In today’s era, both in Africa and around the world, the role of women across differing cultures show a variety of similarities and differences. Many countries around the world have embraced women’s equalities, while others have not. As we look to the region of the Nile, we look to Egypt. Today, Egyptian women may hold different roles or they might be similar as compared to other cultures. When we look back into the ancient times of Egypt, we might be surprised that the roles of women were quite different when compared to other cultures of that time. “When Herodotus visited ancient Egypt and the end of the dynastic period, he was intrigued never before seeing women appearing to be free as their men folk” (Tyldesley 1994). From the most commonly known Cleopatra, to Queen Hapshepsut, women have played significant roles in Ancient Egypt. Four queens are recorded as having ruled in their own right (Hawass). It was the most famous female pharaoh Hapshepsut and her reign that spanned one of Egypt’s most prosperous periods (Williams). Women held titles suggesting responsibility and independence. Many of these women also owned land and held secular positions (Ikram). Increasing evidence confirms through textual and archaeological findings that the feminine element was vital to the survival of the king (Tyldesley 2006).
For the purpose of this paper, I will elaborate briefly of the political history of women in ancient Egypt, but specifically focus on Queen Hapshepsut and her reign. Through a chronological journey, I will discuss how she became Queen regent, provide evidence to her significant political influence on Egypt during her reign, and explore her adversity during that time leading to her unfortunate and mysterious...
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...cle of the Queens of Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006. Print.
Tyldesley, Joyce A. Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt. London: Penguin, 1994. Print.
Williams, Malayna “ Women, Egyptian.” In the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship and Sexuality Through History: The Ancient World. Westport: Greenwood, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 25 March 2014.
Note: Special thanks to Google Images for quality digital images for this study. All pictures depicted in this study are available within the books listed in this bibliography. Due to size of pictures small or large from works cited, the use of a scanner was foregone to increase quality of presentation. For more info and additional pictures relating to this study:
Keywords: Hapshepsut, Hapshepsut Temple, Hapshepsut Obelisks, and Hapshepsut Metropolitan Museum of Art
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