10 July 2007


So, recently in the news there's been reports of a mummy being identified as Hatshepsut, the first female King of Egypt. Now, personally, this couldn't have come at a better time as my current Egyptology paper is on Hatshepsut (hee! Finally working with current info!) although I was quite amused to read the Mail's take on Hatshepsut. Specifically the retread of the whole wicked domineering stepmother who stole the throne theory. Oy vey. Darlings, that little thing is so passe now!

While you could extrapolate that from the fact that some serious work went into removing Hatshepsut from all the records - chipping her name off monuments, cutting her image off of reliefs, totally missing her off the kings lists... there are still plenty of places where evidence of her can be found (and from all I've read, the surviving evidence is all of Hatshepsut before she made herself King) suggesting that it isn't so much Hatshepsut that was being objected to, more Hatshepsut as King - something which went against all the traditions up to that point.

Not that a female couldn't rule Egypt on her own - there was a queen, Sobeknofru, who ruled solo about 500 years earlier due to there not being any male heir. But she ruled as queen, not king/pharaoh which may be why no one had the a problem with her.

The other irritating thing was the glee the Mail had in announcing that the mummy was that of a fat, bald middleaged woman. What, they were expecting maybe a mummified supermodel? Sheesh. (Mind, really not a fan of the Mail style of reporting, makes me want to hit things.)

Touregypt.com has a better short article on Hatshepsut (written before the recent discovery) and the Guardian reports the recent discovery better, but if you want to read deeper into Hatshepsut then I totally recommend Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh by Joyce Tyldesley.

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