Source : Google photo of Egypt’s lost queen Hatshepsut
Synopsis : This blog brings to you in vivid colors the story of five most important queens in Egypt who helped shaped their history. They were beautiful, very intelligent and educated who had majestic personality and acumen to rule .They had the gift of diplomacy that helped them make Egypt richer and self sufficient in food. Through their rule, they brought Egypt to its height of glory that the world took notice of. They are called the lost queens of Egypt because of no faults of their own. Now they shine as never before as more is known about them through archaeology and new findings.
This blog looks at the five most important women in the 6000 year old history of Egypt who played a decisive role as queen , queen mother and as wife of the most famous Pharaoh of them all , Ramses II and examines in the video below their extraordinary power as a role model for all women in the world. They were beautiful, very educated in various sciences and astronomy, in military matters and knew how to rule their subject. They were responsible for the extraordinary growth of the military might but also made Egypt rich through trade and self sustained in food production.
During their reign, Egypt became famous for its riches and prosperity but they are considered lost queens who were relegated to obscurity whom history forgot or paid little attention to until recently when their full participation in the long and glorious history became known through arduous archaeological digs and discovery of important knowledge.
One of the most famous female pharaohs of Egypt was Queen Hatshepsut who ruled very successfully for about 20 years but her successor ruthlessly removed her name and accomplishment from the annals of history out of spite. Yet her most majestic temple in the valley of the kings in Luxor still stands as a testament to her greatness.
These five extraordinary women showed that women were as good as men or even better in ruling Egypt who left their mark in their grandiose temples and monuments that still inspire awe and impress the whole world. They were free, educated, adept in military matters, in numerous subjects pertaining to the rule of their subjects and left a legacy that shines even after thousands of years. They were adept in diplomacy and knew how to deal with other powerful empires of their time to get the maximum benefit from them for the benefit of all Egyptians.
Watch this video below made by Dr.Joann Fletcher on the lost queens of Egypt to know more about them and know their true place in the history that some kings had tried to obliterate but failed.
Source : U tube video on Egypt’s lost queens
Source : Google photo of Queen mother Hetepheres I
1. Hetepheres I
Hetepheres I may have been a wife of pharaoh Sneferu, and the mother of King Khufu. It is possible that Hetepheres was only a minor wife of Sneferu and only rose in prominence after her son ascended the throne. She was the grandmother of Kings Djedefre and Khafra and Queen Hetepheres II. Her titles include: King’s Mother (mwt-niswt), Mother of the King of the Two Lands (mwt-niswt-biti), Attendant of Horus (kht-hrw), God’s Daughter of his body (s3t-ntr-nt-kht.f). Hetepheres I’s marriage to Snefru solidified his rise to the throne. Two great lines were joined when they married, as she had carried the blood royal from one dynasty to the next. Her title as “Daughter to the God” began when her father, Huni, ruled, and continued when she married Snefru and gave birth to the next ruler, Khufu, who is the one who commissioned her tomb and pyramid. (Wikipedia)
Hetepheres I died during the reign of her son Khufu and is buried in the tomb near the pyramid of Khufu .
Source : Google photo of the tomb of Hetepheres I near the pyramid of Khufu in Giza
Source : Google photo of queen Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically-confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Wikipedia
One of ancient Egypt’s most prosperous rulers, profitable traders, and prolific builders was also the first (and arguably only) Pharaoh to rule Egypt as a King rather than a Queen. Hatshepsut reigned peacefully for over twenty years in the 15th century BC, ushering in a renaissance that marked the beginning of the New Kingdom period in ancient Egyptian history.
If you’ve never heard of her, there’s a reason for that. Twenty years after her nephew Thutmose III assumed the throne, most of Hatshepsut’s inscriptions and iconography were defaced or destroyed, her name and title removed, and monuments in her image vandalized: ostensibly part of a concentrated political effort by Thutmose to erase his predecessor in order to ensure the legitimacy of his son’s ascension to the throne. The full impact of this on Hatshepsut’s legacy was felt for over three thousand years, as she was effectively forgotten by history until 20th century archaeologists began uncovering the truth about her reign. (Wikipedia)
Source : Google photo of the tomb of Queen Hatshepsut
Source : Google photo of Nefertari ,wife of Pharaoh Ramses the great
Nefertari, also known as Nefertari Meritmut, was an Egyptian queen and the first of the Great Royal Wives of Ramesses the Great. Nefertari means ‘beautiful companion’ and Meritmut means ‘Beloved of [the goddess] Mut’. She is one of the best known Egyptian queens, next to Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and Hatshepsut. Wikipedia
Tomb paintings of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens
Source : Google photo of the tomb of Nefertari
4. Arsinoe IV
Source : Google photo of Arsinoe IV , half sister of Cleopatra and murdered by her.
Arsinoe IV (ca. 68/67 – 41 BC) was the fourth daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes, sister of Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra VII, and one of the last rulers of the Ptolemaic dynasty of ancient Egypt. When their father died, he left Ptolemy and Cleopatra as joint rulers of Egypt, but Ptolemy soon dethroned Cleopatra and forced her to flee Alexandria.
When Julius Caesar arrived in Alexandria in 48 BC and sided with Cleopatra’s faction, Arsinoe escaped from the capital with her mentor Ganymedes and joined the Egyptian army under Achillas, assuming the title of pharaoh. When Achillas and Ganymedes clashed, Arsinoe had Achillas executed and placed Ganymedes in command of the army. Ganymedes initially enjoyed some success against the Romans, negotiating an exchange of Arsinoe for Ptolemy, but the Romans soon received reinforcements and inflicted a decisive defeat on the Egyptians.
Arsinoe was transported to Rome, where she was forced to appear in Caesar’s triumph. Despite usual traditions of prisoners in triumphs being strangled when the festivities were at an end, Caesar spared Arsinoe because of tremendous sympathy the Romans had for her and granted her sanctuary at Ephesus. Arsinoe lived in the temple of Artemis for many years, always keeping a watchful eye for her sister Cleopatra, who saw her as a threat to her power. Her fears proved well-founded; in 41 BC, at Cleopatra’s instigation, Mark Antony ordered her executed on the steps of the temple. She was given an honorable funeral and a modest tomb in Ephesus.
The following video tells the story of Arsinoe in graphic detail and dazzling colors where modern day forensic scientists have found her skeleton in the octagonal tomb in Ephesus ( Turkey )and after thorough scientific studies declare the bones to be of Arsinoe who was murdered at the steps of the temple where she had lived , by the order of Mark Antony who at that time was the governor general of Ephesus but it was Cleopatra who wanted her sister assassinated.
Source : U tube video on how Arsinoe died
5. Cleopatra VII
Cleopatra’s story is well known where she is depicted as a ruthless ruler who killed her brother and half sister to ascend the throne and who beguiled Julius Caesar to make her the queen of all Egypt. But she was also a very learned woman who spoke fluently many languages and was known for her diplomatic skills that brought her country untold riches in trade and fame. A systematic effort is now being made to find her tomb that may be found in the near future as the videos below will show.
Source : Google photo of Cleopatra
Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, nominally survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. As a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great. Wikipedia
Source : Wikimedia commons painting of Cleopatra meeting Julius Caesar
The struggle with her teenage brother over the throne of Egypt was not going as well as Cleopatra VII had hoped. In 49 B.C., Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII—also her husband and, by the terms of their father’s will, her co-ruler—had driven his sister from the palace at Alexandria after Cleopatra attempted to make herself the sole sovereign. The queen, then in her early twenties, fled to Syria and returned with a mercenary army, setting up camp just outside the capital.
Meanwhile, pursuing a military rival who had fled to Egypt, the Roman general Julius Caesar arrived at Alexandria in the summer of 48 B.C., and found himself drawn into the Egyptian family feud. For decades Egypt had been a subservient ally to Rome, and preserving the stability of the Nile Valley, with its great agricultural wealth, was in Rome’s economic interest. Caesar took up residence at Alexandria’s royal palace and summoned the warring siblings for a peace conference, which he planned to arbitrate. But Ptolemy XIII’s forces barred the return of the king’s sister to Alexandria. Aware that Caesar’s diplomatic intervention could help her regain the throne, Cleopatra hatched a scheme to sneak herself into the palace for an audience with Caesar. She persuaded her servant Apollodoros to wrap her in a carpet which he then presented to the 52-year old Roman. She gained the favor of Caesar and became the queen of Egypt after her brother Ptolemy xiii was found drowned in the Nile. ( wikipedia).
After the defeat at Actium , her second lover Mark Antony committed suicide that led to the death of Cleopatra. It is not clear whether she was poisoned or she took her own life.
Source : Wikimedia commons painting showing Cleopatra in the throes of death.
The search for the tomb of Cleopatra
This video shows the courageous and very determined effort of Kathleen Martinez who is from the Dominican Republic to find the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony.
Source : U tube video on search for the tomb of Cleopatra by Kathleen Martinez
Cleopatra’s lost tomb may have been found
Source : U tube video on Cleopatra’s lost tomb
I want you all to watch the first video carefully where the author and narrator Dr.Joann Fletcher explains the contributions each queen made to enrich one of the greatest civilizations on the planet and how they are still so relevant today. It is a visual feast that will bring you immense amount of knowledge of old Egypt as depicted through the charming and very interesting narrative of the author so share with anyone you like.
Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography: