Evidence of Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s reign was not discovered until the 19th century, when archaeologists found broken and defaced statues of Hatshepsut. In the great mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri, across the Nile from the ancient sites of Thebes and Karnak, statues had been desecrated and broken into bits. Royal symbols had been hacked off, eyes and faces gouged, and heads separated from bodies.
Hatshepsut’s stepson, Thutmosis III, had done a thorough job of destroying all indications of her life. Her mummy was originally discovered in 1903 in the Valley of the Kings, but it wasn’t until many years later that it was brought to the Cairo Museum for testing.
In 2007, Egyptian archaeologists confirmed they had found the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut. The mummy shows an obese woman who died in her 50s and was believed to have diabetes and liver cancer.
Hatshepsut is legendary for having stolen the throne from her young stepson, Thutmosis III, and going on to rule for twenty-one years. Pharaoh Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders of Ancient Egypt, with hundreds of projects, including buildings, temples, and statuary, credited to her name.
After her death, it’s believed, her stepson obliterated her name from all records and her image from all monuments in a mass effort of revenge, replacing her images with his own and further securing his throne and that of his heirs. Pharaoh Hatshepsut may have brought Egypt to a wealthy and prevailing state, but when she died, all traces of her disappeared.
Some of the liberties taken with this manuscript include featuring Senenmut as a military man. Historically, he was known as a scribe and bureaucrat, and it’s also believed that he remained a bachelor. Also, the inclusion of Hatshepsut’s addition to the Book of the Dead by declaring that the people could only worship in the temples, and using the seventh day of the week as a rest day, are entirely fictitious.