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Wednesday, June 27

The Queen Wore a Beard

About 3,500 years ago (more than half the age of the planet, if you listen to the Yahoos) there was a ruler of Egypt named Thutmosis III. By all accounts he was a bit of a waste, so his stepmother put the move on him and took over the kingdom. The lady's name was Hatshepsut.

Since the Pharaoh had to be a man (after all, one of the titles was "Son of Amon") Hatshepsut was often portrayed in male clothing, complete with fake beard as a mark of nobility. Her reign was generally beneficent but after she died the stepson took over again and tried to erase her from memory.

Gotta love the patriarchy.

Her funerary temple, however, is one of the grandest and most visited monuments in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. However, her actual tomb was thought to be lost forever.

Until now, that is.

The Egyptian Department of Antiquities has announced that they have found Hatshepsut's mummy, and will be running a DNA test to prove the authenticity of their claims.

Now, why on earth, you may ask, am I going on about this?

Well, apart from applauding the continuing advances made in both archeology and in genetic science, I applaud the fact that there were strong-willed women leaders even that far back in our history.

I wonder how Hillary would look in a fake beard?

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