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the pharaoh of Ancient Egypt :Hatshepsut from Queen to king

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the history of queen hatshepsut from a queen to king in summary

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the pharaoh of Ancient Egypt :Hatshepsut from Queen to king

  2. 2. INTRODUCTION It is difficult to fully understand the role of women in ancient Egyptian society because the understandings of the society and government are still incomplete. Egyptians treated women very well, compared to other ancient civilizations. Some of the different rights in Pharonic Egypt, where women were the legal equals of men. They were not denied any rights in accordance of the law because of their gender. Women, like men, could own property, coming into it either through inheritance, as a payment for goods or services, or through purchase. Women could buy houses and goods, and with them, they were allowed to do as they chose. Being landholders and people of property afforded ancient Egyptian women a reasonable amount of social freedom. They could travel about freely in towns without veiled faces. In their own homes, women could move about as they pleased, they were not forced to remain in one section of the house or forbidden from other common areas as they were in other societies of the time. Women could initiate legal proceedings, and they were responsible for their own actions. They could be the executors of wills and even sign their own marriage contracts. A woman could even be the witness for a signed business transaction. In today’s era, both in Africa and around the world, the role of women across differing cultures show a variety of similarities and differences. Many countries around Statue of Hatshepsut on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  3. 3. the world have embraced women’s equalities, while others have not. As we look to the region of the Nile, we look to Egypt. Today, Egyptian women may hold different roles or they might be similar as compared to other cultures. When we look back into the ancient times of Egypt, we might be surprised that the roles of women were quite different when compared to other cultures of that time. She was one of the most controversial rulers of ancient Egyptian history. The discovery in 2007 of her remains and tomb creating more questions than answers. From her glorious reign of Egyptian prosperity and consequence, to her mysterious death and attempts to erode her from history and make her legacy inconsequential, Hatshepsut rose above and now is considered to be “most important find in the Valley of the Kings since the discovery of King Tutankhamen. Although she is sometimes cited as the first female ruler of Egypt, or the only one, there were women who reigned before her such as Merneith (3000 BCE) in the Early Dynastic Period (probably as regent) and Sobeknefru (1807-1802 BCE) in the Middle Kingdom and Twosret (1191-1190 BCE) after her toward the end of the 19th Dynasty. Hatshepsut, though not the first or last, is undoubtedly the best known female ruler of ancient Egypt after Cleopatra VII (69-30 BCE) and one of the most successful monarchs in Egyptian history. Egyptian women portrait Cleopatra VII
  4. 4. For the purpose of this paper, I will elaborate briefly of the political history of women in ancient Egypt, but specifically focus on Queen Hapshepsut and her reign. Through a chronological journey, I will discuss how she became Queen regent, provide evidence to her significant political influence on Egypt during her reign, and explore her adversity during that time leading to her unfortunate and mysterious end. Throughout the 3000-year history of Egypt, everyone - whether they were commoner or king, were expected to marry. “Girls were raised to be, first and foremost, good wives and mothers. A man without a wife was seen as immature and incomplete .” Women in ancient Egypt were free and able to proceed in life much like their male counterparts. As Herodotus found in his travels, women were free as men folk . Egypt seemed to be ahead of its times in many ways. Not only were they profoundly advanced in technology, but unknowingly advanced in equality. Women’s rights included were but not limited to: owning property, executing a will, adopting children, and initiate a lawsuit. On the other hand, women seemed to have been second place to man, undertaking duties within the household while man was outside the home . In a male dominated Ancient Egypt there were at times a female ruler. It was at these times a woman would change her traditional roles from queen to queen regent. Typically, the royal women would be second to the king and support him and bear children to carry the “royal blood” and pass on the lineage. On the other hand, when placed into power by death of a king with no rightful heir, the queen would assume the roles of the king as
  5. 5. queen regent. This happened 4 times in the history of Egypt. Queen Nitokerty in the 6th Dynasty, Queen Soberkneferu in the 12th Dynasty, Queen Hapshepsut in the 18th Dynasty, and lastly, Queen Tausret in the 19th Dynasty. There is one other Queen Khentkaus from the 4th Dynasty, but there is limited information or evidence of her reign . Other research shows possible evidence of seven total queens but due to lack of evidence will not be supported or discussed in this research. Of the Queens mentioned, there is one that stands apart far from the others – Queen Hapshepsut. WHO WAS SHE AND HOW DID SHE COME TO BE QUEEN OF EGYPT? In the 18th Dynasty, Hapshepsuts’ father, King Thutmose, was a strong ruler and conqueror of Egypt . He had many military achievements ranging from: extending the borders from the Euphrates to Nubia and killing the Nubian king. These were the furthest conquests of any king. He also completed significant building projects in the temple of Karnak. He was also the first to be buried in the Valley of the Kings. Hapshepsut was one of four children to survive before Thutmose’s eventual death. We shall ponder the thought of young Hapshepsut growing up in a great temple within the realm of a successful Egypt. A royal family at this time was very rich. There were luxurious accommodations, great food and clothing, not to mention exotic jewelry. This was the Temple of karnak A stone head, most likely depicting Thutmose I, at the British Museum
  6. 6. The Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock cut tombs were excavated for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. wealth of Egypt. What sort of upbringing did Hapshepsut have. Who were her role models and what goals were given to her? When Thutmose I died, he had a son, Thutmose II. Thutmose II was born from a secondary wife not of royal blood. Thutmose II served 13 years and married his half sister Hapshepsut. Thutmose III was son of Thutmose II, yet again born to a second wife and not of royal blood. Hapshepsut was the only living child by blood and Thutmose III was not old enough to be king. Thus Hapshepsut was stepmother to the young Thutmose III and became queen regent until he became of age in 1479 BC. Queen Hapshepsut was regent for a period of 7 years . While confusing it was not out of the ordinary for kings to have multiple wives and from the same family. Obviously, being a queen regent was not a goal of hers in a land where man was king; yet perhaps coming to power might have enticed her desire to retain the title. During her reign as Queen Regent she sanctioned various constructions such as statues, temples, and obelisks. Her most prestigious was the Royal Temple of Deir El-Bahari . Queen Hapshepsut built the mortuary temple for herself . The great pyramids of Egypt were grand and built with defense in mind while the Temple of Deir El-Bahari was an open floor plan with great technological and architectural advancement. She additionally, much like her predecessors, had many statues built in her likeness. This was not uncommon for pharaohs to build statues and tell their stories and histories in the form of hieroglyphs on the walls of their temples. She also sanctioned the construction of Relief of Thutmose II in Karnak Temple complex.
  7. 7. Deir el-Bahari or Dayr al-Bahri complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt. This is a part of the Theban Necropolis. three obelisks. Today, only one still stands in the Temple of Karnak. The second has fallen and is on display while the third is still in its quarry incomplete. Hapshepsut also sanctioned The Red Chapel in Karnak, which shows writings on the wall that she built these obelisks to present to the god Amun . The third obelisk measuring 42 meters long and weighing approximately 1200 tons cracked during construction and was left unfinished (The Unfinished Obelisk). It is said that a king’s success is measured by his wealth and constructions within Egypt (Hapshepsut). There is no doubt the size and grandeur of Hapshepsuts’ endeavors show that she was successful politically as a leader in the economy in Egypt and accepted by her peoples. It would seem that her political stance was to restore and rebuild Egypt. Her constructions in Egypt were not her only political strength. She also built her trade relationships. After a foreign occupation, there were difficulties with trade routes. She sanctioned an expedition to the land of Punt. Now believed to be known as Ethiopia, this was the furthest any ruler of Egypt had traveled to establish trade. It was her accomplishments that restored the riches of Egypt and economically gave her the ability to construct such great items. Thutmose III was growing up and there seem to be no historical conflict between him and his stepmother Hapshepsut. Thutmose III was termed the Napoleon of Egypt and they seemed to coexist together while Hapshepsut took care of everything else in Egypt. As we stated before she may have enjoyed the title of regent and the possibility as ruler of Egypt. She must have realized that as the young king grew older she would have to hand back her A Fallen obelisk of Hatshepsut - Karnak.
  8. 8. powers as regent and let him rule alone (Hawass). Could she control the young Thutmose III? Killing him would not be an option. Did Hapshepsut fear she was going to lose her title? There is no evidence, but it is within her temples and on the walls that a story is told where she was of a divine birth. Could divine birth be the answer to her problems? During reign as regent, she was given the right to attend many religious sacred meetings among elders. Perhaps she learned the value, power, and influence of religion. The walls of the temple within Deir El-Bahari depict a story that the God Amun came to her mother Queen Ahmose . Amun tells Ahmose that she has been chosen to bear his daughter the future king of Egypt. Was it under her direction to write this story on the walls to ensure acceptance? Early statues of Hapshepsut depict a feminine queen yet as time progresses we find that the statues and images on the walls of temples depict Hapshepsut taking a more masculine appearance with the most prominent feature being that of a beard. It seemed that the appearance of a male king was of importance to her. Seven years after being Queen Regent, Hapshepsut named herself King. Perhaps her experimentation in changing her appearance was to retain her title as Thutmose III came of age. Various images depict her as king but we must also state images showed her as co- king along side that of Thutmose III . She is however depicted in these images as first or along side that of Thutmose III King Hapshepsut continued her prosperous reign. She inherited great advisors but Typical depiction of Amun during the New Kingdom, with two plumes on his head, the ankh symbol and the was sceptre.
  9. 9. Hieroglyphs showing Thutmose III on the left and Hatshepsut on the right, she having the trappings of the greater role — Red Chapel, Karnak Thutmosis III statue in Luxor Museum 1479–1425 BC (18th Dynasty) Consort-Queen Ahmose and Pharaoh Thutmose I with their eldest daughter Neferukheb
  10. 10. selected Senenmut a man of low status. It is said that an advisor would work harder for their king to ensure the king remained king otherwise their job would be gone as well . The story of Senenmut is not the focus of this paper, but his relationship with Hapshepsut is important and at times mysterious. Senenmut is depicted on the walls as her most influential advisor. He also was a private tutor to her daughter Neferure. It was her education that was important because King Hapshepsut needed a Queen. It was Neferure that assumed this role handed down by Hapshepsut . Without Senenmut this may have not been possible. Senenmut seems to have more that an advisors role to Hapshepsut. A sexual image was found that depicts Hapshepsut and Senenmut possibly having a relationship . Was Senenmut Hapshepsut’s lover? While this image may be a form of ancient Egyptian gossip it only adds to the evidence that Senenmut’s burial tomb was found not far from that of the temple of Deir El-Bahari. One would believe that Hapshepsut must have approved this. DEATH & DISAPPEARANCE While Hatshepsut had been ruling the country, Tuthmose III had not been sitting quietly by watching. She gave him command of the armies of Egypt and it has been suggested that he survived her reign by proving himself useful to her as a general and, more or less, keeping out of her way.In 1457 BCE Tuthmose III led his armies to put down a rebellion from Kadesh (the famous Battle of Megiddo), a campaign possibly anticipated
  11. 11. and commissioned by Hatshepsut, and afterwards her name disappears from the historical record. Thuthmose III back-dated his reign to the death of his father and Hatshepsut's accomplishments as pharaoh were ascribed to him. When and how she died was unknown until recently. Egyptologist Zahi Hawass claimed to have located her mummy in the Cairo museum's holdings in 2006 CE. An examination of that mummy shows that she died in her fifties from an abscess following a tooth extraction. Tuthmose III went on to become a great pharoah known now as "the Napoleon of Ancient Egypt" for his brilliant military victories. Later in his reign he had all evidence of his step-mother erased from monuments and all evidence of her reign destroyed. Senenmut and Neferu-Ra had both died long before and there was no one at court, it seems, who had the power or inclination to change this policy. The wreckage of some of these works was dumped near her temple at Deir el-Bahri and excavations brought her name to light along with the inscriptions inside the temple which Champollion was so mystified by. Although there have been many theories over the years as to why Tuthmose III tried to blot Hatshepsut's name from history, the most likely reason was that her reign had been unconventional and departed from tradition. King Hapshepsut’s reign ended in 1458 BC. It was at that time that Thutmose III was sole ruler of Egypt. Hapshepsuts’ body was not buried in the tomb she built for herself. Where did she go? There is no evidence or reason pertaining to her death. Was she killed, or did she die of natural causes? While we may never know, it is interesting that it
  12. 12. seems that it was nearly 20 years after Thutmose III assumed sole reign, that statues and images of Hapshepsut on the walls were changed. Statues outside her temple were beheaded and the hieroglyphs were etched clear of presence. As if she were erased from history, we ponder the thoughts of why the images of her were removed. Did Thutmose III request her removal? Was he upset with her all this time? Was he influenced by others to support the idea of a male ruler of Egypt? We shall never now, but whatever the case, these changes were not made until some 20 years later. Archaeological evidence from 2006 found nine gold cartouches with Thutmose and Hapshepsut names on them. These cartouches may reveal additional information regarding Thutmose III and his son Amenhotep II and their attempts to remove her from history (Mensan). Today, we have recently found her remains. It is revealed that she had bad teeth and died of cancer. Further, her name was erased from her monuments following her death which strongly suggests that someone, most likely Thutmose III, wanted to remove all evidence of her from history. Later scribes never mention her and her many temples and monuments were often claimed to be the works of later pharaohs. Her existence only came to light fairly recently in history when the orientalist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832 CE), most famous for deciphering the Rosetta Stone, found he could not reconcile hieroglyphics indicating a female ruler with statuary obviously depicting a male. These hieroglyphics were found in the inner chambers of Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el- Bahri; all public recognition of her had been erased. The image of Hatshepsut has been deliberately chipped away and removed - Ancient Egyptian wing of the Royal Ontario Museum
  13. 13. Since the Egyptians believed that erasing one's name from history hampered one's afterlife, it is believed that whoever removed her from public knowledge did not wish her ill after death and so preserved her name in more secluded areas. It has also been suggested that her name was simply overlooked in some places out of the public eye. Hatshepsut's building projects were numerous, after all, and it is certainly possible that those responsible for blotting her name out simply missed some. Efforts to erase Hatshepsut from memory were ultimately unsuccessful, however, as she is well known today as one of the greatest pharaohs of ancient Egypt. For nearly 3000 years there was no Hapshepsut other than legend or myth. In 1922, Archaeologists then found a quarry behind her temple with thousands of fragments of statues. Many were pieced together to prove that Hapshepsut did exist and she was both a queen of Egypt in the feminine likeness as well as that of a King in a masculine form. Currently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the greatest evidence of her reign. Statues standing and sitting, a sphinx, and busts of Hapsheput lie within the museum. With all the kings in the history of Egypt, Hapshepsut’s 20-year reign is known as the most successful. It is unfortunate that we have no real evidence to tell us why there was an attempt to remove her from history. From her birth to her mysterious death,
  14. 14. Hapshepsuts’ life is impressive and mysterious. Her great temple and subsequent buildings measure her political influence on Egypt. It is obvious the economy in Egypt was rich and prolific. Did Thutmose III attempt to take credit for her accomplishments? Or was he trying to restore the manliness of Egypt. Was it he and his son alone, or was it a secret group, that was destined to remove her feminine reign from history. And what of Senenmut, was he her lover? Not only was Hapshepsut unusual being female in her reign, but also she might have had a lover, which would have been forbidden by elders and the people of Egypt. Only the kings could have a harem or concubines. While women were respected in ancient Egypt, they were respected as women in their place as mother or owner and perhaps even mother to a king. Yet when a women is king of Egypt, many may have not enjoyed her reign simply because she was not a man. The female King Hapshepsut endured many unusual challenges during her reign to overcome a male dominated Egypt. Both accepted and unaccepted from birth to her death, Hapshepsut’s story should not be forgotten, as it is perhaps the most intriguing and mysterious story in the history of Egypt. . Her reign was not the rule of a scheming, power-hungry woman but appears to be a carefully calculated period of political maneuvering which allowed an un- conventional pharaoh to become accepted on the throne. It also brought peace and prosperity to the Egyptian people that had not been experienced since the 12th dynasty and would not be Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He often is regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. Senenmut (sometimes spelled Senmut, Senemut, or Senmout) was an 18th dynasty ancient Egyptian architect and government official. His name translates literally as "mother's brother."
  15. 15. experienced again until the reign of Ramses II. Her ambitious program of public works restored most of the monuments of past pharaohs and established new temples for the glory of the gods. The benefits of these policies were to be felt up and down the Nile and, it is the work in and around Thebes, for which she is best remem-bered. The final analysis, Hatshepsut’s legacy is threefold. It impressed on her people the economic prosperity of the new regime. As absolute ruler, she had no need to pay for land, labor or materials but she did need enough money to dispense daily rations which were given in lieu of wages. Only the more affluent pharaohs could do this. Second, her domestic policies established a well-organized monarchy that could operate with the efficient bureaucracy necessary to keep order, organize and monitor foreign trade, and instigate massive building projects. Finally, it was Hatshepsut’s devotion to the god Amun, made prominent by her father and step-father, and her dedication to restoring the ancient tombs and temples, which provided the ultimate sign to her people that the kingdom was secure. It was her insistence that made had been restored and that it must be maintained that seems to have most impressed her people and which led to support from those she needed to support her. God’s Wife proved to be a faithful, submissive yet glorious partner to Amun and a great ruler of Egypt. Hatchsepsut, settled the affairs of the Two Lands by reason of her plans. Egypt was made to labour with bowed head for her, the excellent seed of the god, which came forth from him. Hatshepsut may not have been the archetypal pharaoh, but she did create a number of junctions in history; her accession, with and without Thutmose II, and her foreign policies. Her use of morale propaganda as a tool to gain political power was also a junction, along with her building and trade programs. She adopted the role of pharaoh through gender specific dress code. Hatshepsut was very controversial, especially due to the lack of evidence to justify her rule, yet she was still a great pharaoh of the 18th dynasty.
  16. 16. References • https://www.ancient.eu/hatshepsut/ • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatshepsut#.22Hatshepsut_Problem.22 • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_el-Bahari • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thutmose_II • https://www.google.com.cy/search?tbm=isch&q=king+thutmose+hatshepsut%27s+fat her&spell=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVjc- F_tjXAhUDy6QKHWUxDVEQvwUIOCgA&biw=1366&bih=613&dpr=1#imgrc=_ • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thutmose_III • http://www.history.com/news/10-little-known-facts-about-cleopatra