Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hatshepsu - Woman Pharoh with a Beard!

Time for another lecture on Egyptology :p I have posted about Akhenatun, Tutankhamun and Nefertiti before and now its time for another strong woman of Egypt named Hatshepsu. She was of the earlier rulers of the 18th dynasty whereas the 3 posts I made earlier were pharohs of later 18th dynasty. She was born around 1508 B.C.

Hatshepsu is famous for the building legacy that her reign had, leader of victorious army, trade openings and her beard!

(Click here for the picture - All Pictures courtesy wikipedia)

Yes! She is depicted in statues as pharoh with a beard indicating she possessed the pharonic powers. It is very rare that a woman rules Egypt but Hatshepsu was not an ordinary woman.

When her husband Thuthmose II died, the successor would have been Thuthmose III (son from an other wife) but since he was young so Hatshepsu was made queen regnant. She ruled for some 20 years or more and her reign is considered as one of the finest that Egypt had witnessed.

She won battles against her enemies, made peace and focussed more on trading. The wealth that she earned trading was spent in the most grandeur of architectures Egypt has ever seen. The most awe-inspiring is Deir el-behri complex. It still stands at the entrance of Valley of the Kings with all its grandeur.

(Click here for the picture - All Pictures courtesy wikipedia)

She built 6 colossal obelisks (stone pillars). Only on remains at its original place. She also has a sphinx of herself which is now placed in a New York museum.

She had the master builder Senemut at her service to build these magnificient architectural pieces. Some believe that they both were lovers but all of this is shrouded in secrecy in tombs and chambers because Hatshepsu was a royal and Senemut a low Egyptian!

The identification of Hatshepsu's mummy is another fascinating story. Dr Zahi Hawas, famous Egyptologist narrates everything in the Discovery documentary on her. They had to identify Hatshepsu's mummy from amongst the 4 mummies they had with them. Quite a documentary! Must See!

She was succeeded by Thuthmose III who, quite strangely, went on a defacing spree against Hatshepsu. Egyptologist say that this was done not because of hatred or male bias rather 'removing' a certain individual from a lineage and giving strength to their own claim on regency.

Check My Other Posts on Egyptology

- Nefertiti - The Most Beautiful Woman in World
- The First Monotheist - Akhenaten
- King Tut
- Cleopatra - The Last Pharoh
- Your Name in Egyptian Hieroglyphs


M.Anees said...

I remember reading about it long back that she purposely wore a bearded Pharoah's (Pharoahs were mostly men) 'mask' if you must say, because women apparently couldn't be appointed Pharoahs. Interestingly enough, most of the general Egyptian population believed that she was actually a guy!
Ancient Egypt is the most fascinating subject of history, and therefore I appreciate your revival of such intriguing Ancient Egyptian personalities through your posts.
keep up the good work!

PostMan said...

Thank you sir!

M.Anees said...

you're welcome, although it wasn't necessary to point out but still I wanted to : I'm not a sir...I'm a madam =] hehe.
keep blogging~*

Pinky said...

hey F, buddy i need u to verify the identity of a my haste to appear knowledgeable, i declared it Queen Hatshepsut's ;)

here have a look

khud he insaaf karo,,shakkal se kitni masoom larki se lagti hai, hai na :D

PostMan said...

as if I know :p

Pinky said...

aww my friend is soo modest n down-to-earth..warna he really knows a lot abt Egyptology..
*for the benefit of eavesdroppers*