Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mystery mummy is lost female pharoah

Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt. She is considered by many historians to have been the most powerful (and successful) woman in ancient Egypt.

Unfortunately for Hatshepsut, Thutmose III attempted to subject Hatshepsut to damnatio memoriae after her death. Statues and monuments to her were destroyed and she was written out of the official histories. The attempt failed as evidence of her reign survived but the attempted historical revisionism of Thutmose III may have inspired Hatshepsut' s supporters to move her mummy to a safer location.

Has it now been found? CNN has an article titled Egyptians: Mystery mummy is lost female pharoah. The article notes, "The mummy of an obese woman, who likely suffered from diabetes and liver cancer, has been identified as that of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's most powerful female pharoah, Egyptian archaeologists said Wednesday. Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt in the 15th century B.C., was known for dressing like a man and wearing a false beard. But when her rule ended, all traces of her mysteriously disappeared, including her mummy. Discovered in 1903 in the Valley of the Kings, the mummy was left on site until two months ago, when it was brought to the Cairo Museum for testing, Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said. DNA bone samples taken from the mummy's pelvic bone and femur are being compared with the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut's grandmother, Amos Nefreteri, said molecular geneticist Yehia Zakaria Gad, who was part of Hawass' team."

Not everyone is convinced that this mummy is Queen Hatshesput. It may not be. However, if it is and it can be proven, this is a huge discovery. I am hoping that it is...

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