Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hatshepsut Found!

Well, but, I mean, she's dead.

One of the mummies discovered by Randolph Carter in 1903 is apparently that of Hatshepsut, one of Egypt's three women rulers. Hatshepsut is said to have been more powerful than either of her two, more famous, compatriots, Nefertiti or Cleopatra, and is said to have dressed like a man and affected a fake beard.

Egyptologists made the claim at a packed press conference today in Cairo, and said a DNA lab has been set up close to the site, sponsored by the Discovery Channel. Some skeptics claim it is almost impossible to get DNA from a mummy, but the most pertinent evidence is a gap in the mummy's smile which apparently matches a tooth with Hatshepsut's name engraved upon it. The mummy also had her left arm folded, as befitting a member of royalty.

Hatshepsut's temple is one of the most revered of all the ancient Egyptian sites, wildly popular with visitors, and is said to have been the largest undertaking of the ancient empire. Hatshepsut's name and image was all but obliterated after her reign and it is believed to have been the work of her stepson, who succeeded her to the throne. It has been a while since I studied anything having to do with Egyptology, but if I remember correctly, she basically usurped the throne from him, as he was too young at the time, then refused to relinquish control - but I could be wrong about that! Going by memory here.

- BBC


© C Harris Lynn, 2007-2008

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