K’Lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Skin

The Queen Who Would Be Pharaoh

Bust of Queen Hatshepsut, Eighteenth Dynasty, Egyptian Museum Cairo, Egypt

Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. Born in 1507 BCE, she came to the throne in 1478 BCE on the death of her husband Thutmose II. She was in fact only acting as regent on behalf of her infant stepson Thutmose III. Within seven years, however, she took full power, assumed the title of pharaoh and became co-ruler. To cement her authority as pharaoh, she ordered that she be depicted as a male in all likenesses, with the ruddy skin and false beard of male pharaohs. For Egyptian artists, color had meaning and symbolism; use was consistent for over 3000 years. Males, including living pharaohs, were shown with reddish skin, to symbolize their outdoor life. Females had light yellow or whitish skin. Most deities had golden skin.

Hatshepsut’s reign was peaceful and prosperous, with expanded trade routes and commerce. She build vast monuments, including her mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri, near the entrance of what became the Valley of the Kings. She governed for about 22 years and is the second historically confirmed female Egyptian pharaoh. After her death, Thutmose III and his son, Amenhotep II, erased her name from monuments and destroyed or defaced her images and statues. She is never mentioned by scribes in later records, and there is a gap in the list of kings for years she ruled. Hatshepsut disappeared into the detritus of history until after 1822, when hieroglyphics were deciphered following the discovery of the Rosetta stone. Hatshepsut was acknowledged as a great pharaoh when scholars finally understand why a female name was combined with a male image. This painted limestone bust, now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, was found at her temple at Deir el-Bahri

Join K’Lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Skin

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Bird

Bird House

Roman mosaic tile floor, House of the Birds, 2nd-century, Italica, Spain

Italica, a Roman colony in western Andalusia, was founded in 206 BCE as a settlement for Roman soldiers. Italica rose to prominence in the 1st- and 2nd-centuries, during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian, both of whom were born in Italica. Several 2nd-century houses, with elaborate mosaic floors, have been excavated in the Hadrianic city (new city). The floor in the House of the Bird Mosaic consists of 35 small squares, each containing a different bird, surrounding a larger, central scene. According to our tour guide, the center square was stolen.  Because it was never built over, this elite quarter is unusually well-preserved, with  remains of spacious houses, cobbled streets, an aqueduct, and a sewer/drainage system. Portions of the drains can still be seen.

 

Join Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Bird

Glow

Lumière Dorée

The Louvre, Glowing, Paris, France

WPC: Glow

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