Mummy of Hatshepsut

The mummy of Hatshepsut was found in 1903 by Howard Carter in (KV60), in the Valley of the Kings. Carter had discovered two mummies in the tomb. One was in a coffin, the second was stretched out on the floor. Since the tomb had been ransacked in antiquity, Carter thought it of marginal interest and resealed it.

While assembling all unidentified mummies with their right arms placed across their chests as a royal posture for the Egyptian Mummy Project, some were studied with a CT-scan machine. At the same time a canopic box from the Deir el-Bahari Cachette (DB320) that was inscribed for Hatshepsut and contained her liver was also scanned.

Mummy of Hatshepsut
Mummy of Hatshepsut. (AP / Amr Nabil)

There was also a tooth inside, a molar with a root; and when examined it was found that it fitted exactly into the mouth of one of the royal women.

After analysis of Hatshepsut’s mummy, it was concluded that she had died at about the age of fifty, that she had been obese, and that she had diabetes and cancer. The box that contained the tooth is also on display near the mummy.

It is believed Hatshepsut was obese, had diabetes and died of some form of cancer in her middle age. After her death, her name was obliterated from the records in what is believed to have been her stepson’s revenge.

Famed British archeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter worked on excavating the Queen’s tomb before he discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in the early 1920s.

Mummy of Queen Hatshepsut
Mummy of Queen Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builder rulers of ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper and Lower Egypt. Almost every major museum in the world today has a collection of Hatshepsut statuary.

“Hatshepsut’s achievements are relevant to us precisely because they were ultimately rejected and forgotten–both by her own people and by the subsequent authors of history. She was the most formidable and successful woman to ever rule in the ancient Western world, and yet today few people can even pronounce her name.

We can never really know Hatshepsut, but the traces she left behind teach us what it means to be a woman at the highest echelons of power; she transcended patriarchal systems of authority, took on onerous responsibilities for her family, suffered great personal losses, and shaped an amazing journey out of circumstances over which she had little control.”

The Woman Who Would Be King, by Kara Cooney (#aff)

Hatshepsut was a significant figure in ancient Egyptian history for several reasons. She was one of the few women to rule as pharaoh, and her reign marked a period of stability and prosperity in Egypt.

Hatshepsut is also known for her ambitious building projects, including the construction of the famous mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari.

Additionally, she played a crucial role in expanding trade and diplomatic relations with other nations, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean.

Hatshepsut’s reign left a lasting impact on Egyptian society and her legacy as a powerful female ruler continues to inspire and fascinate historians and scholars today.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Hatshepsut, ca. 1479-1458 BC. Now in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), Cairo. JE 56264