baudrunner's space: Long lost queen Hatshepsut found
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Long lost queen Hatshepsut found

Queen Hatshepsut, queen regnant and fifth Pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt, has been found. Originally discovered in 1903, identity uncertain, she resided in her tomb in the Valley of the Kings until two months ago when she was taken to the Cairo museum for DNA analysis. Zahi Hawass, the chief of Egypt's antiquities, positively identified her remains on this day, June 27, 2007 (my birthday). CT scans performed on the mummy suggests that she was about 50 when she died, probably of metastatic bone cancer. A tooth found in a wooden box known to be associated with the queen fits exactly in the mummy's jaw socket. DNA analysis confirmed a definite familial link to queen Ahmose Nefertari, the matriarch of the eighteenth dynasty. She is the first mummy to be "positively identified" since the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb.

Queen Hatshepsut was obese at the time of her death. An Associated Press report stated that she had likely suffered from diabetes and liver cancer.

Hatshepsut was one of two children, both daughters, of Thuhtmose I and Queen Ahmose. Her sister died in infancy. It is probably because there was no male heir that she was dressed in mens' clothing and wore a false beard. She was co-regent with her husband Thutmose II for thirteen years until his death whereupon she assumed the throne. Thutmose II died leaving one son, Thutmose III, but he was born to a lesser wife and was not immediately qualified to inherit the throne. To prevent Thutmose III from taking the throne when he came of age she had herself crowned Pharao in 1473 BC and changed her name from the feminine Hatshepsut to Hatshepsu. Hatshepsut raised the only daughter she had with Thutmose II as crown prince after her own style, dressing her in mens' clothes and a false beard, but the daughter Neferure did not live into adulthood.

The queen Hatshepsut died in her 22nd regnal year. Her successor, the resentful stepson Thutmose III, did what he could to lessen the impact of her reign by erasing any obvious references to her and having her buried in a non-descript tomb in the Valley of the Kings, which is why it had been so hard to locate her. He could not do away with her legacy, however, for Queen Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders and explorers of any Pharao, male or otherwise. She was a great Queen.

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