End and Persecution
||Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut (on the left the upper part of a seated statue, which is
today on show in the Metropolitan Museum, New York) governed Egypt for more than 20 years. In the last years
her designated successor, Thutmosis III., had stepped out from her shadow and had probably taken
over more and more official functions. As a
commander in chief of the army he had apparently led the expeditions to the Sinai (year 13 and 16), the campaign
against Nubia (year 20),
and the campaign against Maau (year 20-22?). Sometime between years 20 - 23 also the
town Gaza was conquered (in the year
23 described as a town which already had been conquered) whether this took place still during lifetimes of Hatshepsut or briefly after
her death is uncertain, however, during this campaign Thutmosis III. might have had the military
According to Tyldesley (1996) the Horus Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut climbed to the
sky after 22 years and 6 months of reign. This might be cum grano
salis applicable, since also Manetho who wrote a history of Egypt at the
beginning of the 3. century B.C. attested for a queen called AmessÍs
who was the 4. ruler of the 18. dynasty a reign of about 21 years and 9 months.
There are no hints that the death of Hatshepsut
was connected with any disturbances or had been somehow unnatural.
There are also no hints that Thutmosis III had neglected his obligations as
the successor towards her. Only
remarkable is the change in his throne name, Men-cheper-ka-Ra (Enduring is
the Appearance and the Ka of Ra), which was changed in Men-cheper-Ra (Enduring
is the Appearance of Ra). Therefore, we can assume that Thutmosis III got
mummified Hatshepsut according to her rank and finally buried her beside
her father in KV20.
|Persecution of Hatshepsut
Indisputable it is however that sometime after the death of Hatshepsut Thutmosis
III began with the persecution of her memory ("Damnatio memoriae"). In this
connection he built a new tomb for his grandfather, Thutmosis I, and
finally re-buried him there.
This tomb, KV38, confused a little bit the
Egyptologists at the beginning of its discovery. It contained a yellow
sarcophagus made of quartzite (today on show in
the museum at Cairo), inscribed for Thutmosis I. Therefore, it was regarded
as his original tomb built by Ineni who himself gave report about it.
Only in 1974 Romer pointed out (according to Reeves, Wilkinson , 1997) that the
layout of KV38 resembles so much of the architecture of KV34 (tomb of
Thutmosis III) that both tombs must have built at the same time. Therefore,
the tomb built by Ineni had to be searched
elsewhere (probably KV20).
The devastations arranged by
Thutmosis III at the buildings of Hatshepsut had been already addressed
in their description, thus, the Red
Chapel should be mentioned only as an example. However, until today
subject of the academic discussion is the question "when did he
start with the persecution of Hatshepsut".
At the beginning it was assumed that Thutmosis III started with the
persecution of her memory immediately after the death his "hated" stepmother
Hatshepsut who had kept him away from power for 20
years. However, this cannot be brought in line with newer architectural
investigations, particularly in the temple district of Karnak.
The investigations of the so-called "Chambers
or Suite of Hatshepsut" on the right of and left of the sanctuary (its center
was previously the Red Chapel) showed that
the - however incomplete - deletions of her name had been done during the
reign of Thutmosis III but probably rather late in his reign.
The photo above shows a part of the unpublished relief of the "Chambers
or Suite of Hatshepsut";
Hatshepsut, one the right side, is shown sacrificing in front of the
(left); above her the two cartouches of Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut are easily to be
Above all, the fact that Thutmosis III finished the Red
Chapel (3 scenes of the 7. and the entire 8. register,
according to Meyer, 1989) - and of course usurped the building -
argues against a procedure full of hate and in the opinion of several
scholars also against a start
of the persecution immediately after her death.
Various inscriptions at Karnak seem to lead to at beginning of her
persecution late in the reign of Thutmosis III.
Starting point is the dating of the inscription
regarding the youth of Thutmosis III ("Text de la Jeunesse") at the southern
exterior wall of the central
building of Hatshepsut in the temple of Amun at Karnak. Borchardt and Sethe
(quoted after Meyer,1989 ) dated this inscription into the regnal year 42 of Thutmosis
or even later, since the "Text de la Jeunesse" mentions the Hall of Annals
built by Thutmosis III.. Vice versa, the Hall of Annals itself mention
regnal year 42 as the highest date, i.e. the "Text de la Jeunesse"
must have been attached after the
Hall of Annals had been erected. In addition, also the Red
Chapel of Hatshepsut mentions the "Text de la Jeunesse" which suggests apparently, that the
Red Chapel still existed at the time of the attachment of the inscriptions.
|Also the incomplete and non-systematical destruction on the blocks of
Chapel (see photo above: in the right register cartouche and figure of
Hatshepsut are destroyed, in the left register both are preserved) was
frequently discussed in connection with the proscription of Hatshepsut.
|The distribution of the blocks concerned (see below the schematic representation of the south wall) was interpreted
by Meyer, 1989,
in that way
that the destruction was accomplished at the still standing chapel. If the destruction would have taken place after the dismantling, then
- in her opinion -
most likely the destruction would have affected the majority blocks from the lower registers or
those from an individual wall been, since with the
dismantling and storage of the blocks those from the upper registers would have been stored
below others and, thus, would have been inaccessible.
|South side of the red chapel (schematic); the blocks with
a number show the intact figure of Hatshepsut, on the dashed blocks her figure were deleted
(Institut FranÁais d'Archťologie Orientale; according to Dorman, 1988)
|However, the fact that Thutmosis III had finished the Red
Chapel and passed the chapel in the "Text de la Jeunesse" as
his own building does not exclude that the persecution of Hatshepsut
had already started during the decoration of the last blocks in registers
7 and 8. According to Meyer the inconsistent erasures on
the blocks suggests that the still standing chapel should be
"re-dedicated" to Thutmosis, but in the long
run the chapel had been taken down due to technical problems. Thus, the
destruction of the traces of Hatshepsut at the Red Chapel could have
begun quite a long time before the aforementioned year 42 (see also the
page about the Red Chapel).
|The aforementioned year 42, however, would be in line
with the fact that Thutmosis III had dismantled the Red Chapel and
replaced it by a new bark shrine. From this bark shrine a decorated fragment
had survived that contains the date "year 46" (van Siclen "The
Date of the Granite Bark Shrine of Thutmosis III" GM 79, 1984; quoted after Meyer). If the
erection of the bark
shrine of Thutmosis III did start not long after the Red Chapel
had been dismantled - this can be guessed only -, then the time
between year 42, in which the Red Chapel was most likely still intact (see above), and
year 46 would be sufficient for taking down the Red Chapel and start
with a new building.
|The attempt to deduce a date for the beginning of the
persecution of Hatshepsut from dismantled buildings and destroyed or undestroyed
relief is - at present - probably doomed to failure. At the time there
is nothing to be said (see also Meyer, 1989) against the assumption that
the persecution of Hatshepsut had begun early after her death:
example, in the "Festival Hall (Akh menu)" of Thutmosis III (commencement of construction: year 24)
architrave of sandstone from an -
unknown - building of Hatshepsut got reused as paving-stones and had
been inserted in such a way that her titles were hidden. However, one
can not definitely infer a persecution of Hatshepsut from the fact that
one of her buildings was taken down - a lot of other kings before and after Thutmosis
have torn off buildings of their predecessors
in order to receive place them by own monuments.
- likewise in the temple of Ptah limestone blocks with the titles of
Hatshepsut were discovered which originate from a building that Thutmosis
had taken down. Since the donations of Thutmosis III for the temple of
Ptah mention his return from his first campaign to Syria (year 23) as
the highest date this may also point to an early beginning of the persecution of Hatshepsut.
- the two obelisks erected by Hatshepsut between pylons 5 and 6 were
walled-in when Thutmosis III rebuilt the central area of the temple. On the encased
lower parts of the obelisks intact representations of Hatshepsut had survived while on the
upper parts which were not walled-in her traces had been erased - except
those on the tip. The assumption that her persecution had not been
started before the lower parts were walled-in can be easily refuted by
the argument that it had not been necessary to destroy her
traces on the lower parts - since they would not to be seen
anymore. Obviously, one also abandoned to erase her traces on the blocks
of the Red Chapel after the chapel had bee taken down.
|In the opinion of Eaton-Kraus (1998) newer findings of Loeben
(published later in 2001) on the statues in front of the 8.
Pylon (see also "8.
Pylon") at Karnak temple which had been erected by Hatshepsut
point to an early beginning of her persecution:
In front of the pylon
there are two seated giant-statues of limestone both showing a "renewal text"
dated into year 22 of
Thutmosis III, one is assigned to Amenhotep I. (Djoser-ka-Ra) and the
other to Thutmosis II (Aa-cheper-en-Ra).
According to Loeben both statues which originally represented Hatshepsut
had been spared by Thutmosis III from her persecution because of their impressing feature
and got reassigned by him in favor of his ancestors
According to Eaton-Kraus
this would indicate the earliest date of her persecution. However, Loeben
himself does not follow this
conclusion because he considers that it is quite possible that Thutmosis
"antedated" his inscriptions. Moreover, he points to the
possibility that the inscriptions had been "antedated" by the
successor of Thutmosis III, Amenhotep II, in the name of his
father. This argument can hardly by dismissed especially in the view of
the fact that Amenhotep II has given this pylon his special interest -
as demonstrated by the decoration.
|Of course there still further arguments of that kind
which can be put together either to support an early or a late persecution of Hatshepsut. Perhaps the autobiography of Ahmose Pennechbet
gives the "correct" reference. In this autobiography which was written briefly after the death of
Hatschepsut i.e. at the
beginning of the reign of Thutmosis III., he wrote:
"I have accompanied the kings of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Gods (=
the meanwhile deceased of kings), under which I lived, on their
campaigns in southern and northern foreign countries, at each
place, to which they have gone, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt "Neb-pehti-Ra" (Ahmose
I), the blessed one, the
King of Upper and Lower Egypt "Djeser-ka-Ra" (Amenhotep I), the blessed one, the
of Upper and Lower Egypt "Aa-cheper-ka-Ra" (Thutmosis I) the blessed one, the
King of Upper and Lower Egypt "Aa-cheper-en-Ra" (Thutmosis II) the blessed
one, down to this good God, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, "Men-cheper-Ra" (Thutmosis
given life for ever.
The God's Wife repeated favors for me, the Great King's Wife
"Maat-ka-Ra" (Hatshepsut), justified; I educated her eldest
daughter, Neferu-Ra, justified, when she was a child at the breast."
(quoted after Dorman, 1988; Grimm, Schoske, 1999) .
Not only that Ahmose Pennechbet enumerates the legitimate sequence of the
kings he had served he also mentions the
deceased illegitimate king Hatshepsut but only with her queenly titles "God's
Wife" and "Great King Wife". The king Maat-ka-Ra whom he
had served so long he suddenly did not exist anymore.
Enumerating the legitimate sequence of the predecessors of Thutmosis
indicates (see also Tyldesley, Meyer) the reason for the persecution of
The deletion of her representations and cartouches
in connection with the use of his own name as well as that of his father and
his grandfather proves Thutmosis III as a direct and legitimate successor in the male line
of the Thutmosid kings. - probably more a political necessity (all have no royal blood in the veins) than a personal revenge!
the reason might have been rather a political necessity, than a personal
revenge! Possibly, it was intended to correct the "genealogic"
succession of kings (maybe, a succession from Thutmosis I. via Thutmosis
II to Thutmosis III was "optically better", because all had no
royal blood in their veins), possibly, it was intended to extinguish the
reign of Hatschepsut from the annals because it was "not in
conformity with the Maat". But a differentiation between both
potential reasons is not possible - since one also causes the other.
|Now and then, there is a remark concerning an ongoing "admiration"
of Hatshepsut during the reign of the successors of Thutmosis III. As a
rule, the representation of a group of statues in the tomb of Kenamun (TT
93, see also Porter&Moss, Vol. I-1) is used as a reference (e.g., from
Schulze, P. H. in " Mistress of the Two Lands", Bergisch Gladbach in 1980
to which then others refer).
|In this tomb, the western wall of the transversal hall
shows left from the passage which leads to the burial chamber in the first
of 4 registers the representations of gift bringers and statuettes of
Amenhotep II, Hatshepsut, and Thutmosis I (according to Porter&Moss).
Without making the effort to check the sources Hatshepsut is equated with
queen Hatshepsut-Khenemet-Amun and it is told that her name would be
mentioned also in a cartouche. Already Ratiť (1979) pointed out that
beside the cartouche the title of a "Mother of the King (mwt
nsw) " was shown - a title which had never been attributed to her.
Really, a look into Lepsius "Monuments" (Vol. III, text to private tomb
no. 68 = tomb of Kenamun, No. 93 in Porter&Moss, I-1, page 190) shows that
the cartouche contains the name of the mother of king Amenhotep II - H3t Sps.t-mr.t ra
(see also the following picture from Lepsius).
|The inscriptions right of the cartouche reads "His
beloved Great Queen, Mother of the King (=Hm.t
nsw wr.t mr.t=f |mwt nsw).