Research Paper: Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut

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[. . .] [footnoteRef:2] [2: Abeer El-Shahawy, Farid S. Atiya, The Egyptian Museum in Cairo (American University in Cairo Press, 2005): 160.]

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, even the way in which the statue is dressed is symbolic: "the pharaoh wears the nemes headdress, and around her neck is a chain of tubular beads from which hangs an amulet of somewhat enigmatic form (a double pouch pierced with a thorn)."[footnoteRef:3] The statue holds two circular globes in each of its hands, probably designed to represent order and balance. It is possible that the globes represent globes of milk as offerings. [footnoteRef:4] [3: Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut, The Metropolitan Museum of Art] [4: El-Shahawy & Atiya, 160.]

Perhaps most interestingly of all, the inscription on the statue refers to the queen using masculine titles (as a king) but also refers to the queen in the feminine third person.[footnoteRef:5] Even female leaders in ancient Egypt were referred to as kings, given the masculine status that leaders were supposed to uphold. Once again, this underlines the symbolic nature of the statue. Hatshepsut is less of a real woman than she is a stand-in for a representation of godlike, ruling power on earth. Her human qualities matter less than what she embodies as a representation of an idea about ruling and the relationship of rulers to the gods. She is a 'real' woman, but she is also a 'king,' just like she was a 'real' leader whose image is given symbolic significance as representing something about leadership. [5: Ibid.]


El-Shahawy, Abeer & Atiya, Farid S. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo. American University in Cairo Press, 2005

Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Available: [3 Mar 2013]

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