egypt-museum: Sphinx of Hatshepsut Depicted as…


Sphinx of Hatshepsut

Depicted as a sphinx, the pharoah Hatshepsut dons a lion’s main as well as the traditional king’s beard.

Hatshepsut ruled as a man, not as a woman, and for this reason her royal protocols and titles are always written without the feminine qualification, which is the “T” letter in the hieroglyphic. This is the case in the text inscribed on the base of this sphinx where it is written, “Beloved of the god Amun, endowed with life forever.”

In spite of her typical representation as a man, she is shown here with feminine facial features, especially in the full cheeks and lips. However, she has a long false beard like all male pharaohs. The name Hatshepsut is inscribed on the royal cartouche between the forelegs of the sphinx. The body is painted yellow except for the mane. The false beard and the ears are painted blue.

This sphinx of Queen Hatshepsut is somewhat different from the traditional Egyptian sphinx, which was a human head with a lion’s body. This sphinx has a human face, a lion’s head with mane and ears, and a lion’s body. It is made in the same style as the sphinxes of the Middle Kingdom found in Tanis, which have Asiatic features. This sphinx, however, has the beautiful features of Queen Hatshepsut.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Hatshepsut, ca. 1479-1458 BC. Limestone, from Deir el-Bahari, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 53113

Photo: Kenneth Garrett 

egypt-museum: Statue of King Thutmose III This…


Statue of King Thutmose III

This gray schist statue depicts King Thutmose III, who regained his throne after 20 years of struggle with his aunt and stepmother, Queen Hatshepsut. The queen usurped his right to the throne of Egypt after the death of his father, her husband King Thutmose II.

The statue represents Thutmose III as a great athletic warrior king. The “nine-bows,” which refer to the traditional foes of Egypt, are depicted below the king’s feet. According to the inscriptions on the base, this statue was part of a group of fine sculptures that decorated the rooms of the

Festival Hall of Thutmose III (Akh-menu) at Karnak.

New Kingdom, mid 18th Dynasty, reign of Thutmose III, ca. 1479-1425 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 38234

Hatshepsut reigned legally as regent while the infant king grew up. She then shifted into a Pharaoh in her own right. Thutmose took the throne after the more-fully royal stepmother (biological daughter of a Pharaoh, biological sister and wife of another pharaoh, mother of her husband’s princess daughter), Hatshepsut, died. 

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