1498 - 1483 BC
As Tuthmosis II had realized early on, Queen Hatshepsut was a strong-willed woman who would not let anyone or anything stand in her way. By Year 2 of her co-regency with the child king Tuthmosis III she had begun her policy to subvert his position. Initially, she had been content to be represented in reliefs standing behind Tuthmosis III and to be identified simply by her titles as queen and 'great king's wife' of Tuthmosis II. This changed as she gathered support from the highly placed officials, and it was not long before she began to build her splendid mortuary temple in the bay of the cliffs at Deir el-Bahari (pp. 73, 106).
The queen legitimizes her rule
Queen Hatshepsut recorded that she had built her mortuary temple as a 'garden for my father Amun'. Certainly, it was a garden, with small trees and shrubs lining the entrance ramps to the temple. Her focus on Amun was strengthened in the temple by a propaganda relief, known as the 'birth relief', on the walls of the northern half of the middle terrace. Here Amun is shown visiting Queen Hatshepsut 's mother, Queen Ahmose, while nearby are the appropriate deities of childbirth (the ram-headed Khnum and the frog-headed goddess Heqet) and the seven 'fairy-god- mother' Hathors. The thrust of all this was to emphasize that she, Hatshepsut, had been deliberately conceived and chosen by Amun to be king. She was accordingly portrayed with all the regalia of kingship, even down to the official royal false beard.
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