Who Was Hatshepsut?:
Hatshepsut was the half-sister and wife of Tuthmose II (who died after only a few years on the throne). Hatshepsut's nephew and stepson, Tuthmose III, was in line for the throne of Egypt, but he was still young, and so Hatshepsut took over.
After her death, but not immediately. her name was erased and her tomb destroyed. The reasons continue to be debated.
Dates and Titles:
Hatshepsut was pharaoh or king of Egypt for about 15-20 years. The dating is uncertain. Josephus, quoting Manetho (the father of Egyptian history), says her reign lasted about 22 years. Before becoming pharaoh, Hatshepsut had been Thutmose II's main or Great Royal Wife. She had not produced a male heir, but he did have sons by other wives, including Thutmoses III.
- Khnemetamun Hatshepsut
Feminine or Masculine Appearance of Hatshepsut:
Hatshepsut's Athletic Skill:
Wolfgang Decker, an expert on sport among the ancient Egyptians, says that at the Sed festival, pharaohs, including Hatshepsut, made a circuit of the pyramid complex of Djoser. The pharaoh's run had 3 functions: to demonstrate the pharaoh's fitness after 30 years in power, to make a symbolic circuit of his territory, and to symbolically rejuvenate him.
[Source: Donald G. Kyle. Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World]
It is worth noting that the mummified body, thought to be that of the female pharaoh, was middle aged and obese.
Deir El-bahri (deir El Bahari):
- Chronicle of the Pharaohs, by Peter A. Clayton; Thames & Hudson: 1994.
- Silent Images: Women in Pharanoic Egypt, by Zahi Hawass
Sometime after Hatshepsut's death, all temple references to her were chiseled off. For more information on this temple, see Archaeology Guide Kris Hirst's The Cache at Deir el-Bahri - Hatshepsut's Palace in Egypt.
In the Valley of the Kings is a tomb, called KV60, that Howard Carter found in 1903. It contained 2 badly damaged mummies of women. One was of Hatshepsut's nurse, Sitre. The other was an obese middle-aged woman about 5'1 tall with her left arm across her chest in a "royal" position. Evisceration had been performed through her pelvic floor instead of the normal side cut -- because of her obesity. Sitre's mummy was removed in 1906, but the obese mummy was left. American Egyptologist Donald P. Ryan rediscovered the tomb in 1989.
It has been suggested that this mummy is that of Hatshepsut and that it was removed to this tomb from KV20 either following a robbery or to protect her from the attempted obliteration of her memory. Egypt's Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, believes a tooth in a box and other DNA evidence proves this is the body of the female pharaoh.
The cause of Hatshepsut's death, according to a New York Times article from June 27, 2007, citing Zahi Hawass, [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/world/middleeast/27mummy.html] is thought to be bone cancer. She also appears to have been diabetic, obese, with bad teeth, and about 50-years-old. The body of the pharaoh was identified by a tooth.
Main Written Source on Hatshepsut: Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh, by Joyce A. Tyldesley