Queen Hatshepsut

1 January 2017

The forerunner of such great figures as Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, and Elizabeth I, Queen Hatshepsut earned her place as one of the greatest women recorded in history. Going against all conventions of her era many still believe she was one of the most influential pharaohs of all time. Mystery has it that no one has been able to find any true remnants of the notable queen, but after many years of searching, some historians believe they have discovered the answers as to why. Daughter of Thutmose I, and royal wife of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut was proclaimed from birth to be the heir of “Upper and Lower Egypt. Upon the death of her husband she announced herself as Pharaoh of Egypt denying the old king’s son, her nephew, his rightful inheritance. The new queen supported her actions by stating that she had been chosen by the god Amun-Ra who called upon her, “My sweet daughter, Welcome. ” Historians believe Hatshepsut began her twenty-two year reign in 1479 BC. The situation did not come unprecedented, although it was uncommon for Egypt to be ruled by a woman. At the height of her reign Queen Hatshepsut brought great wealth and power to Egypt restoring once severed trade agreements and multiple building projects.

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Her most famous including twin Obelisks, the two tallest structures in the world at the time, erected at the entrance of her temple were among her many accomplishments. Eventually her stepson/nephew, Thutmose III, grew into a young man and upon her death became her successor. There has been great mystery left as to what happened to the remnants of Queen Hatshepsut. Historians believe that she was buried alongside her father in a tomb constructed during her dynasty. Egyptologists concluded that she was later removed from the tomb and placed into another next to her wet nurse.

The new King soon ordered that her name be removed from all temple walls. The buildings and statues constructed in her honor were immediately demolished and defaced by his army. Her cartouches and images destroyed leaving obvious gaps in the late queen’s artwork. Historians believe that the mystery behind Thutmose’s actions stem directly from his own dislike for his stepmother. Towards the end of his reign, Thutmose III son Amenhotep II, his soon to be successor, made one last attempt to have his father remove Hatshepsut from all historical record. He convinced him hat by doing so he could erase all female breaks in the royal Thutmose male lineage. Both theories sound plausible, but physical evidence suggests that the best answer to this mystery lies in the resentment Thutmose III held for the late Queen. Taking credit for her accomplishments in attempts to completely remove her from Egyptian history was a minor step in his master plan. In 1903 archaeologist Howard Carter, most famous for discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun, began clearing the tomb of Hatshepsut discovering numerous funerary furniture pieces, lioness thrones, game boards, and jewelry.

A mummified liver and spleen were discovered inside an ivory coffer inscribed with the queen’s name, suggesting that it could be where she had been buried. A tooth was later discovered and was found to fit the second mummy inside the tomb of the wet nurse. Historians have yet to find conclusive evidence proves that those are the remains of Queen Hatshepsut, but her reign during the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt was a prosperous one, yet mysteriously she was erased from Egyptian history. Their hope is that these artifacts and discoveries will help shed light on this mystery and on the mysterious nature of her death.

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