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Monday, April 26, 2010

Queen Hatshepsut

In the old city of Thebes, the capital of strong kings and rulers called Pharaohs, an unthinkable thing happened in 1515 B.C., a mere female seized the throne. She dressed as a man, built a temple and had the people honor her as Pharaoh.

Queen Hatshepsut is the only female Pharaoh to have ruled over Egypt. When her father, Pharaoh Tuthmoses I died, her younger brother, Tuthmoses II, became Pharaoh. In Ancient Egypt, the women couldn't reign but tradition had it that only the women in Egypt carried the royal blood, not the males.


(Hatchepsut built this temple to the goddess Isis, goddess of fertility. She represented herself as a male Pharaoh.)


(Below: Pharaoh presening gifts to the god Horus (with the head of a falcon.) This god guided the dead to the afterlife in the boat of death. The colors are still
great after 3500 years and were made with egg white.
To become Pharaoh, the man had to marry a female of royal blood, often a sister. Tuthmoses II married Hatshepsut, gave her a daughter, and died young. His son by another wife, Tuthmoses III, was still a child.

Hatshepsut became regent. They ruled together for a number of years until she proclaimed herself Pharaoh, something almost unheard of, despite the higher status of women in Egypt compared to women in other cultures at the time.
Before Hatshepsut, there were queens who had ruled Egypt... but not a female Pharaoh.
(Here Hatshepsut dressed as a male Pharaoh).
She managed to rule for about twenty years, before disappearing from history... coinciding with Thuthmose III's becoming Pharaoh in his own right. He erased her name from all the scriptures.

Later, the Christian monks built the monastery of Deir El Bahari, next to Hatshepsut's Temple.


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25 comments:

Cornelia said...

Those are incredible photos. Thanks so much for posting this and sharing your trip to Egypt with us.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Wonderful photos. Sounds as though you had a fascinating trip. The city of Petra in Jordan you mentioned a few days ago interests me. A shame it rained on your visit there. I'm sure I've seen the facad of Petra in a film, maybe one of the Indiana Jones films.

Mona Risk said...

Cornehelia, there will be more pictures in the coming days as we travel together the Valley of the Nile and Upper Egypt/

Mona Risk said...

Helen, Indiana Jones III was filmed there.

P.L. Parker said...

I am so jealous. Seeing all the ancient history of Egypt is such a dream. Can't wait to see more. I will have to live vicariously on your photographs. Wonderful post.

Molly Daniels said...

Awesome photos and history!

Eleanor Sullo said...

Mona, Your Queen Hatsheput reminds me of the only recorded female pope in history, Pope Joanna. While the official church rebuts the argument, current research and the excellent book "Pope Joan" by scholar and author Donna Woolfolk Cross makes an excellent case for this female pope of the 6th century.
Cross' well-documented story is now a movie and its US premiere at the Kennedy Center a couple of months ago was a sellout. Watch for it soon.
And thanks for the taste of Egyptian history and gorgeous photos.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

So cool, Mona. I never seen to tire hearing and learning about the history of Egypt. Look forward to your next segment.

Mona Risk said...

PL, I will have many more pictures and stories/. Believe they get better and better. From the Temple of Louxor to that of Karnak, the Temple of kom Ombo, and the Island of Phillae with the Temple of Isis, and then...

Mona Risk said...

Eleanor. no kidding, there was a woman pope, and we never heard about her!!! I have to see that movie.

Mona Risk said...

Paisley, so glad you stopped by.

Tiffany Green said...

Another great post, Mona! I love reading about women in power. There's something inspiring about that. I hope you have lots more of Egypt and/or the Holy Land to share!

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

What an interesting story. I'd never heard of this one. You photos are great. Going to have to check out all of them!

Mona Risk said...

Tiiffany I have enough pictures to inspire several parnormal books. LOL

Mona Risk said...

Glad to have you here Scarlett.

Adam said...

Ouch! A female Pharaoh on a page and all commenters are women so far! Makes it hard for a man to post something lol.
Anyway, I loved your post for real, and one thing to add which was obviously easy to recognize, is that Hatshepsut always put a beard!
Great woman she was!

Adam, Temple of Hatshepsut

liana laverentz said...

Mona, I want to be you in my next life. You get to go to the most interesting places!

Maggie Toussaint said...

very cool pics and info, Mona. I'd be pharoh if I could.

Mona Risk said...

Adam, welcome to my blog. Have you visited Egypt or do you live there? Come back for more, not on queens with bear, but on powerful goddess such as Isis.

Mona Risk said...

Liana, you are cute. Being me is not interesting at all. Except for the traveling and my books, my life is simple but I enjoy every minute of it.

Mona Risk said...

Maggie, careful many pharaos died young, killed by the next in line, although Ramses II reigned for 67 years and had 62 wives. One wonders when did he find time for 67 bickering women!!

Mary Ricksen said...

Gosh I love your pictures and insight!!

StephB said...

Awesome story, Mona! Great pics. So Vivid! Thanks so much for sharing Queen Hatshepsut's story. It's very interesting

Smiles
Steph

Cate Masters said...

Loved this, Mona. I've always wanted to go to Egypt. I saw the recent articles about Hatsheput, very intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Travel Jakarta Bandung said...

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Thanks a lot
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