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Hatshepsut

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Hatshepsut

Was she the archetypal wicked stepmother, an unnatural and scheming woman ?of the most virile character who would deliberately abuse a position of trust to steal the throne from a defenceless child? (Gardiner, 1961:184)? Or was she ?an experienced and well-meaning woman who ruled amicably alongside her stepson, steering her country through twenty peaceful, prosperous years who deserves to be commemorated among the great monarchs of Egypt? (Budge, 1902:I)? According to biographer and historian Joyce Tyldesley, Queen or as she would prefer to be remembered, King Hatchepsut became the female embodiment of a male role, whose reign was a carefully balanced period of internal peace, foreign exploration and monument building (Tyldesley, 1996:1). This study will show that it was Hatshepsut the Pharaoh?s devotion to the god Amen and her protection of the maat of 18th Dynasty Egypt that allowed her to forge her successful New Kingdom regime.

In about 1630 BC, a group of mixed Semitic-Asiatics called ?Hyksos? (probably Egyptian for ?rulers of foreign lands?) seized power and ruled Egypt as Pharaohs or as vassals. The Hyksos introduced the horse and chariot, the compound bow, improved battle-axes and advanced fortification techniques into Egypt. Their chief deity was the Egyptian storm and desert god, Seth. Under the Hyksos rulers Seqeneenre and Kamose the Thebans began a revolt spread northward under Kamose until, in about 1521, Avaris feel to his successor, Ahmose, founder of the 18th Dynasty (Tyldesley, 1996:24-25).

This was the beginning of ?The New Kingdom,? characterized by god-like pharaohs who left immense temples and fortresses that still stand today. Until this time, the 12th Dynasty had represented Egypt?s ...

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Clayton, Peter A. Chronicles of the Pharaohs. London: Thames and Hudson, 1994.

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Gardiner, A. Egypt of the Pharaohs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961.

Hawkes, Jacquetta. Pharaohs of Egypt. New York: American Heritage, 1965.

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Naville, E. ?Queen Hatshopsitu, Her Life and Monuments,? in T. M. Davis (eds), The Tomb of Hatshopsitu. London: University Press, 1906.

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Tyldesley, Joyce. Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh. New York: Viking, 1994.
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