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Mummy of Cross-Dressing Pharaoh Uncovered

By Lenny Stoute     Jun 28, 2007 in Science
Positive identification of mystery mummy as Queen Hatshepsut hailed as most important find in Egypt since King Tutankamen's tomb. Search for more artifacts intensifies in Valley of Kings.
She's long been a legend in lesbian circles as the ultimate gay woman of power and mystery. When her mummy was initially discovered in 1903, the austerity of the sarcophagus and surrounding funeral furniture caused archaeologists to pass over it as unlikely to be a significant find.
That all changed when Egyptian authorities using DNA analysis and a tooth identified a mummy found a century ago as the remains of pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut.
Originally discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings burial ground, the mummy was left on site while archaeologists often searched for Hatshepsut's remain in other locations. Two months ago, during spring cleaning in the Valley of the Kings, the mummy was dusted off and hauled to the Cairo Museum for routine testing.
Which turned up the anything but routine Hatshepsut, a shocking development for the scientists.
A spokesman for the Cairo museum said they are " one hundred percent certain" the mummy belongs to Hatshepsut, based on DNA and other tests of a tooth found in a relic box containing some of the missing queen's organs.
A woman monarch who called herself a pharaoh and dressed like a man, Hatshepsut ruled over Egypt during the 15th century B.C.
Speculation it is was her remains was later fuelled by the fact the mummy's left arm was bent in a pose thought to mark royal burials and it wore a wooden face-piece (possibly to fit a false beard).
Which brings us to the Hatshepsut gay/straight divide. While the cross-dressing and false beard point to royal gayness, it's to be noted that many historical hard ass hetero heroines such as Queen Elizabeth ! and Catharine The Great also dressed as men to make the job of commanding men in war easier.
More indicative of something about Hatshepsut not sitting well with either the authorities or the people is the total disappearance, within a very short time of her death, of every trace of her rule.
It's as if she never lived, which is fuelling speculation the mummy may have been dumped in the location it was found, after her real tomb had been obliterated.
During her famed 18th Dynasty rule, she expanded Egyptian power and territory, establishing trade routes in Asia and ran a highly effective military campaign against the Hittites. At her peak, she was more powerful than either of her more famous and girlie-girl successors, Nefertiti and Cleopatra.
Some say the most likely suspect for the "disappearance" of Hatshepsut from history is her stepson, Thutmosis III, whose throne she seized in a palace coup.
What's yet to be nailed down is whether by the time of her death the deposed ex-ruler had the clout to make this kind of rewrite happen.
Other folk rate the Egyptian Royal priesthood even higher on the suspect scale, as they would have had a hard time swallowing a gay female Pharaoh in the palaces of Luxor.
Archaeologists hope the mummy, which has lain unrecognised for decades, will yield clues about the mystery of her death and subsequent disappearance.
More about Hatshepsut, Kingtut, Mummy
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