Assess Interpretations of Hatshepsut

747 Words Apr 25th, 2014 3 Pages
Assess interpretations of Hatshepsut
The female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, is arguably one of the most influential people of ancient Egypt. For thousands of years, the workings of Hatshepsut have been subject to multiple interpretations, from both her time and the modern day. An evaluation of the effectiveness of her reign can be resolved from the reliability and validity of evidence presented today, both primary and secondary.
In one respect, Hatshepsut is viewed as the female pharaoh who had a particularly unsuccessful reign that was devoid of any real achievements. Historians writing in the 1970’s and 1980’s often made sexist and unfounded assumptions about Hatshepsut’s rule, including her apparent scheming to take the throne from the
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Some ancient interpretations of Hatshepsut can also be perceived as negative, such as those of Seti I and Ramses II who deliberately excluded her from the King list under the presumption that he rule was a threat to order. Also, Thutmose III’s defacement of her monuments is thought to have been done in the act of re-establishing ma’at and order, as it was believed that a female ruler ultimately defied this natural balance and therefore male dominance had to be restored.
Other interpretations deduce Hatshepsut as a highly successful pharaoh whose reign significantly contributed the prosperity and stability of Egypt at the time. Ineni, for example, was an official under Hatshepsut who talked highly of her; ‘she settled the affairs of the Two Lands…whose plans are excellent, she who satisfies the two regions when she speaks’. This quote demonstrates that officials from her context believed that she was an effective and efficient ruler who had the support of the official and peasant class. Modern day historians such as Callender, Tyldestry and Redford also present a balanced, more positive view of Hatshepsut as a competent and effective pharaoh who brought peace and prosperity to Egypt. J. Tyldesley, for example, names Hatshepsut as the woman who led a stable government, had a successful trading mission, and maintained impressive architectural advances in her building programs. She emphasises how rather than