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Assess Interpretations of Hatshepsut

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Assess interpretations of Hatshepsut
The female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, is arguably one of the most influential people of ancient Egypt. For thousands of years, the workings of Hatshepsut have been subject to multiple interpretations, from both her time and the modern day. An evaluation of the effectiveness of her reign can be resolved from the reliability and validity of evidence presented today, both primary and secondary.
In one respect, Hatshepsut is viewed as the female pharaoh who had a particularly unsuccessful reign that was devoid of any real achievements. Historians writing in the 1970’s and 1980’s often made sexist and unfounded assumptions about Hatshepsut’s rule, including her apparent scheming to take the throne from the rightful heir, her inability to lead a military, and her untimely and unnatural death. Steindorff and Seele for example, describe Hatshepsut as a ‘high handed woman who kept her co-ruler on the sideline and thwarted his ambitions’. A suggestion like this however is challenged heavily by primary evidence and modern research. The idea that Hatshepsut’s relationship with Thutmose III wasn’t that of dictator and slave is shown through the acts of genuine respect she performed, such as not ‘getting rid’ of him when he was young as many other powerful figures would have, erecting monuments of both him and her, and also giving him control of the army. Historian Gardiner, similarly, emphasises Hatshepsut as ‘virile’ and ‘unable to achieve such power without the assistance of men’. This highly sexist assumption has largely been discredited by many as it was known that all pharaohs needed a close band of supportive nobility to rule, not just her, thereby establishing Hatshepsut credit for her work. This included her foreign policy, which Wilson considers as ‘barren of any military enterprise’ under the argument that Hatshepsut was a ‘pacifist’.…...

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