Hatshepsut

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut was the only Queen, who seized the throne and let depicted herself as a man. She was the first-born daughter of Thutmose I. and the Queen Ahmose and she was already interested in royal affairs since her childhood. This interest grew even stronger after wedding with her half-brother Thutmose II. Then she took the guardianship over her step-son nephew - little Thutmose III. after death of Thutmose II.

Hatshepsut - Woman depicting the pharaoh as a (male)

Even if Hatshepsut appointed a title of co-ruler to her step-son, she cared about the state administration all alone. Her reign lasted for 22 years (approximately 1,504 - 1,482 BC) and she stimulated business and sciences flourishing during her reign. Hatshepsut organized a campaign into the mysterious Land of Punt that was likely situated on the Red Sea shore in Arabia or on the eastern shore of Africa. The Egyptians imported olibanum and perfumes from there that were used for gods worshipping.

Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri

Hatshepsut tried to continue in tradition of significant periods and she let erect two granite obelisks from a single piece of stone in Karnak, which were taller than all obelisks before. But the main building work of the Queen Hatshepsut was her own sanctuary and a chantry temple in Deir el-Bahari. The temple in Deir el-Bahari is "sticked" to a massif and partly embedded right into the rock. It extended on three terraces that lean against walls, colonnades standing on sides and they are connected together with a main ascending ramp. This unique building is work of the most inventive architect in ancient Egypt - Senenmut.

The anger of Thutmose III continually grew and he decided to destroy everything what could seemingly remind his step-mother and aunt Hatshepsut when he came to the throne. He erased her name out of royal documents, defaced statues of her, let hew away her depictions and names of her favourites as well. Also Senenmut became an object of his vengeance.

Thutmose II.

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Thutmose II.

Thutmose II. was the son of a famous and powerful king Thutmose I. and his minor wife Mutnofret. He definitely wasn't as powerful ruler as his predecessor Thutmose I. or subsequent king Thutmose III. He wasn't able to keep together the huge empire inherited after his father.

Under Thutmose II. rule there were continual revolts in the areas subjugated by Thutmose I., which had to be suppressed by the army. But these fights mostly ended with withdrawal of Egyptian soldieries.

These failures and his evident weakness Thutmose II. compensated with cruelty. A proof of his cruelty is a sign from the time of his reign that was preserved in a rock near Aswan. The sign contains an order to his soldiery in Nubia to massacre all local men except a little son of to ruler, whom he wanted to kill by himself. When Thutmose II was defeated by disaffected local kings in Asia, he let atack the soldieries to nomadic tribes that he killed off and enslaved. But Thutmose II. was frail, so he didn't take part in most crusades.

Tomb of Thutmose II.

Thutmose II. let build himself a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, but it wasn't surely identified. His mummy was found in a hideaway - the priestly kings of the 21st dynasty let transfer there all mummies of former Egyptian Pharaohs from the tombs in the Valley of the Kings to protect them from tomb raiders.

mummy of Thutmose II.

Mummy of Thutmose II.

Thutmose I.

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Thutmose I.

Ahmose I. forced the Hyksos out of Egypt and was the first Pharaoh, who got to the banks of Euphrates. His successor Amenhotep I. continued in expansionary politics of his father. But it was the next ruler, who made the dream about conquest of Asia come true - Amenhotep's son Thutmose I.

Conqueror Thutmose I.

Thutmose I. was son of Amenhotep I. and one of his minor wives. Thutmose I. was the first Pharaoh, who fought with the Kingdom of Mitanni, which became a sworn enemy of Egypt for several decades. However, both lands unified later to fight against the Hittites.

Unfortunately we don't know much about the campaigns of Thutmose I. Amenhotep I. already began with conquering the Nubian area and Thutmose I. finished it and attached Nubia to Egyptian empire. It's hard to say if Thutmose I. set out through Pelusium, Jaffa and Megiddo to the banks of Euphrates or if he preferred the way over sea and landed more to the north in harbour Byblos.

The second variant is more likely (see map), because the Egyptians had excellent relationships with Byblos. Goods passed through this town, which Egypt needed necessarily - among others renowned wood of Lebanon cedar. Also the fact, that this Asian area of Palestina was conquered by his predecessors, indicates to the "marine variant". After landing the Egyptian soldieries set out to Orontes river, which flowed to the west from ancient town Ugarit. This town was over 3 thousand years old and was situated 150 kilometers to the north from Byblos.

Thutmose I. and kingdom of Mitanni

A land lay behind Orontes unknown till that time. Thutmose I. and his army crossed over this river and fetched up in hostile territory of the Kingdom of Mitanni. People of Mitanni were fierce warriors and several collisions already occured during Egyptian army.

This area was crucial for the Pharaoh, because Thutmose I. wanted to control the caravan path that connected Byblos and Ugarit with eastern areas of Anatolia, the Near East and the Kingdom of Mitanni. The Pharaoh was successful after several incursions, he gained Naharin as known as a "land of two rivers". Assyrian Kingdom that was inaccessible so far was situated behind Euphrates. But the king of Mitanni crossed the path of the Pharaoh. A battle took place to the south from town Carchemish and the Pharaoh's soldiery won this battle.

The reign of Thutmose I. means the beginnig of prosperity and a succefull campaign to the Euphrates confirmed the dominance of Egypt over surrounding world.

Thutmose I.

Thutmose I.

Amenhotep I.

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Amenhotep I.

Amenhotep I. was the third son of ruler Ahmose I. and his wife Ahmose-Nefertari. His elder brothers died early, so they cleared the way to the throne for Amenhotep. Amenhotep I. ruled in a shadow of his famous father, who freed the Egypt from the Hyksos domination that lasted more than one hundred years.

Amenhotep I. finished his father's reforms during his reign, he ensured the growth of economy and restoration of irrigation system. The metal production and processing reached a big boom as well as the production of lately discovered bronze, the alloy of copper and tin. He let build up again the towns destroyed and plundered by the Hyksos.

Ahhotep II. was the wife of Amenhotep I. and they had the only son Amenemhat, who died at the age of 2. So Amenhotep I. didn't have a single descendant. A military commander Thutmose I. replaced him on the throne after his death.

Tomb of Amenhotep I.

Amenhotep I. was buried near today's Dra' Abu el-Naga'. He also let build himself another tomb in today's Valley of the Kings, but the tomb remained unfinished. The original final resting place of Amenhotep I. is robbed for a long time, but his mummy is preserved. The priestly Pharaohs of the 21st dynasty rescued it, because they let it transferred to a secret hideaway in Deir el-Bahari.

The mummy was discovered by robbers of modern times then, but Gaston Maspero, a French director of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, tracked them down and placed the mummy of Amenhotep I. in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo.

Mummy of Amenhotep I.

Mummy of Amenhotep I.

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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