Coronation of Hatshepsut and Tutmose III: Analysing the Political Myth

Mironova Alexandra V.

The paper explores the interrelation of three types of coronation under Hatshepsut and Tutmose III: coronation of the successor during the reign of his predecessor (coronation-1), coronation of the pharaoh after his accession to the throne (coronation-2) and coronation as one of the rites of the religious festivals («festival coronation»). The author tries to find the sources of the coronation rites performed over Hatshepsut depicted in the seventh register of the Red Chapel in Karnak. In all probability, the reliefs depict the «festival coronation» performed during the Opet festival and the Feast of Valley represented on the walls of the chapel. Modern research has shown that the «festival coronation» was a sacred reminiscence of the mythical coronation of Hatshepsut as a successor; the conclusion is based on parallels drawn between decoration of some Hatshepsut’s constructions (the Temple of Deir el-Bahri, the Red Chapel, the VIII Pylon of the Karnak Temple) and the texts of oracle carved on the walls of these monuments. An analysis of Tutmose III’s texts and the decoration of his Akhmenu temple makes it probable that coronation of the ruler was semantically connected with the Nehebkau festival, Opet festival, Heb Sed and the New Moon Festival. The author comes to the conclusion that Hatshepsut and Tutmose III did not celebrate the coronation festival as such, the latter having been substituted with the «festival coronation» as a part of various Theban festivals. There were, however, certain semantic differences between «festival coronations» of these two rulers, Hatshepsut putting emphasis on the solar aspect of the ruler as son of Re and Tutmose III on his identification as son of Osiris.

Keywords: Pharaoh's coronation, Hatshepsut, Tutmose III, oracle, New Moon festival, Nehebkau festival, New year, Opet festival, Akhmenu temple