction of Senenmut's colleague, Amunhotep; one of them still stands in the temple.
The queen did not, however, build only to the greater glory of Amon at Thebes: there are many records of her restoring temples in areas of Middle Egypt that had been left devastated under the Hyksos.
While Hatshepsut is not known for her military prowess, her reign is noted for its trading expeditions, particularly to the land of Punt (proba­bly northern Somalia or Djibouti) - a record of which is carved on the walls of her temple. It shows the envoys setting off down the Red Sea (with fish accurately depicted in the water) and later their arrival in Punt, where they exchange goods and acquire the fragrant incense trees. Other trading and explorative excursions were mounted to the turquoise mines of Sinai, especially to the area of Serabit el-Khadim, where Hatshepsut's name has been recorded.

Queen Hatshepsut's tomb
Hatshepsut had her tomb dug in the Valley of the Kings (KV 20) by her vizier and High Priest of Amon, Hapuseneb. She had previously had a tomb cut for herself as queen regnant under Tuthmosis II, its entrance 220 ft (72 m) up a 350-ft (91-m) cliff face in a remote valley west of the Valley of the Kings. This was found by locals in 1916 and investi­gated by Howard Carter in rather dangerous circumstances. The tomb had never been used and still held the sandstone sarcophagus inscribed for the queen. Carter wrote: 'as a king, it was clearly necessary for her to have her tomb in The Valley like all other kings - as a matter of fact I found it there myself in 1903 - and the present tomb was abandoned. She would have been better advised to hold to her original plan. In this secret spot her mummy would have had a reasonable chance of avoiding disturbance: in The Valley it had none. A king she would be, and a king's fate she shared.'
Hatshepsut's second tomb was located at the foot of the cliffs in the eastern corner of the Valley of the Kings. The original intention seems to have been for a passage to be driven through the rock to locate the burial chamber under the sanctuary of the queen's temple on the other side of the cliffs. In the event, bad rock was struck and the tomb's plan takes a great U-turn back on itself to a burial chamber that contained two yellow quartzite sarcophagi, one inscribed for Tuthmosis I and the other for Hatshepsut as king (p. 101). The queen's mummy has never been identified, although it has been suggested that a female mummy rediscovered in 1991 in KV 21 (the tomb of Hatshepsut's nurse) might have been her body. 
Hatshepsut died in about 1483 BC. Some suggest that Tuthmosis III, kept so long in waiting, may have had a hand in her death. Certainly he hated her enough to destroy many of the queen's monuments and those of her closest adherents. Perhaps the greatest posthumous humiliation she was to suffer, however, was to be omitted from the carved king lists: her reign was too disgraceful an episode to be recorded.

Check The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in details


Chronicles of the Pharaohs

If you want to learn more about the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, you will love the book Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (The Chronicles Series)


This book tells you the complete story of ancient Egypt through its pharaohs' lives. You will not only learn about the famous pharaohs, but you will also meet infamous pharaohs, maybe for the first time.

Purchase your copy from Amazon and write a review about it here for other visitors, please.
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