by Richard H Wilkinson; Book : Biography
Documenting a Discourse of Erasure in Ancient Egyptian History   (2013-10-31)
Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt surveys the latest research from an international group of respected Egyptologists. Their findings reveal an emerging portrait of Tausret, a pivotal figure enmeshed in intrigue and conflict at the close of the 19th Dynasty (1296-1186 B.C.E). One of only three women to rule Egypt as pharaoh, Tausret presents Egyptologists with a microcosm of New Kingdom (Dynasties 18-20, 1550-1069 B.C.E.) culture as she progresses through a series of increasingly powerful roles from queen consort (or “King’s Great Wife”), to regnant queen ruling with the young Siptah, to a ruling pharaoh who may have directly engaged in battle (45). A dense narrative presents multiple aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, including: the unusual legal agency of Egyptian women, the central role of maat as the unifying philosophy of religion and politics, the significance of royal architecture and iconography, the ephemerality of the trappings of power, and the intricate gears of the “afterlife machinery of the pharaohs” (92). Infusing this research about Tausret and her world is a discourse of erasure. This discourse reveals how even the powerful can be forgotten and how the forgotten can be discovered and remembered anew by their descendants and subsequent generations of historians. In re-discovering those who have been erased we reanimate their histories.
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