||Sometime between regnal year 2. and 7. of the
legitimate king, Thutmosis III, Hatshepsut, King's Daughter, King's Sister,
Great Royal Wife and Regent proclaim herself to be king. That the accession of
Hatshepsut is to be dated into the period of year 2 until year 7 is
testified by the following finds:
Among other things year 7 is deduced
from finds in the proximity and/or in the tomb of the parents of
Senenmut, Ra-mose and Hatnefret, who had been buried before or in year 7. In the
tomb (see also tomb of Senenmut,
earthenware bowls were found among them two with the seal of the "Good
Goddess Maat-Ka-Ra", what means that she already had accepted the title
"Pharaoh". In 1920 Norman de Garis Davies discovered in the forecourt of TT71 an
ostracon, which referred to the date "Beginning of the work on the
tomb (= TT71)" in "year 7, 4. Month of sprouting, day 2". This ostracon must
have been buried in the earth during the work at TT71 when the entrance to the
tomb of the parents was filled up. Therefore, Hatshepsut must have
accepted the title "Pharaoh" before the date "year 7, 4. Month of sprouting, day
|Kneeling statue of Hatshepsut,
offering 2 nw-jars;
most likely from her temple at Deir el-Bahari; red granite,
Height approx. 262 cm;
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
Rogers Fund 1929, 29.3.1
| On the other hand, damaged inscriptions
found on the western external wall of the temple of Semna dating from
regnal year 2 of Thutmosis III refer to a
queen, who actually can be nobody else than Hatshepsut, although their name is not
mentioned (Dorman, 1988). Her status regarding Thutmosis III is
clearly shown in these inscriptions, at this time she was - as the regent
- still subordinated to Thutmosis III.
All contemporary documents keep persistently silent about the question
when did she execute the conversion from regent to king. On the basis of
the available finds (inscriptions on monuments) both, an early accession in the year 2 and
one in the year 7 are discussed among scholars. I have tried to present the discussion on an
additional page (Accession to the Throne - however
|After her proclamation to king she transfers the royal
and the characteristic elements of the royal robes in her
representations. To the years of her reign she added the preceding years
of her regency for Thutmosis III.
|From today's view on the well-known "facts" her metamorphosis
from regent to king was obviously executed in several steps, which Grimm and Schoske
called (1999) "Opera of authentication (of Hatshepsut) in five acts".
Due to Grimm and Schoske the following "acts" can be
identified (naturally the individual "acts" can not be regarded
as independent from each other) whereby, according to Grimm and Schoske,
the first "act" "from the king to
coregent" only formed the prolog :
|From King to Coregent:
The coregent became probably installed during the 12. Dynasty and
means that an elder ruling king appointed his potential heir as a
coregent and, in this way, regulated the succession. Most likely, the
coregent had no own political power even if he
should have participated in the official business.
In retrospect, Hatshepsut claimed to have been already "coregent"
during the reign of her husband, Thutmosis II. The following block which is
today on display in the Museum at Luxor shows Thutmosis II and right
behind him his
"Great Royal Wife", Hatshepsut, in an offering-scene. Investigations revealed
that the presentation of Hatshepsut had been reworked - most likely after
the demise of her husband - because she is shown not with the
insignia of a "Great Royal Wife" but with those of the ruler.
Based on this presentation the taking over of the regency for little
Thutmosis III appears inevitable.
After the accession of Thutmosis III to the throne reversed
this distribution of roles. As the older regent
she took over with her promotion to king the role of the elder ruler and
actually demoted the legitimate king Thutmosis III to the (younger)
By this time Thutmosis III was depicted on the relief behind
Hatshepsut as it was the usual way for a coregent (see picture below or
e.g. also the block "Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III
following the barque of Amun" on the Red
|The stela "Khefethernebes" (left photo by W. Ulrich, 2009;
right drawing by Champollion) today in the Vatican, Museo Gregoriano Egizio, No. 130; ca.: Height: 115 cm,
80 cm, Depth: 25 cm; sandstone, the original place were the stela was put up as
well as the place where it was found, both are not known - but most
likely the place was Karnak; the stela was purchased in 1819 for the museum from a
private collection; it is well preserved and shows only a few traces of
chisel-strokes from the Amarna-period, i.e. during the reign of Thutmosis
and his successors the stela was obviously put up or at least accessible
but escaped the persecution of Hatshepsut
|The stela shows in sunk relief
Hatshepsut who carries here the blue crown sacrificing in front of Amun, behind
her her "coregent" Thutmosis III is shown wearing the white crown
and holding his hands in the typical gesture of adoration - here, he
clearly plays a subordinated role
because only Hatshepsut is offering for Amun. The stela was a
royal donation of Hatshepsut to "commemorate the reconstruction of the
fortification [enclosure wall]... on the west bank of Thebes opposite to
Karnak". The goddess left of Thutmosis III is the personification of the city Waset (=
Thebes) depicted with a tripartite wig, whereupon on a plate the sign of
the nome of Waset is shown, in one hand the goddess holds the ankh sign, in the other
one a bow and a quiver.
The title of the stela reads: "Thebes who is
in front of her Lord (WAs.t $ft.t-Hr-nb=s)"
(with regard to the help by identification of this stela and its matter I am
deeply indebted to J. Krauss).
The 5 lines of text read as (the transcription was taken from Klug, 1998;
please, note, the English text is a translation of the German text prepared by
anx Hr.w wsr.t kA.w Nbt.tj wAD.t rnp.wt
Hr.w-nbw nTr.t xaw HqA.t Sma.w mHw nj-sw.t bj.tj (MAat-kA-Ra.w)
Living Horus: Powerful of Kas, The Two Ladies: Flourishing of Years, Horus
of Gold: Divine of Appearances, Lord of Upper and Lower Egypt, King Maat-ka-Ra
zA(.t) (?) Ra.w nj.X.t=f mrj=f (hAt-Sps.t
Xnm.t Imn) irj.n=s m mnw=s n itj=s Imn nb ns.wt tA.wj saHa n=f
beloved (?) bodely daughter of Ra, Hatshepsut, united/imbued with Amun. (The
work), that she made as her monument for her father Amun,
Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands,
Xft.t-Hr-nb=s m mAw.t m kA.t nHH axm.t=s
namely the erection of
Xft.t-Hr-nb=s as a new work of the nHH-eternity
by reinforcing / fortifying the bank with
inr nfr [wj] (?) sj sxr.w=s tpj-nn zp
ir.t mjt.t Dr pA.t tA irj=n
stone. [How] (?) perfect she (=
Xft.t-Hr-nb=s) is, better than her (=
Xft.t-Hr-nb=s) plans made by the ancestors. Nothing comparable was done
before a long time ago on earth.
Hm.t=s nw n aA.t n mrr=s itj=s Imn r
nTrw nb.w irj?s Dj anx mj Ra.w Dt.
Her majesty did it because she loved her father Amun more than all other
gods, so that she may be given life like Ra
According to Cozi (1994) and Klug (1998) the stela is a
which refers to a building project of Hatshepsut. The stela
describes the building of a new or the reconstruction of a wall around a
[village], which was situated on the west bank opposite to Karnak. After
Cozi (1994) the inscription refers to a fortified place on the west bank of
Thebes that was walled-in again and he believes that this place most
likely has been the small
temple of Amun at Medinet Habu (see also under monuments "Medinet
Habu") that was "renewed" by Hatshepsut or to a small
called "Djeme" (DAmt oder
TAmt = Azemet, as the old-Egyptian name for Medinet Habu reads; after Maspero,
1913) associated with this temple (thanks to F. Adrom who pointed out that thsi
had already been suggested by H. Brugsch-Bey).
In contrast, Traunecker (1998, quoted after Klug) assumes
that the stela described the building of a wall around
at Karnak. Based on his interpretation the goddess Waset, as depicted
here, is the personification of the enclosure wall of the temple district
at Karnak itself - the typical presentation of the goddess carrying weapons and
especially that she averts her gaze [like a guard] from the scene would
fit to this assumption.
|Calling and Coronation by the
With her accession to king Hatshepsut levers up at the same time
the legitimate succession to the throne from Thutmosis I via Thutmosis II to Thutmosis
she legitimized by the statement that already her - in the meantime divine
[i.e. dead] - father had appointed her as the "coregent" during
his reign and thereby elected her as the successor to the throne.
This appointment should have taken
place in a - probably fictitious - speech her father made during an
inspection journey to the holy shrines in the north of the country in
front of the great people of the kingdom, the
following statements are quoted from this speech:
"My daughter, "United with Amun, Foremost of Noble
Women" she may live, I appoint her as my Coregent. Because she is
my successor ..... she is God's Daughter....."
Of course, "United with Amun, Foremost of Noble Women" is nobody else than Hatshepsut and the part "God's Daughter"
directly points to her myth of Birth.
The scene above in Djeser djeseru drawn by Naville (1894-1908) shows the
election of Hatshepsut as the successor to the throne by her father in the
presence of the "Great" of the kingdom.
|Naturally, there is no proof that Thutmosis I had considered Hatshepsut
as his official successor or the he had the intention to disregard his son Thutmosis
in favor of his daughter. The undisputed accession of Thutmosis II and the
conformal behavior of Hatshepsut as a "King's Wife" do
not indicate that she had expected to become king.
|Elected by the King of Gods (Oracle):
In detailed reports presented after her accession in Deir el-Bahari and in the "Red
Chapel" Hatshepsut claims that she was chosen to become
king by "miracles", i.e. by an oracle performed by Amun himself. According to the data
given in the Red
Chapel this oracle has occurred allegedly in Karnak - in 2. regnal year of
a not named king - during the Opet celebration whereby Amun made clear
to everybody present by signs which were called miracles whom he has
chosen to became the new king.
However, in the case of Hatshepsut already a legitimate king, Thutmosis
existed. As reported, the contradiction to the Maat - to offend against
the Maat was even not
allowed for Amun - was solved by Amun himself whereby he led Hatshepsut into the
"Sanctuary of the Truth (Maat)" in the presence of the goddess.
There, Hatshepsut received "the decoration
of her Majesty (i.e. Maat), her equipment of a God's Wife
", which was in that temple."
To cut a long story short, the "Maat" corrected herself!
|Coronation by the King of Gods:
After Hatshepsut had been crowned first by her father Thutmosis I (see above), she got crowned again by the king of Gods, Amun. In front
of all people he "personally" put the double
crown on her head and handed over to her the insignia of her new dignity
and power - which were based expressly on divine election.
"there Hathor called: Welcome, Welcome! And showered her with
love. Removing the crown of a King's Wife, put on the decoration of the Upper-
and Lower-Egyptian crown, united on her head...
I (Amun) put you
on my throne, I give you scepter and whisk. I made you, so that you
sacrifice before me. I have created you , so that you repairs the
chapels of the Gods, with it you fasten this earth on its basis .".
Finally, by Amun specified her new royal titles.
fictitious generation, the election and coronation by Amun Hatshepsut
received - again fictitiously - the orders [instructions] of Amun
|Put in Charge by the King of Gods:
Due to her own
statement all of her enterprises Hatshepsut had accomplished exclusively according
to the instruction of Amun, this applies likewise to the erection of the
1. and 2. pair of obelisks at Ipet Isut as also for the Expedition
to Punt in her 9. regnal year. For the order to start an expedition
to Punt again an oracle of Amun was
"The king himself, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt "truth and vitality, a
Ra (= Maat-ka-Ra), the majesty of the palace - she may live, be well and healthy - turned to the temple terrace of
the Kings of Gods, in order to listen at the great seat the instruction, the
oracle of the God: "search the ways to Punt. Open the roads to the terrace
of myrrh. Lead the army at sea and on country......
to bring the miracles from God's country to this God (= Amun), who
created her (Maat-ka-Ra) beauty ."
Due to this oracle - that naturally was given only to her - Hatshepsut gave the
instruction for the execution of the expedition during a meeting of the
royal council especially arranged on this occasion.
|The "identifiable scenes" and the main protagonists
specified by Grimm and Schoske were introduced above. Inevitably this
results in the question who was responsible for performing this "opera". Was it real Hatshepsut or was
she the only or the most important figure on the playing ground? It appears rather improbably that
she alone was responsible for the "performance" - if at all. At least for the beginning
dependent on the support of those men, who partially held the key positions of the power
structure already since
the times of her father. A helpful analysis is given in a publication of Helck,
"Die Männer hinter dem
König und die Königswahl", in ZÄS 121, 1994.
of Helck about the "election of the king" during the 18.
dynasty point to the fact that with few exceptions (with those in which the age
at their accession to be only guessed)
obviously all rulers have mounted the throne as infants or young people.
This starts with Ahmose, who reigned for approx. 25 years and
deceased in his mid-thirties (this age was determined with the help of the mummy) - therefore,
he must have mounted the throne as a 10-year old boy - and
ends up with Tutankhamun who mounted the throne at a comparable age.
Due to Helck that means compellingly that the accession to the throne
was controlled by
persons of the respective time. However, apart from personal
ambition and aspiration for power also "ideological" convictions might have led these persons
with the aim to manipulate the ruler
in their sense.
Since on the one hand, both the person and the
institution of the king obviously were indispensable in the conception of the Egyptians - one
has to remember here that anything has to be in compliance with the
"Maat": i.e. only that what "has been sealed in presence of the king, was
legally binding" - on the other hand, another system of government was inconceivable.
For the time of Hatshepsut and her predecessors Helck identified a group of persons from Elkab,
who obviously already supported
the accession of Amenhotep I. Numerous officers came from Elkab who already had served under Amenhotep
I and partly under
Ahmose. Most likely, this group had supported likewise the accession of
Thutmosis I (the mayor von Elkab was the tutor of prince Wadjmose) and
the accession of Thutmosis II as well. The officer Ahmose Pen-nechbet (see Persons) not only became
a treasurer, but already before Senenmut he was tutor of the princess Neferu-Ra. This group
might have been
responsible for the accession of Thutmosis III, but also
for the appointment of Hatshepsut as regent (whereby they have ignored
the mother of king Thutmosis III, Isis, who not being a member of the
royal family would never have been considered to rule country as regent).
The members of the group
identified by Helck reached the retirement age - e.g. Ahmose
already that old in regnal year 5 of Hatshepsut/Thutmosis III that he asked for installation of his son as a "staff of the
old (man)" - at the latest
until year 9 and became replaced by "own" people of Hatshepsut. The exchange
during the reign of Hatshepsut took
place without any disturbances, because the names of these old men have
survived intact. In contrast, the names of nearly all "new" people who
made their career during the reign of Hatshepsut got erased during the autocracy of Thutmosis
III, which points
to the fact that all power had been taken from them intentionally.