Hatshepsut is one of the first symbols of feminism that we see buried deep in the sands of time. Three thousand and five hundred years ago, she ruled Egypt more successfully than many other Pharaohs, and yet her monuments were defaced, and attempts were made to obliterate her from history.
Who was this woman Pharaoh who defied tradition and strapped a false beard to her chin?
Imagine a young girl, about fourteen or fifteen, married to an aging Pharaoh, who finds herself widowed at the age of thirty and finds herself at the helm of the affairs of state – co-ruling Egypt with her two-year-old stepson. The infant pharaoh, still in his swaddling clothes would contribute little more than ear-splitting shrieks to the administration of Egypt. We see here, a capable woman, possibly ruling in the stead of a child, who is not her son.
She obviously was in a position to control the destiny of Egypt and also steer the career of the young Pharaoh, who, upon attaining majority, was promptly sent off to the Egypt-Syrian border to defend it.
Djeser Djeseru, the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut tells us a lot about this woman Pharaoh, and also introduces us to a possible paramour. Senenmut. Continue reading “Hatshepsut – in Life and in Death”