First Published: 2006-04-21

Ancient gold cartouches unearthed in Egypt

Cartouches bearing names of Hatshepsut and Thotmusis III shed new light on their relationship.


Middle East Online

Hatshepsut (L) and Thotmusis III

CAIRO - The discovery of gold cartouches dating back to 1400 BC sheds new light on the relationship between two ancient Egyptian rulers, Egypt's antiquities department said Friday.

A team of French and Egyptian archeologists have discovered two sets of nine solid gold cartouches bearing the name of Thotmusis III (who ruled from 1479-1425 BC) near the pharaoh's stepmother Queen Hatshepsut's temple in Luxor, 700 kilometres south of Cairo.

"These cartouches... which have the names of Hatshepsut and Thotmusis III have been found near Hatshepsut's obelisk which proves that the obelisk was erected by both rulers," said Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Thotmusis III, who was Hatshepsut's stepson and co-ruler after the death of his father Thotmusis II in 1479 BC, was widely regarded as having had strained relations with the queen. Thotmusis III was a child when his father died and the rule of the kindgom was initially put in the hands of Hatsheput.

Until the latest discovery, Egyptologists believed that Thotmusis III destroyed Hatshepsut's statues out of jealousy upon her death in 1458 BC, particularly the ones in Hatshepsut's temple in el Deir el Bahary in the southern city of Luxor.

"This goes against earlier views that Thotmusis III tried to hide Hatshepsut's obelisk when he took over as ruler and that he worked to erase any traces left by the queen," Hawass said.

The new discoveries will be taken to the Luxor Museum to be put on display.


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