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Hatshepsut, the King Herself

March 17, 2009

The cover story in the April 2009 issue of National Geographic is on Hatshepsut, a female Pharaoh from the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt.

Daughter of Thutmose I and consort of her half-brother Thutmose II, Hatshepsut assumed the role of Pharaoh and ruled Egypt for more than twenty years (c. 1479-1458 BCE) before the reign of her stepson, Thutmose III. The article covers her reign, her stepson’s deliberate attempts to erase her from history and  recent events leading to a probable identification of her mummy.

She was one of the greatest builders in one of the greatest Egyptian dynasties. She raised and renovated temples and shrines from the Sinai to Nubia. The four granite obelisks she erected at the vast temple of the great god Amun at Karnak were among the most magnificent ever constructed. She commissioned hundreds of statues of herself and left accounts in stone of her lineage, her titles, her history, both real and concocted, even her thoughts and hopes, which at times she confided with uncommon candor. Expressions of worry Hatshepsut inscribed on one of her obelisks at Karnak still resonate with an almost charming insecurity: “Now my heart turns this way and that, as I think what the people will say. Those who see my monuments in years to come, and who shall speak of what I have done.”

Read more in Chip Brown’s article, The King Herself.


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