In Search of the Pharaoh's Daughter - IX

Temple of the King Hatshepsut in The Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt (LEO Design)


Hatshepsut (1507-1458 BC) had real Girl Power.  She was the daughter of Pharaoh Thutmose I, married her half-brother, King Thutmosis II, and served as his queen.  When the king died, Hatshepsut's stepson, Thutmose III, was crowned Pharaoh at the age of two. Hatshepsut served as Queen Regent to her stepson, ruling in his stead. That, however, didn't suit Hatshepsut's ambition, ability and power.  She crowned herself King and began portraying herself with all the male titles, dress and appurtenances that came with the masculine office.  Hatshepsut built many important monuments during her reign including the Temple of Karnak and her own impressive mortuary temple, shown above.


Hatshepsut as King Stands Guard Before Her Mortuary Temple in the Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt (LEO Design)


Hatshepsut insisted in being portrayed as a man (as seen in her sculpture as pharaoh, above).  After all, she was a woman serving a role usually played by a man.  She could afford no chances of appearing weak or lacking in resolve.  She had many adversaries—people who did not want to see her in-charge.  Many of her successors (including the powerful King Rameses II), attempted to eliminate her name from the pharaonic record and destroy any evidence of her kingship (by desecrating her monuments, sculpture, and wall paintings).


A Sphinx Stands Guard Outside the Mortuary Temple of King Hatshepsut, Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt (LEO Design)


But she was a strong and effective king, ruling Egypt through fairly peaceful years.  Shown above, a sculpted sphinx guards the entryway to her tomb.  Her temple is a masterpiece of ancient architecture and theatre.  It consists of three tiered levels, set into the base of a massive limestone cliff.  It looks so Modernist—nearly Thirties Fascist—that it's hard to believe that it is 3,500 years old.


Plaque on Queen Nefertari's Tomb Acknowledging the Discovery by Italian Archaeologists & Egyptologists (LEO Design)


A more traditional queen is buried nearby, "The Most Beautiful of Them All," Queen Nefertari (died 1255 BC).  She was the favorite wife (of five) of the Great Pharaoh Rameses II (1303-1213 BC).  He adored her and pulled-out all the stops to give her a glorious send-off. He insisted she be presented as a goddess, deification.  Her tomb, which had been raided in antiquity, was rediscovered by an Italian archaeological team in 1904.


Horus Leads Queen Nefartari Towards the Afterlife in this Wall Painting in Her Tomb, Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt (LEO Design)


Though the queen's sarcophagus had been destroyed, the glorious paintings were intact—and remain incredible to this day.  Shown above, the god Horus leads Nefertari to the Afterlife.  He is wearing the pharaonic double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt (as her husband, Pharaoh Rameses II would have).  She is wearing the vulture headdress and the double plumed Shuti adornment.


The God Osiris and Pharaoh Rameses II, Husband of Nefertari, Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt (LEO Design)


In the photo above the God Osiris sits with the grieving husband, King Rameses II, shown wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.


Anubis, God of the Embalming and Funerary Arts, Painted in the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt (LEO Design)


Anubis, the jackal, is the god of embalming, mummification and the other funerary arts. He appears in Nefertari's tomb as well, to ensure everything goes smoothly for Rameses II's beloved wife. 


Wall Painting in the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt (LEO Design)


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We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

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