|In the 19th century, Jean-Francois Champollion, the French scholar who deciphered the Rosetta Stone and first solved the seemingly endless mystery of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, stood at this very spot, He, much like all who came to this temple before him, was under the impression that this was a temple dedicated to a pharaoh, the male rulers of Ancient Egypt.
He was of course, like all those who came before him, entirely wrong. Welcome to the Temple of Hatshepsut, the first woman on record to lead the Ancient Egyptian Empire, serving as the pharaoh of Egypt for twenty years. However, like many strong, smart, and successful women throughout the history of humanity, Hatshepsut was a victim of male-oriented writing of history, which resulted in her gender being hidden for millennia.
Not only were her achievements downplayed or erased, but her very right to the afterlife was almost taken from her. To this day, it is unclear why, or who was responsible for attempting to destroy her legacy. Was it revenge? Was it politics? Was it to make sure that no woman would be tempted to reach for Egypt’s throne again?
Let us walk on through the halls of the great Djeser-Djeseru and let the walls that Hatshepsut built and the words that she carved upon them tell her story.