Life of Hatshepsut (1479-1457BC)

(1479 – 1457 BC)

Queen Hatshepsut Hatshepsut (left) was the first great in recorded : the forerunner of such figures as Cleopatra, Catherine and Elizabeth I.

Her rise to power went against all the conventions of her time. She was the first wife and Queen of Thutmose II and on his death proclaimed herself Pharaoh, denying king’s son, her nephew, his inheritance. To support her cause she claimed the Amun-Ra spoke, saying “welcome my sweet daughter, my favourite, the king of Upper and Lower , Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the King, taking possession of the Two Lands.” She dressed as a king, even wearing a false beard and the seem to have accepted this unprecedented behaviour.

Queen Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el BahriShe remained in power for twenty years and this time the Egyptian flourished, she expanded trading relations and built magnificent temples as well as restoring many others. Eventually her nephew grew into a and took his rightful place as pharaoh. The circumstances of this event are unknown and what became of Hatshepsut is a mystery.

Hatshepsut’s successor became the greatest of all Pharaohs, Thutmose III, “the Napoleon of .” He had her name cut away the temple walls which suggests he was not overly fond of his auntie. But the fact that she was able to contain the ambitions of this charismatic and wily fellow for so many years, hints at the qualities of her character.

Queen Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el Bahri Inside the temple

(above) Inside the temple

Parade - etching

(above) Parade’ and ‘The Army’ are etchings made from drawings done at Deir el Bahri. ‘The Army’ represents a trading expedition to the Land of Punt (thought to be somewhere on the coast of Somalia) and shows Nehsi the Nubian general.

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