Interesting Fact of the Day...
The Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor
I have a REALLY fascinating fact of the day for you, with an extra dose of intrigue thrown in for good measure. Grab something cold to drink and read on...
Here we are in The Valley of the Kings, in front of a temple built for one of Egypt's most important and fascinating pharaohs--Hatshepsut.
After a daring power grab, Pharoah "Hatty" ruled for more than twenty years, building great temples around Thebes and authorizing incredible trade expeditions, bringing vast treasures back to Egypt.
However, Hatshepsut's successor, step-son Thutmose III, was hell-bent on erasing Hatty from history. "Thutty the third" (not his real name) nearly succeeded, for almost every statue and painting of the bearded and muscular Pharaoh Hatty was destroyed.
The part I find most intiguing is this:
Many scholars think Pharaoh Hatshepsut, when a teen-ager, may have been the biblical Egyptian princess who rescued and adopted baby Moses from the Nile River.
Yes...Hatshepsut was female.
The much-loved daughter of Pharaoh Thutmose I, Hatshepsut became Queen of Egypt at the age of 12, after her father's death. When her husband died, the throne went to her infant step-son, "Thutty the third". (Hey...it's easier for me to keep everything straight when I give them nicknames)
So....Hatty became acting regent since the future pharaoh was just a baby. However, for reasons lost over time-- either an ambitious power grab, a political act to save the throne for her step-son, or perhaps it was to give the throne to her adopted son, Moses, we'll never really know. All we know is that Hatshepsut stepped in and declared herself Pharaoh.
She never hid the fact she was a woman. Everyone knew. But, in those days, thousand of years B.C., there was no way to portray she was a Pharaoh and not a Queen. Her statues were all made masculine as a simple way of communicating her true power and authority.
Some scholars have put together a timeline that lines ups with the biblical story in Exodus. The theory fits together nicely, right down to the destruction of her memory afterwards by her step-son, Thutmose III.
So, while in the Cairo Museum, I stared down at the mummified remains of one of the most amazing women in history, Hatshepsut, wondering if there's even more to her story than we'll ever know.
It simply astounds me.