Mummy Of Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut Found
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, sent out this announcement:
"On Wednesday (27/6/2007) at 11:00 a.m Culture Minster Farouk Housni and Dr. Zahi Hawass Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) will hold an International Conference at the Egyptian Museum in Tarir in Room 43 to announce the Identification of Hatshepsut's mummy .
Please come to attend the event at 10:00 am. at the Egyptian Museum in order to fix cameras and TV crews."
This is being called the most important discovery in the Valley of the Kings since King Tutankhamun.
Egyptologists have speculated for years that one of the mummies in a 1903 find was that of Queen Hatshepsut, ruler from between 1503 and 1482 BC, when Egypt was at its most powerful.
Quest for the Mummy of Hatshepsut, by Zahi Hawass
Egyptian kings have magic for all of us. But even more than kings, queens --- especially the great ones like Nefertiti and Cleopatra --- capture our imaginations. It is perhaps Hatshepsut, who was both king and queen, who is the most fascinating.
We know that only four women became pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Three of these ruled at the end of dynasties, when power was slipping from the hands of the ruling houses. There was Nitokerty (Nitocris) from the end of the Old Kingdom; Sobekneferu at the end of the Middle Kingdom; and Queen Twosert, who ruled after the dynastic crisis at the end of the 19th Dynasty. In contrast, Hatshepsut ruled as a pharaoh during the golden age of Egyptian history, when Egypt ruled the East.
Recently, I was invited by Dorothea Arnold to give a lecture on Queen Hatshepsut on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition that is currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Hatshepsut, which means --- united with Amun in front of the nobles,--- was the daughter of Thuthmosis I and Queen Ahmose. She married her brother Thuthmosis II and had one daughter Neferure. She was the fifth queen of the 18th Dynasty, and had many great titles during this time. Some believe that her title "the divine wife of Amun" was her passport to becoming the pharaoh. After the death of Thutmosis II, a son of a secondary wife Isis, Thuthmosis III, became the king, with his wife and stepmother, Hatshepsut, as his regent.
After a few years as regent, Hatshepsut ascended to the throne beside her nephew, and became a full co-ruler. The concept of divine kingship in ancient Egypt has its roots in religious myth, which defined the roles of both kings and queens. Principal among these myths was the story of Isis and Osiris, in which the latter was one of the mythical divine rulers of Egypt and the former was his consort. Osiris was killed and dismembered by his brother Seth, after which Isis collected the pieces of her husband’s body and brought Horus, the son of her union with Osiris, to take revenge on his uncle Seth and take over the throne of the Two Lands. The identification of the king with the god Horus and the masculine principle of fertility, symbolized by a bull, meant that the king’s role could not adequately be fulfilled by a woman. In ancient Egypt, the king was always associated with male images, such as the bull and the falcon, while his queen was identified with the vulture goddess Nekhbet. Thus a woman, according to religious dogma, could not take the office of pharaoh.
However, the king could not rule alone, but had to have a woman as his counterpart. Without Isis, the kingship could not function; thus queenship was a counterpart and balance to kingship, with its own well-defined mythical and ritual roles. The two offices were intertwined, and mutually dependent, but fundamentally different and not interchangeable.
When Hatshepsut took the kingship, she had to create a new story of her divine birth from the god, which would be shown on her temples in order to convince the people that she was actually chosen by the god. She had herself depicted in the traditional male garments of the pharaoh, with all of the usual kingly iconography.
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