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Museum Object Paper. Queen Hatshepsut - Essay Example

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A museum is a good place for storage of artifacts or historical materials which are used for studies and reference of historical objects and scientific analysis of material remains. A good museum should be able to host even the most fragile objects and store them for a longer period of time. It is through museums that human beings have been able to trace their origin and evolution…
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Museum Object Paper. Queen Hatshepsut
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Insert Insert Grade Insert Insert Queen Hatshepsut Introduction A museum is a good place for storage of artifacts or historical materials which are used for studies and reference of historical objects and scientific analysis of material remains. A good museum should be able to host even the most fragile objects and store them for a longer period of time. It is through museums that human beings have been able to trace their origin and evolution. 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. Formal Analysis 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 is the fact that the she wore fake beards and shaped her body to look like that of male. Historians however believe that this was just a way of asserting the queen’s authority since no woman had ever held such authority before. Actually, no words could best describe her splendor. Significance and Symbolism of the Image of Hatshepsut Some of the images of Hatshepsut show a woman ruler having beards like a man. According to my perception this might have been a way of disguising herself so that people would relate her to a king since the position of kingship was only reserved for men. This is however different from the contemporary society where women have continued to hold important positions in the society without any fear. In as much as Hatshepsut could be considered a heroine in comparison to her position as Pharaoh at that particular time, elements of cowardice can be traced in the way she presents herself. Her association with everything related to male is a clear picture of the way she recognized men to be superior; something which a leader should not do. This has significantly changed. The fake beards worn by Hatshepsut therefore are a symbol of fake supremacy. In conclusion, storage of artifacts is important since it is one of the ways through which one is able to study the economic, political and cultural backgrounds of mankind. Against this backdrop, museums are important centers for learning and conducting research study on man’s past, culture and religion based on the materials stored. The choice of what type of material to use for storage of remains will determine the length of time such materials are likely to take in museums. Work cited Susanna, Thomas. Hatshepsut: The First Woman Pharaoh, Leaders of Ancient Egypt. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2003. ISNB 0823935949, 9780823935949 Read More
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