Coronation to King - but when?
|As described on the page "Pharaoh" - and here the
Egyptologists exceptionally agree with each other - Hatshepsut let
proclaim herself to king sometime between regnal years 2. and 7. of the legitimate ruler Thutmosis
III. The basic data for this period are given by a dedication
inscription at the temple of Semna in Nubia dated to year 2 and the burial offerings found in the
tomb of the parents of Senenmut which date into year 7.
Dedication Inscription at the
The dedication inscription at the temple of Semna in Nubia, which
had been a donation of Senwosrets III (Sesostris III, 12. Dynasty), was
carved on the eastern exterior wall of the temple and is frequently cited as the last text in which Hatshepsut
appears with her titles as a queen. Therefore the date of this inscription is regarded as "terminus
post quem", thus as the earliest date, which is applicable for an accession.
points however to 2 "traps". On the eastern exterior
wall of the temple which is dated on the year 2, frequently quoted in this connection,
Hatshepsut is mentioned neither as a queen nor as a king. In
contrast, two damaged inscriptions at the western exterior wall of the
temple of Semna which are however not dated, refer to a queen who can actually be nobody
Hatshepsut, although her name did not survive (Dorman, 1988). Hatshepsut
is mentioned on the western wall and only here, but her nomination cannot be
connected compellingly with the date on the eastern exterior wall. The text on the eastern exterior wall contains
besides the date indicated above and the 5 titles of Thutmosis III the instruction
to the viceroy of Kush to restore the temple and to start up again the
offerings (rites) for the divine Senwosret III (Kha-kau-Ra, Sesostris III), this was probably
done by the viceroy without delay and documented only little later by him by the attachment of the inscriptions.
The position Hatshepsut
in relation to Thutmosis III is clearly shown on the western exterior wall. The symmetrical
decoration shows in the center the seated Nubian God "Dedwen" (= "Dedun, the young
man from Upper-Egypt, who came from
Nubia", according to Kees, 1977) who crowns Thutmosis III with the White
Hatshepsut is mentioned further left, thus, she is not the central figure of the
The findings around and inside the tomb of Senenmut's parents, Year 7
The year 7 is based among other things to finds in the proximity and/or inside the
tomb of the parents of Senenmut, Ra-Mose and Hatnefret. Both were buried
before in the
regnal year 7. However, to whom the
date refers to, is not testified, but probably it refers to Hatshepsut .
In that tomb discovered 1935/36 (see
first tomb of Senenmut, TT71; excavation team Metropolitan Museum of Arts) some
earthenware vessel were
found, one of them carried the date "year 7, 2. month of sprouting (Peret),
day 8" and another one the seal of the "God's Wife
Hatshepsut" (see left cartouche below) together with the label" year 7, Satuwina". Two other jugs carried the seals of the "Good Goddess
Maat-ka-Ra" (see right cartouche below; drawings by Hayes, 1957), this title
means that she had already mounted the throne. However, these two jugs carry no date.
1920 Norman de Garis Davies had discovered in the forecourt of TT71 an
ostracon (see also Dating of
TT71) which referred to "Commencement of the work in this
tomb" in the "year 7, 4. month of sprouting (Peret), day 2". The
whose reign this date if referring to, is not mentioned.
This ostracon must
have been buried during the work on TT71 when the entrance to the
tomb of the parents was filled up with earth. Therefore, "year 7, 4.
month of sprouting, day 2" is the last date on which things could be
the tomb. The jug from the tomb of the parents of
Senenmut showing the title of the "Good Goddess Maat-ka-Ra" therefore
testifies that Hatshepsut had already been crowned king before this date.
Since the jugs in tomb TT71 could originate from older stocks (e.g.
that one with the seal "God's Wife
Hatshepsut", because household and property of the "God's wife" still
existed the after the accession of Hatshepsut but separated from that of the queen,
but now however probably as a part of the household of her successor in the office of "God's wife", Neferu-Ra) the finds
give no reference to the date of the
accession, but at least a "date before (terminus ante quem)" the accession
must have taken place.
Since contemporary sources do not give a date for the accession, one tries to further limit the period for the accession of
Hatshepsut on the basis of well-known writings (e.g. at various monuments, papyrus
Turin 1878). However, there are numerous monuments which had been erected probably
between year 2 - 7 and/or which report on events in this period. In the following two
example are discussed. The conclusions, which are drawn from these inscriptions, naturally depend on
that one, who actually interprets them.
The Vizier User-amun, his tomb TT131, and the papyrus Turin 1878
As already mentions under "Persons"
User-amun was appointed to the office of a Vizier in "year 5, 1. month
of the inundation (Achet), day 1" as the "staff of the old (man)" for
his father Ahmose Amethu (i.e. to support his old father who has held
this office before).
The installation User-amun to the office of the Vizier is described on the
one hand in his tomb TT131, on the other hand also on a papyrus fragment
which is today in Turin. The
comparison of the texts proves that both describe the same event (Helck, W.
"Die Berufung des Wesirs Wsr.", Ägyptologische Studien, No. 29, 1955).
In contrast to the
tomb the papyrus fragment, however, contains a date for this event, i.e.
"year 5, 1. month of the Inundation (Achet), day 1"! In
both texts the appointment into the office happen under the reign of Thutmosis
Simplistically regarded there are two independent sources, a tomb inscription and the remainder of an administrative document,
both testify the appointment of User-amun in regnal year 5 of Thutmosis
Of course, as the regent Hatshepsut
may have controlled everything from the sidelines, but the official
appointment to an office always took place in the
name of the legal ruler. According to these two sources she had not mounted
the throne before "year 5, 1. month of the inundation (Achet), day
Rightly, Dorman (1988) and others point to the fact that the text in the
tomb TT131 is to be judged as a retrospective description of the event. User-amun deceased between years 28 and 32, thus, at a time,
when Thutmosis III had already governed alone for several years and possibly the
Hatshepsut had already started (see also End and
Persecution of Hatshepsut ). The inscriptions in the
tomb already could have taken into account the political changes after the death of
The administrative document, papyrus Turin 1878, surely is not a retrospective description of the event and also
was not the base for
the inscriptions in tomb TT131. Also a later censorship of the document by
which the name of
Hatshepsut was replaced by that of Thutmosis III, appears improbably. Nevertheless,
also regarding this document there are certain
Dorman (1988) points out that the paleography of the papyrus fragment is
that of the early 18. Dynasty but fits into the 19.
Dynasty. Furthermore, another fragment of the same papyrus, not published
yet, seems to contain a part of the Hymn to the Nile, a text which existence so far
could not be testified earlier than the 19.
Dynasty. Therefore, one must assume that the pTurin 1878 which contains the appointment
of User-amun to Vizier is a copy in the Ramessid writing style of the 19. Dynasty, but that
does not inevitably mean that the original text had been changed.
Thus, these two sources may point to a late accession between "year 5, 1.
month of the inundation (Achet), day 1" (appointment of User-amun to Vizier
) and "year 7, 4. month of sprouting (Peret), day 2" (commencement
of the work in TT71).
The Donation-Stela of Senenmut
North of Karnak and west of the enclosure wall of the temple of month, a
stela found in a small mud-brick chapel - obviously at its original place. This
stela was recorded by Christophe, L.A. (in
"Karnak-North III", Le Caire, 1951; quoted after Helck,
W., "Die Opferstiftung des Senenmut", ZÄS 85, 1960).
|The stela describes in a long, fragmentary inscription donations of Senenmut to different temples.
On the basis a photography Helck (1960) had edited the text again and, thereby,
grieved about the destructions of
the Amarna period as well as about the sloppy restoration of the inscription, which he,
in contrast to Christophe, did not date into the 25.
Dynasty but into the time of Haremhab or Sethi I. During the new edition
Helck tried to correct errors of the sloppy restoration, however, he
points out that probably all questions could not be solved anymore,
since the stone (granite) was - according to
Christophe - strongly destroyed by the deposition of salts and, therefore, several paragraphs
of the text could hardly be deciphered.
According to Helck the stela is one of the few documents about the
donation of fields which had survived from the 18. Dynasty. Senenmut donates several
fields in different areas to the temple of Amun at Karnak and the
Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari. The yield of the donated fields should
be used then to produce bread and beer, whose exactly specified quantity were to be
used for offerings. To support the production of bread and beer Senenmut
also donated to both the workshop of the
temple of Amun and that of Djeser djeseru a male and female servants each, as it were
to compensate for the resulting workload. However, the legal
implications of this donation are not to be discussed here further, they are to be
read by Helck.
In connection with the accession of Hatshepsut the dating,
the names mentioned and the places noted are of more interest.
Helck translated the 1. Line of the inscription (above) as follows:
"year 4, 1. month of the heat (Schomu), day 16, under the majesty of the
King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Men-cheper-Ra (= Thutmosis III),
son of Ra Thutmosis (II) "Beauty of Appearances", given life
for ever.... "
|On the left side of the stela there is an intact cartouche of the
"Maat-ka-Ra" Hatshepsut (see above). Helck translated this line
"...this servant, completely delivery as a
tribute for the hourly service of the workshop, which the King of Upper and
Lower Egypt Maat-ka-Ra (----), may she
live, established for her father Amun in Djeser djeseru (----).
However, concerning the surplus of the offers, which occur with [....... ] the
(offering) of water, done by the [Web priests ] [...."
This donation stela mentions both, the temple
at Djeser djeseru as well as the throne name of Hatshepsut, Maat-ka-Ra, (see in the above
illustrations underlined in green and/or red) and in neighboring parts
of the texts, which show the intact cartouche of
Hatshepsut, Senenmut mentions his tomb twice, which therefore must also have already been
This stela is naturally consulted by all (among others
Schott, Helck, Meyer)
as a proof who plead for an early accession of Hatshepsut.
|Dorman (1988) argues against this with
the restoration of the stela, already mentioned by Christophe and Helck.
opinion the absence of the original border of the stela makes it most
likely that the stela was already that damaged at present its restoration in antiquity that the text, which contains the date
had to be carved completely again in Ramessid times.
On the other hand the part of the text in which the cartouche of Hatshepsut
is show and in which Senenmut reports about his tomb seems to prove that at
least the work on the
tomb must have started. However due to the finds in the tomb
of his parents - directly located below TT71 - this can not been the case
before "year 7, 2. month of sprouting (Peret), day 8" (of course one can assume that
tomb mentioned is not TT353). In opinion of Dorman the reference to
his tomb by Senenmut "dates" the text and the stela
rather into regnal year 8 of Hatshepsut and/or the Thutmosis III.
According to Dorman (1988) the date (year e) given on the donation stela of Senenmut is more than doubtful.
|Variations in the Prenomen of Thutmosis III
Monuments show twice a change in the throne name of Thutmosis III. At the beginning of
his reign he carried the throne name "Men-cheper-Ra". During the time of the
coregency, i.e. after the accession of
Hatshepsut, he used the throne name "Men-cheper-ka-Ra". After the death of
Hatshepsut he changes back again to his old throne name "Men-cheper-Ra".
|Meyer (1980) refers to the fact that this change of the throne names frequently
did not received any attention. Since Hatshepsut obviously had a
special relationship to the "Ka" - as also shown by the use of it in her
(see History). According to Meyer the first change to
"Men-cheper-ka-Ra" was probably connected
with her accession and the demotion of the legal ruler, Thutmosis III,
to the rank of a coregent.
According to the investigation of Brovarski (JEA 62, 1976; quoted after Meyer) the
name "Men-cheper-Ra" is testified for the years 1 - 5 and afterwards again starting
with year 21, whereas the name "Men-cheper-ka-Ra" for the years 5 - 20.