Hatshepsut was the second confirmed female Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. The first being Sobeknerfu.
It wasn’t exactly a struggle for Hatshepsut to claim the throne considering she was the sister, wife and daughter of previous royalty, so her blood was rich with destiny.
She is often regarded as one of the more successful pharaohs. There was a fresh helping of art and architecture during her tenure and no military campaigns to speak of, so her time as Queen was relatively peaceful.
Hatshepsut reestablished trade routes that were disrupted during the Hyksos occupation. This enabled Egypt to prosper and become richer and richer.
She used this new found wealth to build a huge array of monuments, obelisks and more. The most famous being Djeser-Djeseru at Deir el-Bahari - her beautiful mortuary temple.
It isn’t known exactly how she died but medical research of her mummy suggests that she may of been suffering from a skin disease. Which in turn was treated with a skin lotion. She may have found relief from using this salve but in the long term it could have been responsible for the bone cancer which spread throughout her body.
After she died Thutmose III ascended to the throne. He tore down her monuments and disfigured many of her beautiful statues. It’s not known why this act of damnatio memoriae took place but she was almost totally erased from the pages of history. Some of her statues and monuments survived though and luckily for us, her memory and legacy have survived so we can look back on her with praise and compassion for what she achieved.
This picture was taken during the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Inside was a splendid variety of precious goods. Tutankhamun had everything a pharaoh needed in the afterlife.
Just think - before the photographer took this picture the last people in that room lived 3344 years ago. They had just buried their pharaoh. They worshipped many gods and believed that the stars in the sky were spots of cows milk. To ancient Egyptians the smallest thing on Earth was a grain of sand. Flying was something that only birds could do, and the Sun and Moon were the eyes of Horus.
When that picture was taken in 1922, the very camera that was used to capture the moment would have been an absolute mystery to the ancient Egyptians. Wars had been fought, flying was no longer reserved for birds and it was common knowledge that there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on Earth.
An enormous expanse of time had passed since the sealing of the tomb doors by the priests to Howard Carter’s famous discovery.
It begs the question - what else is out there underneath the trembling sands?
Photo: Harry Burton.
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