I first blogged about Hatshepsut here after visiting the Kimbell Museum of Art’s exhibition. Her reign as pharaoh (ca. 1473 – 1458 BCE) began after the death of her husband, Thutmose II, who was also her half-brother. After her death, Thutmose III, the step-son of the obese Hatshepsut, son of Thutmose II’s lesser wife (Hatshepsut was the Great Royal Wife) took the throne. After the death of his father, Thutmose III was too young and, perhaps, a bit oppressed by his (evil?) step-mother. Thutmose III concentrated on his military exploits, earning the title among later historians as the Napoleon of ancient Egypt. Meanwhile, his step-mother commissioned hundreds of magnificent buildings and monuments in both Upper an Lower Egypt such as Deir el-Bahr all the while consorting with her closest adviser and royal steward, Senemut (though this is a point frequently argued by Egyptologists).
Upon his return from military conquests after his step-mother died, Thutmose III began a systematic removal of her likeness and mention, trashing monuments and sculptures of her in the very quarries their raw materials were obtained.
Hatshepsut apparently died of cancer and diabetes and was very obese with “pendulous breasts” according to Zahi Hawass, the senior archaeologist of Egypt. The mummy identified as Hatshepsut was discovered in 1903 by Howard Carter, nearly two decades before discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb, but it was only June of this year when a tooth, known to belong to Hatshepsut was exactly matched to the missing molar of one of the mummies. The fat one.