Her deep kohled eyes stared right back at her with an unwavering determination. She had a kingdom to rule. Not an easy feat for a woman but she knew exactly what she was doing. Picking up the pharaonic beard she gazed at it momentarily, feeling its weight, feeling the weight of her people’s expectations. With a deft hand, she attached it to her chin. She was the female pharaoh, she was one and only Hatshepsut!
Like you cannot conquer a mountain and it continues to exist beyond you, the last resting place of Hatshepsut is carved off the sun-burnt chrome cliffs of Deir el-Bahari on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings. And it is here that even after her death Hatshepsut chose to live on for she belonged to the ‘Holy of Holies.’
Stepping into the shoes of her father Tuthmose I and that of her husband Tuthmose II, Hatshepsut carried on with the legacy and legend of being a great ruler. Hatshepsut proved that the women from the ancient land of Egypt was could be equally revered and feared if they wanted to. She pushed the boundaries of pioneer women of the time.
Her rise, rule and end were all evidences of courage, passion and humility. Like every other eminent monarch of the land she made sure her final resting place was worthy of her greatness. Your adventure around the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut will make you realize like all women she was a true abyss of mystery.
Unfortunately, for a while Hatshepsut was forgotten. Consumed with jealousy Pharoah Hatshepsut’s stepson Tuthmose III took it upon himself to erase every bit of her memories after her demise. But no matter what history could not forget her forever. She gradually returned and assumed her rightful place as one of the greatest pharaohs in Egypt’s history. She came to be glorified as the female pharaoh who dressed and ruled like a man.
However, you may not realize but behind the pharaonic head scarf, the artificial beard and the starched kilt, she was only proving that she was no less pharaoh than any of her male predecessor or concurrent ruler. Hatshepsut was not hiding her feminity. She dressed not as a man but as a pharaoh whose story was meant to go down in the history as unparalleled.