Queen Hatshepsut was once the most powerful person in ancient Egypt. However, in the years after her reign, rulers attempted to remove her from their history. Now, archeologists believe they might have stumbled across some rare relics of hers that show more evidence of her reign.
Researchers from the German Archaeological Institute discovered carved blocks that might once have belonged to an unknown building during Hatshepsut’s reign on the Island of Elephantine in the River Nile. Although most of the blocks are thought to be long destroyed, the remaining few that archeologists found appear to have been altered in a bid to remove the memory of the late, great Queen.
Ruling between 1478 BCE and 1458 BCE, Hatshepsut was called “the first great woman of history of whom we are informed” by renowned Egyptologist James Henry Breasted. Later in her reign, she donned a false beard and took up the persona of a male pharaoh. But despite being a prominent figure in the ancient world, one of the blocks shows that her name has been etched out and another shows her image as a female replaced by a different king.
Experts think the culprit was her bitter, resentful, and envious stepson, Thutmosis III. When he finally ascended the throne in 1458 BCE, he led a widespread destruction of any traces of her, including many of her monuments. Finding these carved blocks, which appear to have originally shown her as a woman, has therefore come as a great treat to the archeologists.
The original representation, highlighted in red, appears to show a female pharoah, according to the researchers. The image on the stone has. been changed to depict a male king instead. Image credit: German Archaeological Institute