Hatshepsut. A name that is shrouded in hate and condemnation. A name that was almost written out of history by her successor, Thutmose III.
This artist impression shows Hatshepsut with a royal crown and Ankh in hand.
But why was her name scraped off of monuments and why were her statues pulverised into dust?
She was daughter to King Tuthmose I and became queen of Egypt when she married her half brother, Thutmose II. She was 12.
When Thutmose II died, she acted as regent to her stepson and future successor, Thutmose III.
Still with me?
Thutmose III was only around 2 years old when he ascended to the throne so Hatshepsut essentially ruled in his stead until he became old enough to co-rule with her.
Now, this may be where Thutmose’s eventual hatred for Hatshepsut came from. Once he was old enough to rule, Hatshepsut didn’t relent and hand the reigns to him. Even though their rule was supposed to be a co-regency, the real power lay with her.
Hatshepsut died when she was approaching middle age. Thutmose III then took full power over Egypt. It seems that during his reign he was quite happy with Hatshepsut’s various achievements and beautiful monuments.
But as his reign came to an end, he got cold feet.
He issued a widespread order to remove her name from history, to destroy her monuments and temples, to erase her from pharaonic lists and to essentially delete her from existence.
In my opinion, Thutmose III, at his core, was simply embarrassed and ashamed that his success was due largely to his predecessor - a woman.
So he tried to destroy her memory. Thankfully though, she survived the chaos.