By request: Hatshepsut, New Kingdom

By request: Hatshepsut, New Kingdom
Ancient Egypt was not a stranger to female rulers: Merneith, Hetepheres, (Ahmose-Nefertari), Sobekneferu, Twosret, Nefertiti and Cleopatra VII.
Hatshepsut remains a fascinating figure possibly because she took on so much of the roles, responsibilities and iconographies of a traditional ruler in conservative ancient Egypt. Not only did she take on the rulership, but her monuments demonstrate that her rule was a successful one.
One of the issues we have as Egyptologists is the lack of personal information about the kings and queens of Egypt. While some information was recorded, it is never truly personal, the individual views of rulers are unknown to us. What remains is royal propaganda, formulaic texts and monumental inscriptions recording great deeds that were designed to prove the ruler was abiding by the expectations of their office.
In the many beautifully decorated royal tombs of Egypt, there is no information about the ruler as an individual. The texts therein are utilitarian, magico-religious texts designed to ensure the safe resurrection of the ruler and their joining with the gods.
Because of this, any concepts or judgements we might form have to be based on other evidence and the conclusions and assumptions we can draw from them. A study of the history of archaeology will quickly illustrate how flawed these conclusions can be when coupled with ethnocentrism.
Far from being the "wicked stepmother" as some in the past had interpreted her, as Tyldesley (2011) notes:
"It is too simplistic to condemn her as a ruthless power-seeker. She could not have succeeded without the backing of Egypt's elite, the men who effectively ruled Egypt on behalf of the king, so they at least must have recognised some merit in her case. Her treatment of Tuthmosis is instructive. While the boy-king lived he was a permanent threat to her reign yet, while an 'accidental' death would have been easy to arrange, she took no steps to remove him. Indeed, seemingly oblivious to the dangers of a coup, she had him trained as a soldier."
Click the image to read an interesting discussion of Hatshepsut's rule. There is a very useful reading list at the end. If you are interested in Hatshepsut in particular then Tyldesley's book is a great place to start your research:

Tyldesley, J.A. (1996) Hatshepsut: The Female Pharaoh


  1. Yes it was common, but not every ruler is raised with the notion of neglect by their step mother who according to some people in Thothmoses' life took everything he was destined to. However, I do agree with you, Thothmoses III is reported to have been more of an effecient ruler than his father especially in Military. The vandalism to Hatshepsu's legacy wasn't a statement of defiance merely by noblemen but of the common people as well.

    With regards to the impact on Egyptology by Victorian values, there is much evidence which needs to be re-examined through a new lense, and I don't mean simply with contextualized eyes to the subject, but through cultural and religious views which were essential factors of the prosperity of Egyptian society.

  2. Dolly Mohamed doddy Thank you its good to know and explore more..great day


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