EGYPT'S LOST QUEENS
A film for BBC2 produced by Lion Television in association with Medialab. Distributed by All 3 Media.
Throughout its history women held the title of Pharaoh no fewer than 18 times, also assuming numerous other roles of authority.
Now Professor Joann Fletcher puts influential Queens back at the heart of our understanding of Ancient Egypt, using a wealth of stories, buildings, documents and personal artefacts to tell their stories.
THE MOTHER Queen Hetepheres I (approx. 2600BC), was the first royal to be buried at the famous pyramid site at Giza. Its golden treasures include Hetepheres’ carrying chair inscribed ‘mother of the king who guides him, she whose every command is carried out’.
THE WARRIOR Pharaoh Hatshepsut (1508–1458 BC) became regent for her underage stepson around 1479 BC. As the ancient texts state “She governed the land, and the land was advised by her. Work was done for her, and Egypt bowed its head”. Her iconic Mortuary temple at Deir El Bahri also bears impressive evidence of foreign trade and campaigns.
THE CONSORT Queen Nefertari’s (died 1,199BC), famous temple at Abu Simbel was built in honour of her and the goddess Hathor. As the perfect royal wife she backed her husband Ramses II in everything, often sharing billing as a royal double act.
THE POLITICIAN Pharaoh Arsinoe II, (born 316BC) was the first Ptolemaic woman to rule jointly as Pharaoh with her brother. Arsinoe II was a diplomat and visionary whose shrewd movements proved a powerful precursor in a dynasty that led all the way to Kleopatra the Great.