Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut

last update: 09.06.2009



Hatshepsut was born into into the early 18. Dynasty during the reign of her father king Aa-cheper-ka-RA Thutmosis I (on the right, photo of Howard Carter, Plate XII, from Naville, "Temple of Deir el-Bahari", 1894 -1908) by the "Great Royal Wife" Ahmose (left, H. Carter, Plate XI, from Naville). Since it is possible that the kings maintained a mobile court at that time and traveled through the country to exercise there on the spot - like in Franconia under king Charles the Great - the place of birth of Hatshepsut is not known. However, one can assume that she was born in the royal residence at Waset (= Thebes).

Since its discovery in the cachette DB 320 the mummy called "Unknown Man" (JE 26217, CG 61065; see the following photos) the identification of this mummy is still a matter of dispute. First, the mummy was thought to be that of Pinudjem I because the coffin had been reinscribed for the priest-king. But later it was discovered that the original owner had been Thutmosis I. Thus, Maspero believed it to be the mummy of Thutmosis I. Most likely, the reason for this assignment was the striking resemblance between this mummy and those of Thutmosis II (see photos below) and Thutmosis III.
The CT-scans of the mummy of the "Unknown Man" (JE 26217, CG 61065), which were done  recently by the SCA, suggested that this man died between an age of 25 to 35 years. Furthermore, the scans revealed a piece of metal about 2 cm large in the right thorax - probably an arrowhead. Since Thutmosis I. probably died at an age of about 50 and historical records do not indicate that he died in a battle, the mummy of the "Unknown man" is with great certainty not the mummy of Thutmosis I.
According to Ikram and Dodson (1998) it was also considered possible that this mummy could be that of Ahmose-Sipairi who was also suggested to be perhaps the father of Thutmosis I.

Left: mummy of the Unknown Man (JE 26217, CG 61065; Catalogue du Musée de Caire, plate XX - XXII), center: two photos of the head; right: mummy of Thutmosis II (Museum Cairo, CG 61066; JE 26212; Catalogue du Musée de Caire, plate XXIII).

Up to now it was not possible to identify the body of Hatshepsut's father among the mummies discovered so far - also the mummy of her mother is missing.

The "Great Royal Wife" and "King's Sister" Ahmose, mother of Hatshepsut and a sister called Neferubiti presented on an own page.

As bodily or at least as half-brothers and -sisters (see Genealogy) the brothers Amenmose and Wadjmose (tomb of Paherj, Elkab; Sethe, Urk. IV, 108-110) and an older sister, Neferubiti (also mentioned under the name Achbet-neferu) are testified. According to Ratié (1979, S. 24) Ahmose was perhaps the mother of several other princes named Binpu, Ramose, Nekenkhal, Aahmosis.
The two royal sons Wadjmose and Amenmose are discussed on a separate page.

Since also the (half-)sister of Hatshepsut, Neferubiti, died early, Hatshepsut has been the only child of king Thutmosis I and his "Great Royal Wife", Ahmose, that survived.

Mutnofret (Mutneferet)
Besides the "Great Royal Wife", Ahmose, Thutmosis I had a 2nd wife, the "King's Mother" Mutnofret I (the statue left shows her wearing the royal uraeus; painted limestone, Egyptian Museum, Cairo No 572; text Sethe, Urk. IV, 143). The title proves that she has been the mother of his successor, king Thutmosis II.
According to Troy (1986) the following titles are testified:
King's Mother (mwt nsw)- statue Cairo No. 572; situla of Sitamun I (daughter of Ahmose I and Ahmose-Nefertari); fragment of stela Cairo 34031;
King's Wife (Hmt nsw) - statue Cairo No. 572; temple Thutmosis III, Deir el-Bahari;
King's Daughter (sAt nsw) - statue at 8th Pylon, Karnak; fragment of stela Cairo 34031;
King's Sister (snt <nsw> mryt.f) - statue of Thutmosis II at 8th Pylon, Karnak;
Both titles, King's Daughter and King's Sister suggest that she may have been a daughter of king Ahmose I and, therefore, a (half-)sister of Amenhotep I.

Thutmosis II
A more detailed discussion of age and duration of the reign of Thutmosis II is giben on the page Regent.

painted limestone head of Hatshepsut, found at Djeser djeseru, Deir el-Bahari;
today exhibited in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Height: 61 cm; Width: 55 cm

has most likely spent her childhood together with brothers and sisters and half- brothers and -sisters in the royal harem, where she probably, as usually for a princess, was prepared for the position of a king's wife. From the days of her childhood we know her nurse, Sit-Ra (also known as Inet), who not only nursed young Hatshepsut but also accompanied her during the first years of the childhood. Obviously, a long-lasting, intimate relation developed between her and Hatshepsut, so at least the nurse was allowed to build a simple tomb (KV 60) in the Valley of Kings near Hatshepsut's own royal tomb (KV 20).

Since Hatshepsut as mentioned above was the only child of Thutmosis I and Ahmose that survived, inevitably her marriage with her half-brother Thutmosis II was on schedule.

Neferu-Ra -> see separate page

A younger child of Hatshepsut?
There is no direct evidence for a 2nd, younger child of Hatshepsut. However, the titles on some statues of tutors of princess Neferu-Ra could be interpreted from that point of view that there was a younger child.
Thus, Ahmose Pennechbet wrote in his biography in Elkab that he had educated the "elder daughter, the royal daughter" [called] Neferu-Ra ("jw Sd.n=j sA(.t)=s wr.t sA.t nswt Nfr.w-Ra mAa-xrw"; Urk. IV 34, 15).
On an tutor´s statue of Senenmut (Chicago Field Museum, No. 173800) stands according to Roehrig "I fed the eldest daughter of the king  ("jw Sd.n=j s3.t nswt smswt", i.e. word-for-word "the eldest royal daughter"), God´s Wife Neferu-Ra. In contrast to Ahmose Pennechbet which wrote literally "her great daughter" ("..sA(.t)=s wr.t .."), called Senenmut her literally as a "elder king's daughter ("...s3.t nswt smswt ..").
Furthermore, Senimen describes his position on some bricks found in his tomb, TT252, as (Urk IV, 418): "Wab-priest of Neb-pehti-Ra (= Ahmose), Senimen, [Tutor of] God's Wife Neferu-Ra, Senimen, [Tutor of] God's Wife Hatshepsut, Senimen, Custodian of the King's Daughter, Senimen". Some authors, among them Lepsius (LD III, 25) read instead of God's Wife Daughter of God's Wife Hatshepsut (sA.t Hm.t nTr).
Several Egyptologists, for example, Ratié (1979) and Desroches Noblecourt (2002) belief that Merit-Ra Hatshepsut II (see below), the "Great Royal Wife" of Thutmosis III, was this unknown daughter of Hatshepsut und her husband, Thutmosis II.

Thutmosis III
The stepson of Hatshepsut and her successor on the throne, Thutmosis III, originated from the connection of her husband, Thutmosis II, with his "concubine" Isis (right the only statue of Isis that had survived, black granite, today Egyptian Museum, Cairo, JE 37417 = CG 42072).
The mother of Thutmosis III originated obviously not from royal family, but was probably a friend from his youth, which had grown up together with the children of Thutmosis I at the royal court. These girls grown up in the royal woman house probably came from important families and were called "Ornament/Decoration of the King". In the few representations, which have survived of Isis, she carries no title which indicates a relationship with the royal family. On the seated statue (right) that was found in the cachette at Karnak, the text (beginning beside her right knee) addressing Isis who carries here  above a wig something like a crown with two Uraeus snakes reads:
"The Good God, Lord of the Two Lands, Men-Cheper-Ra (Thutmosis III), beloved of Amun, the Lord of all Thrones of the Two Lands, he made his monument for his mother, the royal mother Isis, justified."
All other titles, e.g. that of a "God's wife" and that of a "Great Royal Wife", which are shown in the temple of Thutmosis III  probably have been lent to her posthumously by her son.
In contrast, there are no inscriptions that point to her actual origin.
Obviously, Thutmosis III does not originate - like his father and grandfather - from the royal blood line. His right to the throne was quite small, compared with possible descendants from the Ahmoside family. Thus, a marriage with the hereditary princess Neferu-Ra, who had already taken over the title of a "God's Wife" from her mother, would have been inevitable for a legitimacy of his right to the throne - if one accepts the hypothesis that the right to the throne was achieved by a marriage with the "hereditary princess". 
However, there are no records indicating a marriage of Neferu-Ra and Thutmosis III, although Neferu-Ra probably achieved a marriageable age. Perhaps, Hatshepsut herself has hindered this marriage - if the "hereditary princess"-hypothesis applied, then the right to the throne of Thutmosis III was larger than her own.

Merit-Ra Hatshepsut II
Occasionally, the "Great Royal Wife" of Thutmosis III, the mother of his son and successor Amenhotep II, is said to be a daughter of Hatshepsut. However, her origin is not determinable with certainty.
Since she never held the title "King's Daughter" (sAt nswt) on the monuments which have survived, an origin of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis II is improbable. On a staff found in the tomb of Amenhotep II she is mentioned with the queenly titles "God's Wife, Great Royal Wife, Lady of the Two Lands and King's Mother". Probably, she took over title and function of a "God's Wife" after the death of Neferu-Ra.

History Genealogy God's Wife Regent Pharaoh End

Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)