The recent find of Queen Hatshepsut is intriguing.Â Undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary women in recorded history, Hatshepsut was the daughter of Pharaoh Tuthmosis I and wife of Tuthmosis II, her half-brother.
When her husband-brother died, she became regent for the boy-king Tuthmosis III, the child of Tuthmosis II and a concubine. But hieroglyphic carvings suggest that Hatshepsut didn’t put up with that state of affairs for long: Wearing the royal headdress and a false beard, she proclaimed herself pharaoh.
She reigned in 1498-1483 B.C. as the fifth pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, whose later members included Akhenaton and Tutankhamun. Under her 20-year rule, Egypt enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous time. Yet after her death, the female pharaoh was scorned, her images and inscriptions mutilated and her monuments demolished by the jealous successor Tuthmosis III.
Of her monumental construction work, only two great obelisks at Karnak and the temple at Deir al-Bahari the scene of a notorious massacre of foreign tourists in 1997 remain. Her mummy was never found, and some scholars even hypothized that Tuthmosis III may have destroyed it.
Scholars speculate that during the 21st or 22nd Dynasties, the priests moved the mummy of Hatshepsut to KV60 where she was found.
The mummy of Hatshepsut, was identified, thanks to gum disease and a tooth in a box.
Discovery Channel has the story and pix and will air “Secrets of Egypt’s Lost Queen,” on Sunday, July 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.