Egyptian discovery

Zahi Hawass — a god among Egyptologists — is set to announce that the mummy of Hatshepsut has finally been identified.

It is being billed as “the most important find in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings since the discovery of Tutankhamun” in 1922.

Hatshepsut is Egypt’s most famous female pharaoh. Her tomb was found by Howard Carter in 1920 but the sarcophagus was empty.

Now Hawass believes Hatshepsut is one of two mummies found by Carter in 1903; he’s hoping DNA tests will prove it.

Hatshepsut ruled from 1479 to 1458 BCE, having initially been regent for Tuthmosis III. She declared herself pharaoh and donned royal attire such as the headress and ceremonial false beard, or at least is portrayed as doing so in surviving artwork (that sticking-out thing you see on all Egyptian statues was actually strapped on to the person’s head):


(Picture: Keith Schengili-Roberts)

She commissioned hundreds of building projects and, like all pharoahs, wanted to be remembered in grandiose style. This was her mortuary temple, where Egyptians were supposed to worship her after her death:


(Picture: James G Howes)

Tuthmosis III, perhaps understandably, resented being usurped and demolished Hatshepsut’s monuments after her death — a desperate bid to erase her from history and prevent her soul from rest. Looks like he didn’t do a very good job!

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