Queen consort of Egypt
c. 1493–1479 BC (disputed)
Ma'at is the Ka of Re
Joined with Amun,
Foremost of Noble Ladies
Mighty of Kas
Flourishing of years
Divine of appearance.
c. 1507 BC
1458 BC (aged 50)
KV20 (possibly re-interred in KV60)
Temple of Karnak, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Speos Artemidos
Hatshepsut (/hætˈʃɛpsʊt/; also Hatchepsut; Egyptian:
ḥ3.t-šps.wt "Foremost of Noble Ladies"; 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. (Various other women may have also ruled as pharaohs
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. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III, who had
ascended to the throne the previous year as a child of about two years
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."
Hatshepsut was the daughter and only child of
Thutmose I and his
primary wife Ahmose. Her husband
Thutmose II was the son of
Thutmose I and a secondary wife named Mutnofret, who carried the title
King's daughter and was probably a child of Ahmose I.
Thutmose II had a daughter named Neferure. After having their
Hatshepsut could not birth anymore children. Unable to have
Thutmose II fathered
Thutmose III with Iset, a secondary
2 Major accomplishments
2.2 Building projects
3 Comparison with other female rulers
3.1 Official lauding
4 Death, burial, and mummification
5 Changing recognition
5.1 Tyldesley hypothesis
5.3 Archaeological discoveries
6 In popular culture
7 See also
10 External links
Jar bearing the cartouche of Hatshepsut. Filled in with cedar resin.
Calcite, unfinished. Foundation deposit. 18th Dynasty. From Deir
el-Bahari, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
Trade with other countries was re-established; here trees transported
by ship from Punt are shown being moved ashore for planting in
Hatshepsut mortuary temple
Although contemporary records of her reign are documented in diverse
Hatshepsut was thought by early modern scholars as
only having served as a co-regent from approximately 1479 to 1458 BC,
during years seven to twenty-one of the reign previously identified as
that of Thutmose III. Today Egyptologists generally agree that
Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh.
Hatshepsut was described as having a reign of about 21 years by
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, while
Africanus stated it was twenty-two years. At this point in the
histories, 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.
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. The length of the
Tuthmosis I and Tuthmosis II, however, cannot be determined
with absolute certainty. With short reigns,
Hatshepsut would have
ascended the throne 14 years after the coronation of Tuthmosis I, her
father. Longer reigns would put her ascension 25 years after
Tuthmosis I's coronation. 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
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. 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. 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.
A tree in front of Hatshepsut's temple, claimed to have been brought
from Punt by Hatshepsut's Expedition which is depicted on the Temple
Hatshepsut established the trade networks that had been disrupted
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 roughly during Hatshepsut's
ninth year of 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. 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
Hatshepsut would grind the charred frankincense into
kohl eyeliner. This is the first recorded use of the resin.
Hatshepsut had the expedition commemorated in relief at Deir el-Bahri,
which is also famous for its realistic depiction of the Queen of the
Land of Punt, Queen Ati. The Puntite Queen is portrayed as
relatively tall and her physique was generously proportioned, with
large breasts and rolls of fat on her body. Due to the fat deposits on
her buttocks, it has sometimes been argued that she may have had
steatopygia. However, according to the pathologist Marc Armand Ruffer,
the main characteristic of a steatopygous woman is a disproportion in
size between the buttocks and thighs, which was not the case with Ati.
She instead appears to have been generally obese, a condition that was
exaggerated by excessive lordosis or curvature of the lower spine.
Hatshepsut also sent raiding expeditions to
after the Punt expedition. Very little is known about these
expeditions. Although many Egyptologists have claimed that her foreign
policy was mainly peaceful, it is possible that she led military
campaigns against Nubia and Canaan.
Djeser-Djeseru is the main building of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple
complex at Deir el-Bahri. Designed by Senemut, her vizier, the
building is an example of perfect symmetry that predates the
Parthenon, and it was the first complex built on the site she chose,
which would become the Valley of the Kings
Copper or bronze sheet bearing the name of Hatshepsut. From a
foundation deposit in "a small pit covered with a mat" found at Deir
el-Bahri, Egypt. 18th Dynasty. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian
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 any 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 Senemut. During her
reign, so much statuary was produced that almost every major museum
with Ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world has
among their collections; for instance, the
Hatshepsut Room in New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated solely to some of these
Following the tradition of most pharaohs,
Hatshepsut had monuments
constructed at the Temple of Karnak. She also restored the original
Precinct of Mut, the ancient great goddess of Egypt, at
had been ravaged by the foreign rulers during the
It later was ravaged by other pharaohs, who took one part after
another to use in their pet projects and 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 for those obelisks was the high steward
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.
She later 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 demonstrates how obelisks
Colonnaded design of
The Temple of
Pakhet was built by
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 has been translated by James P.
Allen. They had occupied Egypt and cast it into a cultural decline
that persisted until a revival brought about by her policies and
innovations. This temple was altered later and some of its inside
decorations were usurped by Seti I, in the nineteenth dynasty,
attempting 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
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
The focal point was the
Djeser-Djeseru or "the Sublime of Sublimes", a
colonnaded structure of perfect harmony nearly one thousand years
Parthenon was built.
Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of
terraces that once were graced with lush gardens.
built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it. Djeser-Djeseru
and the other buildings of Hatshepsut's
Deir el-Bahri complex are
considered to be significant advances in architecture. Another one of
her great accomplishments is the
Hatshepsut needle (also known as
the granite obelisks).
Comparison with other female rulers
Although it was uncommon for Egypt to be ruled by a woman, the
situation was not unprecedented. As a regent,
Hatshepsut was preceded
Merneith of the first dynasty, who was buried with the full honors
of a pharaoh and may have ruled in her own right.
Nimaathap of the
third dynasty may have been the dowager of Khasekhemwy, but certainly
acted as regent for her son, Djoser, and may have reigned as pharaoh
in her own right.
Nitocris may have been the last pharaoh of the
sixth dynasty. Her name is found in the
Histories of Herodotus
Histories of Herodotus and
writings of Manetho, but her historicity is uncertain. Queen
Sobekneferu of the twelfth dynasty is known to have assumed formal
power as ruler of "Upper and Lower Egypt" three centuries earlier than
Hatshepsut. Ahhotep I, lauded as a warrior queen, may have been a
regent between the reigns of two of her sons,
Kamose and Ahmose I, at
the end of the seventeenth dynasty and the beginning of Hatshepsut's
own eighteenth dynasty. Amenhotep I, also preceding
Hatshepsut in the
eighteenth dynasty, probably came to power while a young child and his
mother, Ahmose-Nefertari, is thought to have been a regent for
him. Other women whose possible reigns as pharaohs are under study
include Akhenaten's possible female co-regent/successor (usually
identified as either
Nefertiti or Meritaten) and Twosre. Among the
later, non-indigenous Egyptian dynasties, the most notable example of
another woman who became pharaoh was
Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh
of Ancient Egypt. Perhaps in an effort to ease anxiety over the
prospect of a female pharaoh,
Hatshepsut claimed a divine right to
rule based on the authority of the god Amun.
In comparison with other female pharaohs, Hatshepsut's reign was much
longer and more prosperous. She was successful in warfare early in her
reign, but generally is considered to be a pharaoh who inaugurated a
long peaceful era. She re-established international trading
relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great
wealth to Egypt. That wealth enabled
Hatshepsut to initiate building
projects that raised the calibre of Ancient Egyptian architecture to a
standard, comparable to classical architecture, that would not be
rivaled by any other culture for a thousand years. She managed to rule
for about 20 years. One of the most famous things that she did was
Hatshepsut's temple (see above).
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. 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
Large granite sphinx bearing the likeness of the pharaoh Hatshepsut,
depicted with the traditional false beard, a symbol of her pharaonic
power—Metropolitan Museum of Art
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. The existence of this last ruler is
disputed and is probably a mis-translation of a male king.
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.
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. 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.
Hatshepsut assumed all of 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. Many
existing statues alternatively show her in typically feminine attire
as well as those that depict her in the royal ceremonial attire.
Sobekneferu also combine elements of traditional
male and female iconography and, by tradition, may have served as
inspiration for these works commissioned by Hatshepsut. After this
period of transition ended, however, most formal depictions of
Hatshepsut as pharaoh showed her in the royal attire, with all of the
At her mortuary temple, in Osirian statues that regaled the
transportation of the pharaoh to the world of the dead, the symbols of
the pharaoh as the deity
Osiris were the reason for the attire and
they were much more important to be displayed traditionally, her
breasts are obscured behind her crossed arms holding the regal staffs
of the two kingdoms she ruled. This became a pointed concern among
writers who sought reasons for the generic style of the shrouded
statues and led to misinterpretations. Understanding of the religious
symbolism was required to interpret the statues correctly.
Interpretations by these early scholars varied and often, were
baseless conjectures of their own contemporary values. The possible
reasons for her breasts not being emphasized in the most formal
statues were debated among some early Egyptologists, who failed to
understand the ritual religious symbolism, to take into account the
fact that many women and goddesses portrayed in ancient Egyptian art
often lack delineation of breasts, and that the physical aspect of the
gender of pharaohs was never stressed in the art. With few exceptions,
subjects were idealized.
Osirian statues of
Hatshepsut at her tomb, one stood at each pillar of
the extensive structure, note the mummification shroud enclosing the
lower body and legs as well as the crook and flail associated with
Modern scholars, however, have theorized that by assuming the typical
symbols of pharaonic power,
Hatshepsut was asserting her claim to be
the sovereign rather than a "King's Great Wife" or queen consort. The
gender of pharaohs was never stressed in official depictions; even the
men were depicted with the highly stylized false beard associated with
their position in the society.
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 of the statues of
Hatshepsut at her tomb
follow that tradition. The promise of resurrection after death was a
tenet of the cult of Osiris. Since many statues of
in this fashion have been put on display in museums and those images
have been widely published, viewers who lack an understanding of the
religious significance of these depictions have been misled. Aside
from the face depicting Hatshepsut, these statues closely resemble
those of other kings as Osiris, following religious traditions.
Most of the official statues commissioned of
Hatshepsut show her less
symbolically and more naturally, as a woman in typical dresses of the
nobility of her day. Notably, even after assuming the formal regalia,
Hatshepsut still described herself as a beautiful woman, often as the
most beautiful of women, and although she assumed almost all of her
father's titles, she declined to take the title "The Strong Bull" (the
full title being, The Strong Bull of his Mother), which tied the
pharaoh to the goddesses Isis, the throne, and Hathor, (the cow who
gave birth to and protected the pharaohs)—by being her son sitting
on her throne—an unnecessary title for her, since
allied with the goddesses, herself, which no male pharaoh could.
Rather than the strong bull, Hatshepsut, having served as a very
successful warrior during the early portion of her reign as pharaoh,
associated herself with the lioness image of Sekhmet, the major war
deity in the Egyptian pantheon.
Religious concepts were tied into all of these symbols and titles. By
the time of Hatshepsut's reign, the merger of some aspects of these
two goddesses provided that they would both have given birth to, and
were the protectors of, the pharaohs. They became interchangeable at
Hatshepsut also traced her lineage to Mut, a primal mother
goddess of the Egyptian pantheon, which gave her another ancestor who
was a deity as well as her father and grandfathers, pharaohs who would
have become deified upon death.
Hatshepsut was depicted in official art wearing regalia of a
pharaoh, such as the false beard that male pharaohs also wore, it is
most unlikely that she ever wore such ceremonial decorations, just as
it is unlikely that the male pharaohs did. Statues such as those at
the Metropolitan Museum of Art, depicting her seated wearing a
tight-fitting dress and the nemes crown, are thought to be a more
accurate representation of how she would have presented herself at
As a notable exception, only one male pharaoh abandoned the rigid
symbolic depiction that had become the style of the most official
artwork representing the ruler,
Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten)
of the same eighteenth dynasty, whose wife, Nefertiti, also may have
ruled in her own right following the death of her husband.
The Hawk of the Pharaoh, Hatshepsut—Temple at Luxor
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
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
Khnum then lead Ahmose along to a lioness' bed where
she gives birth to Hatshepsut. Reliefs depicting each step in these
events are at
Karnak and in her mortuary temple.
Amun proclaimed that it was the will of
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.
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
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
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
Will Cuppy wrote an essay on
Hatshepsut which was
published after his death in the book The Decline and Fall of
Practically Everybody. Regarding one of her wall inscriptions, he
For a general notion of Hatshepsut's appearance at a certain stage of
her career, we are indebted to one of those wall inscriptions. It
states that "to look upon her was more beautiful than anything; her
splendor and her form were divine." Some have thought it odd that the
Pharaoh should have been so bold, fiftyish as she was. Not at
all. She was merely saying how things were about thirty-five years
back, before she had married
Thutmose II and slugged it out with
Thutmose III. "She was a maiden, beautiful and blooming", the
hieroglyphics run, and we have no reason to doubt it. Surely there is
no harm in telling the world how one looked in 1515 B.C.
Death, burial, and mummification
See also: KV20
A stone statue of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut died as she was approaching what we would consider middle
age given typical contemporary lifespans, in her twenty-second regnal
year. The precise date of Hatshepsut's death—and the time when
Thutmose III became the next pharaoh of Egypt—is considered to be
Year 22, II Peret day 10 of her reign, as recorded on a single stela
erected at Armant or January 16, 1458 BC. This information
validates the basic reliability of Manetho's kinglist records since
Hatshepsut's known accession date was I Shemu day 4 (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. 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. It also would suggest that she had arthritis and bad
Hatshepsut had begun construction of a tomb when she was the Great
Royal Wife of Thutmose II, but 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.
refurbished the burial of her father and prepared for a double
interment of both
Thutmose I and her within KV20. It is likely,
therefore, that when she died (no later than the twenty-second year of
her reign), she was interred in this tomb along with her father.
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
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.
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".
Her death has since been attributed to a carcinogenic skin lotion
found in possession of the Pharaoh, which led to her having bone
cancer. "There is a lot that speaks for this hypothesis," according to
Helmut Wiedenfeld of the University of Bonn's pharmaceutical
institute. "If you imagine that the queen had a chronic skin disease
and that she found short-term improvement from the salve, she may have
exposed herself to a great risk over the years."
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. This elimination was carried out in the most
literal way possible. Her cartouches and images were chiselled off
some stone walls, leaving very obvious Hatshepsut-shaped gaps in the
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.
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
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.
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
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
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 king.
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. 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." 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." Tyldesley
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. 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. 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. 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
Neferneferuaten (possibly), a
female co-regent or successor of Akhenaten, assumed the throne for
short reigns as pharaoh later in the New Kingdom.
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...
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. 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.
The 2006 discovery of a foundation deposit including nine golden
cartouches bearing the names of both
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
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
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,
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
offering wine to the deity
Thutmose III behind her in the
hedjet white crown, standing near
Wosret - Vatican Museum
Thutmose III on the left and
Hatshepsut on the
right, she having the trappings of the greater role — Red
A Fallen obelisk of
Hatshepsut - Karnak.
In popular culture
This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated
references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to
explain the subject's impact on popular culture rather than simply
listing appearances; add references to reliable sources if possible.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2018)
Farah Ali Abd El Bar portrayed her in the Discovery Channel
documentary, Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen.
Sarah Hadland portrayed her in the 2009 TV adaptation of Horrible
Histories (written by Terry Deary).
"The Woman Who Would Be King" by Kara Cooney, 2014
Hatshepsut is the subject of the
Tina Turner song I
Might Have Been Queen.
Hatshepsut has appeared as a fictional character in many novels. Some
of them include:
Patricia L. O'Neil - The
Her Majesty the King. New Holland Publishers (Australia). 2010.
The Horus Throne. New Holland Publishers (Australia). 2010.
The Eye of Re. New Holland Publishers (Australia). 2011.
Marek Halter: Zipporah: Wife of Moses. New York: Crown (1st US
Edition). 2005. ISBN 978-1400052790. (US)location=
Eloise Jarvis McGraw: Mara: Daughter of the Nile. New York: Puffin.
1985. ISBN 978-0140319293.
Pauline Gedge: Child of the Morning. Macmillan Company of Canada.
1977. ISBN 978-0770515201.
The Dinner Party
The Dinner Party features a place setting for
Djehuty, overseer of the treasuries under Hatshepsut's rule.
^ a b c d e "Queen Hatshepsut". Phouka. Retrieved April 13,
^ a b c Tyldesley, Hatchepsut, p. 226.
^ a b c d Wilford, John Noble (June 27, 2007). "Tooth May Have Solved
Mummy Mystery". New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2007. A single
tooth and some DNA clues appear to have solved the mystery of the lost
mummy of Hatshepsut, one of the great queens of ancient Egypt, who
reigned in the 15th century B.C.
^ "Hatshepsut". Dictionary.com. Retrieved July 27, 2007.
^ Clayton, Peter (1994). Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames &
Hudson. p. 104.
^ Wilkinson, Toby (2010). The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. London:
Bloomsbury. pp. 181, 230. ISBN 9781408810026.
^ "QUEEN HATSHEPSUT (1500 BCE)". nbufront.org.
^ Martin, G. (2012-12-23). African Political Thought. Springer.
^ Roehig, Catherine; Dreyfus, Renee; Keller, Cathleen (2015).
Hatshepsut: from Queen to Pharaoh. New York: Metropolitan Museum of
^ Dodson, Aidan; Dyan, Hilton (2004). The Complete Royal Families of
Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 130.
^ Fletcher, Joann (2013). The Search For Nefertiti. Hachette UK.
p. 156. ISBN 9781444780543.
^ Stiebing Jr., William H. (2016). Ancient Near Eastern History and
Culture. Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 9781315511160.
^ Josephus: Josephus. Against Apion. 1.1.15. , Perseus
Project Ap.1.15, . Error: link= parameter is deprecated. To
hide Josephus' name, use author-mask=0. when using Cite
^ Steindorff, George; Seele, Keith (1942). When Egypt Ruled the East.
University of Chicago. p. 53.
^ a b Grimal, Nicolas (1988). A History of Ancient Egypt. Librairie
Arthéme Fayard. p. 204.
^ Gabolde, Luc (1987), La Chronologie du règne de Tuthmosis II, ses
conséquences sur la datation des momies royales et leurs
répercutions sur l'histoire du développement de la Vallée des Rois,
SAK 14: pp. 61–87.
^ Tyldesley, Joyce (1996). Hatchepsut: The Female
ed.). Penguin Books. p. 99. ISBN 0-14-024464-6.
^ a b Tyldesley, Hatchepsut, p. 99.
^ Njoku, Raphael Chijioke (2013). The History of Somalia. ABC-CLIO.
pp. 29–31. ISBN 0313378576.
^ Isaac, Michael (2004). A Historical Atlas of Oman. The Rosen
Publishing Group. p. 14. ISBN 0823945006. Retrieved
September 5, 2014.
^ a b Joyce Tyldesley, Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh, Penguin Books,
1998 paperback, pp. 137–144.
^ Ruffer, Marc Armand (1921). Studies in the Palaeopathology of Egypt.
University of Chicago Press. p. 45. Retrieved September 5,
^ Margaret Bunson, Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, p. 161.
^ JJ Shirley: The Power of the Elite: The Officials of Hatshepsut's
Regency and Coregency, in: J. Galán, B. M. Bryan, P. F. Dorman
(eds.): Creativity and Innovation in the Reign of Hatshepsut, Studies
in Ancient Oriental Civilization 69, Chicago 2014,
ISBN 978-1-61491-024-4, p. 206.
^ Peter Tyson, The Unfinished Obelisk, NOVA online adventure, March
^ James P. Allen, "The
Speos Artemidos Inscription of Hatshepsut"
Archived 2007-04-03 at the Wayback Machine., Bulletin of the
Egyptological Seminar 16 (2002), pp. 1–17, pls.1+2.
^ Gray, Martin. "
Obelisk of Queen Hapshetsut, Karnak". Places of Peace
and Power. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
^ Christensen, Martin, K. I. (July 27, 2007). "Women in Power: BC
4500-1000". Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership. Retrieved August
^ Shaw and Nicholson, p. 28.
^ John Ray, Reflections of Osiris: Lives from
Ancient Egypt (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2002), 47.
^ a b "Hatshepsut". pbs.org.
^ Nevine El-Aref, "Back in the limelight", Al-Ahram Weekly.
^ Callender/Shaw, p. 170.
^ "Eternal Egypt". eternalegypt.org.
^ Breasted, James Henry, Ancient Records of Egypt: Historical
Documents from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest, The
University of Chicago Press, 1906, pp. 116–117.
^ Hatshepsut, Female
Pharaoh of Egypt by Caroline Seawright.
^ Will Cuppy, The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, New York:
Barnes & Noble Books, reprint 1992.
^ Tyldesley, pp. 210.
^ Joyce Tyldesley, Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt, Thames &
Hudson, 2006, p. 106.
^ James P. Allen, "The Military Campaign of Thutmose III" in
Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh, ed. Catherine Roehrig, The
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Yale University Press, 2005, p.
261. Allen writes here that the
Armant stela is considered by scholars
to mark the occasion of Thutmose III's sole reign since he uses the
epithet "Thutmose, Ruler of Maat" twice on this document for the first
time in his reign. This means he was asserting his own claim to the
administration of Egypt subsequent to that of Hatshepsut, who by then
had probably died
^ Jürgen von Beckerath, Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten.
Mainz, Philipp von Zabern. 1997, p. 189.
^ "Tooth Clinches Identification of Egyptian Queen". Reuters. June 27,
2007. Retrieved April 13, 2008.
^ Dennis C. Forbes,
Maatkare Hatshepset: The Female Pharaoh, KMT, Fall
2005, pp. 26–42.
^ Bickerstaffe, Dylan, "The Discovery of Hatshepsut's 'Throne'", KMT,
Spring 2002, pp. 71–77.
^ "Photo Gallery: Mummy of Egypt's Lost Queen Found".
^ Ed Pilkington and Mark Tran (June 27, 2007). "Tooth solves
Hatshepsut mummy mystery". The Guardian.
^ Jennie Cohen, "Did Skin Cream Kill Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut?",
History, August 19, 2011.
^ Gardiner, Alan, Egypt of the Pharaohs, Oxford University Press,
1964, p. 198.
^ Redford, p. 87.
^ Tyldesley, Hatchepsut, p. 206.
^ Tyldesley, Hatchepsut, p. 207, Tyldesley notes on p. 252 that a
detailed discussion of Senenmut's disappearance and a useful list of
other publications on this topic is given in A. R. Schulman's
1969–70 paper "Some Remarks on the Alleged 'Fall' of Senmut," JARCE
8, pp. 29–48.
^ Tyldesley, Hatchepsut, p. 225.
^ Tyldesley, Hatchepsut, pp. 225–226.
^ Champollion le Jeune, Nouvelle Edition, 1868. "Thèbes, 18 juin 1829
- Lettres écrites d'Égypte et de Nubie en 1828 et 1829".
gutenberg.org (in French). CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors
^ Bediz, David. "The Story of Hatshepsut". Archived from the original
on June 29, 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2007.
^ Mensan, Romain (Spring 2007). "Tuthmosid foundation deposits at
Karnak". Egyptian Archaeology. 30: 21.
^ Place Settings. Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved on August 6, 2015.
Brown, Chip (April 2009). "The King Herself". National Geographic:
Fairman, H. W.; B. Grdseloff (1947). "Texts of
Hatshepsut and Sethos I
inside Speos Artemidos". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 33: 12–33.
Fakhry, Ahmed (1939). "A new speos from the reign of
Thutmosis III at Beni-Hasan". Annales du Service des Antiquités de
l'Égypte. 39: 709–723.
Gardiner, Alan Henderson (1946). "Davies's copy of the great Speos
Artemidos inscription". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 32: 43–56.
Harbin, Michael A. (2005). The Promise and the Blessing: A Historical
Survey of the Old and New Testaments. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Nadig, Peter (2014). Hatschepsut. Mainz: von Zabern.
Redford, Donald B. (1967). History and
Chronology of the 18th dynasty
of Egypt: Seven studies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Shaw, Ian, ed. (2002). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford:
Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280293-3.
Tyldesley, Joyce (1996). Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh. London:
Viking. ISBN 0-670-85976-1.
Wells, Evelyn (1969). Hatshepsut.
Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Aldred, Cyril (1952). The Development of Ancient Egyptian Art from
3200 to 1315 BC. London: A. Tiranti.
Edgerton, William F. (1933). The Thutmosid Succession. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.
Gardiner, Sir Alan (1961). Egypt of the Pharaohs. Oxford: Clarendon
Hayes, William C. (1973). "Egypt: Internal Affairs from Thuthmosis I
to the Death of Amenophis III". Cambridge Ancient History: History of
the Middle East and the Aegean Region, c. 1800–1380 BC (3rd ed.).
London: Cambridge University Press.
Maspero, Gaston (1903–1906). History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria,
Babylonia, and Assyria. London: Grolier Society.
Nims, Charles F. (1965). Thebes of the Pharaohs: Pattern for Every
City. New York: Stein and Day.
Roehrig, Catharine H.; Dreyfus, Renée; Keller, Cathleen A., eds.
(2005). Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh. New York: The Metropolitan
Museum of Art. ISBN 1-58839-172-8.
Wilson, John A. (1951). The Burden of Egypt. Chicago: University of
Find more aboutHatshepsutat's sister projects
Definitions from Wiktionary
Media from Wikimedia Commons
News from Wikinews
Quotations from Wikiquote
Texts from Wikisource
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Hatshepsut - Archaeowiki.org
Mummy Of Egyptian Queen
Interactive, panoramic online view of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at
Deir el-Bahari, Egypt
Video tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art's gallery of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut - the fifth ruler of the 18th Dynasty
360° Panorama images
BBC Radio 4 In Our Time : Hatshepsut
Protodynastic to First Intermediate Period (<3150–2040 BC)
Narmer / Menes
Narmer / Menes
Merenre Nemtyemsaf I
Merenre Nemtyemsaf II
Neferkare III Neby
Neferkare IV Khendu
Neferkare V Tereru
Neferkare VI Pepiseneb
Middle Kingdom and
Second Intermediate Period
Second Intermediate Period (2040–1550 BC)
Sekhemkare Amenemhat V
Ameny Antef Amenemhet VI
Mershepsesre Ini II
New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period (1550–664 BC)
Osorkon the Elder
Late Period and Hellenistic Period (664–30 BC)
Alexander the Great
Philip III Arrhidaeus
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy III Euergetes
Ptolemy IV Philopator
Ptolemy V Epiphanes
Ptolemy VI Philometor
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator
Ptolemy VIII Euergetes
Ptolemy IX Soter
Ptolemy X Alexander I
Ptolemy XI Alexander II
Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos
Ptolemy XV Caesarion
21st to 23rd
List of pharaohs
ISNI: 0000 0000 9518 9141