Besides, it has enabled man to learn about various cultures through exhibitions hence museums, history and culture of man are inseparable. Museums have a rich history which can be traced back to Egypt. Egypt is known to be the home of the first known museum in the history of man. The University of Alexandria hosted the first museum and the idea of constructing a museum has since then spread to other countries. Currently, virtually all countries in the world have at least a national museum where material remains are stored for display. This essay is aimed at doing an analysis of the image of the first woman Pharaoh of Egypt, Queen Hatshepsut, by reflecting on the history of the chosen image and its significance not only to historians but also the entire human race given the dynamic role of women in the contemporary society.
The polished life size statue depicts Queen Hatshepshut donned in beautiful female attire. The Queen lived around 1473–1458 B.C and spent a greater part of her life as the Queen of Egypt, breaking the tide to become the first woman in history to become queen in Egypt. On her head she is wearing a royal nemes head cloth, an attribute only meant for kings who are serving in Egypt. Just right at the back of the throne a portion of an enigmatic scene is conserved. This consisted of the two goddesses who were sitting or standing back to back. One of the goddesses had a presumed body of a posing expectant hippopotamus. She had an elegant leg and a tail protruding
behind her legs that looked like that of a crocodile. That goddess was referred to as Ipi, or the royal protector. In the image displayed, signs of blue pigments can be noticed in some of the hieroglyphs just right in front of the small statue. The nemes head cloth shows traces of the original paintings which were sporadic mixture of blue and yellow. The dimensions of the picture is about (h. 167 cm (65 3/4 in) and is made of quartz diorite. Even though the figure is a symbol, it also depicts the real image of Queen Hatshepsut as she appeared when she was the Queen (Susanna 23). Historical Context Queen Hatshepsut has gone down in history as the first female to hold the position of a Queen in Egypt at the time when conventionally, it was unthought-of that a woman could hold a position meant only for men. Indeed she is a prototype of such common historical figures of the world such as Cleopatra and the famous Elizabeth 1. Hatshepsut was known to be the first wife of Thutmose II, the King of Egypt. Upon Thutmose’s death, she did what every woman would not wish to do. She proclaimed herself as the Pharaoh of Egypt, thus denying her nephew the position that he was to claim upon the death of the male Pharaoh. This she did while she was acting as a regent to her nephew. To justify her action, she claimed that she was acting under the guidance and wishes of the God-Ra, who called her by names, among others, Maatkare- meaning ‘Lady of the Two Lands’; in other words, the king of the Upper and Lower Egypt. Some scholars however believe that the move was politically driven as she wanted to safeguard the dynasty (Susanna 56). Hatshepsut’s reign was marked by series of prosperity and economic success. What was equally important is the fact that she managed to expand trading relationships between Egypt and other nations hence this helped in improving economic conditions of the Egyptians during her 20 years of reign. Queen Hatshepsut mostly donned like a king. She wore full male cloths just the way her precursors did. What is even more astonishing