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Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological
Review 31.3: 395-405.
Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt
Pearce Paul Creasman - pcreasman@ltrr.arizona.edu
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research & Egyptian Expedition
University of Arizona
1215 E Lowell St
Tucson AZ 85721, USA
Abstract
Most discussions regarding the relationship between pharaonic Egypt and the land of
Punt have focused on the latters location (a subject of considerable debate) and exotic
imports. The most famous of the ancient expeditions to Punt was launched by the
Eighteenth Dynasty female pharaoh Hatshepsut, who boasted that she had reopened this
prestigious trade route. If so, it would have been after a long hiatus possibly of some two
centuries. Offering a new perspective in the discussion of Punt, this paper explores the
rationale behind her particular expedition to this fabled land. Comparisons between the
textual and iconographic evidence of Hatshepsuts expedition and a similar record from a
distant predecessor (King Sahure) and those of later kings suggest the political nature of
the endeavor, which is further underscored by its apparent timing in relationship with her
coronation. Like any other Egyptian king, and perhaps more so because of her
unorthodox rise to power, Hatshepsut had to prove her fitness to rule. She did so by
economic means: international trade under the guise of an act of religious piety. This
perhaps allowed her to obtain the cooperation of other influential entities within Egyptian
society.
Rsum
La plupart des discussions concernant la relation entre l'Egypte pharaonique et le pays de
Pount ont port sur l'emplacement de celui-ci (un sujet de dbat considrable) et les
importations exotiques. Le plus clbre des anciens expditions Punt a t lanc par la
dix-huitime dynastie femme pharaon Hatchepsout, qui se vantait qu'elle avait rouvert
cette route commerciale prestigieuse. Si c'est le cas, il aurait t aprs une longue
interruption ventuellement de deux sicles. Offrant une perspective nouvelle dans la
discussion de Punt, cet article explore les raisons de son expdition particulire cette
terre fabuleuse. Les comparaisons entre les preuves textuelles et iconographiques de
l'expdition d'Hatchepsout et un similaire partir d'un lointain prdcesseur (le roi
Sahure) et ceux des rois ultrieurs suggrent la nature politique de l'entreprise, qui est en
outre souligne par son synchronisme apparente en relation avec Hatchepsouts
couronnement. Comme n'importe quel autre roi gyptien, et peut-tre plus en raison de
son lieu peu orthodoxe au pouvoir, Hatchepsout devait prouver son aptitude gouverner.
Elle l'a fait par des moyens conomiques: le commerce international sous le couvert d'un
acte de pit religieuse. Ce peut-tre lui a permis d'obtenir la coopration d'autres entits
influentes au sein de la socit gyptienne.
Keywords: ancient Egypt, trade, politics, legitimization, kingship, Punt

Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological 2
Review 31.3: 395-405.
INTRODUCTION
Pharaonic Egypt engaged in direct and indirect trade with a number of foreign
lands. Not all of these have been given precise geographic locations; the most famous of
these is a land or region referred to as Punt (Pwnt). The location of Punt has been much
debated (e.g. Bradbury 1996; Kitchen 1999; Meeks 2003; Balanda 2005/2006; Fattovich
2012b) and is not discussed here. For the present discussion it is sufficient to note that
Punt occupied a region to the south and east of Egypt, accessible by boat and by land.
Being on the periphery of Egypts sphere of influence, Punt may be described, like the
Aegean and some other distant regions, as a land beyond the reach of the military
capacities [] incorporated into the economic relations, but not the political scheme
(Warburton 2007, p. 81; cf. Kitchen 2012, p. 60). However, as will be demonstrated, Punt
did play a role in Egyptian politicsnot in terms of international relations but rather
ideologically and within the domestic sphere.
The wonders of Punt so desired by the ancient Egyptians included foremost
antyw/and and sntr, particularly prized aromatic resins that were requisites for ancient
temple ritual (e.g., Wise 2009; Aufrre 2003). These have not been identified botanically
but are commonly thought to be myrrh and frankincense, respectively (Serpico 2000;
Baum 2003). Punt also supplied other yet-unidentified resins and gums; metals such as
gold; exotic woods, particularly ebony (African blackwood, Dalbergia melanoxylon,
alternatively Diospyros sp.; Gale et al. 2000, p. 338); and a variety of other luxury goods.
But it was the aromatics, so important to the temple rituals central to the functioning of
the Egyptian state and society at large, from which Punt gained its lasting fame as the
Gods Land.
Inscriptions state that a communiqu from the king of the gods, Amun-Re,
provided the official (recorded) reason for Queen Hatshepsut of the Eighteenth Dynasty
to reestablish direct trade with Punt possibly after an interruption in Egyptian missions of
some 150300 years (Breasted 2001b, p. 116 285; although there seems to have been
direct military contact with Puntites ca. 150 years prior, when Puntites fought as allies of
the Kushites against Kamose in Nubia [Davies 2003]). Widow and sister of King
Thutmose II, Hatshepsut first served as regent for a young male heir, Thutmose III
(Dorman 2006; Keller 2005; Murnane 1977). The earliest official inscriptions in the reign
mention only Thutmose III, but sometime during or after regnal year 2, Hatshepsut
appears performing kingly functions even though she bears only titles appropriate to a
chief royal wife, including Gods Wife of Amun (Dorman 2006, pp. 4344). Later, she
acquired the full titulary and regalia of a reigning king and claimed to be the heir of her
father, King Thutmose I (Dorman 2005, p. 88; Dorman 2006, pp. 5455). Scenes and
texts credit her conception and selection as king to the chief god of state, Amun, whom
she honored with the construction of new monuments perhaps to the point of obsession
(Redford 1984, p. 359). In light of this preoccupation, this paper explores the possible
ideological and political rationale for a major maritime expedition to Punt launched by a
ruler evidently anxious over her own legitimacy.
PUNT AND ITS WONDERS IN CONTEXT: OLD KINGDOM THROUGH MIDDLE
KINGDOM
How Egypt first came into contact with Punt or its wonders is lost to history,

Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological 3
Review 31.3: 395-405.
but it is possible that obsidian from sources in Ethiopia and southwest Arabia began
arriving in Egypt during the Predynastic (Roy 2011, p. 264), and small ebony artifacts
from the region are known from the First Dynasty (Gale et al. 2000, p. 339). The
existence of an inter-regional trading circuit has been proposed for coasts on both sides
of the southern Red Sea (Fattovich 2012b), which might have provided a means for such
materials to enter early pharaonic Egypt.
The Palermo Stone preserves the earliest direct evidence of Egyptian knowledge
of Punt at present; at some point late in the reign of Sahure, the second king of the Fifth
Dynasty, a large quantity of goods, including 80,000 measures of antyw, were brought to
Egypt from Punt (Strudwick 2005, p. 72). This inscription may relate to the returning
maritime fleet and reception of Puntite goods depicted on this kings causeway at Abusir
(El Awady 2009, pp. 156157, 159, pl. 5). A fragmentary text in an accompanying scene
includes the incomplete phrase never happened. It is likely that the king was making a
claim of never had the like occurred (El Awady 2009, p. 169). Noreen Doyle (personal
communication, 30 September 2013; cf. Tait 2003, p. 12) suggests that this may be the
oldest surviving example of what would later become a familiar pharaonic refrain used
by, among many others, Hatshepsut.
In this suite of scenes, the kingattended by his mother, his wife, and a number
of courtiersobtains resinous gum from and trees brought back by his fleet (El Awady
2009, pp. 160179, pls. 56.). The royal mother enjoys prominent mention here; El
Awady (2009, p. 169) interprets the text as refer[ing] to a special and precious gift from
the king to her and perhaps also others in attendance. Certainly other materials that
likely came from Punt were given as official gifts during the Old Kingdom; for example,
Sahures successor Neferirkare granted his vizier Weshptah a coffin of ebony (Breasted
2001a, pp. 112113 247). Other textual records attest to expeditions to or other contact
with Punt during later reigns of the Old Kingdom (e.g. Strudwick 2005, pp. 332, 333,
335, 340 n. 245; Breasted 2001a, pp. 160 351, 163 360; Newberry 1938), and there is
indisputable archaeological evidence of even earlier Old Kingdom maritime activities on
the Red Sea (e.g. Tallet 2012; Tallet 2013; Tallet and Marouard 2012).
Whatever the situation was in the subsequent First Intermediate Period, when
Egypt was politically fragmented, the Red Sea port at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis preserves
evidence for expeditions to Punt throughout most of the Twelfth Dynasty (Fattovich
2012a). Even as late as the Thirteenth Dynasty, there is a reference to a boat-borne ritual,
greatly flooded with the scent of Punt, in which King Neferhotep I presented myrrh,
wine, and divine products to the god Osiris (Simpson 2003, p. 342). How these
aromatics were obtainedwhether from contemporary direct or indirect trade or even
from stores on hand from expeditions during previous reignsremains unknown.
NEW KINGDOM EXPEDITIONS TO PUNT BEFORE AND DURING THE REIGN
OF HATSHEPSUT
No record of trade between Egypt and Punt for the Second Intermediate period is
known. During this time, native Egyptian rule was confined to Upper Egypt, caught
between two hostile powers: the north governed from Avaris and Memphis by a
succession of foreign kings (the Hyksos), and, in the south, a rising Kushite kingdom
centered at Kerma. Hypothetically, the Theban kings might have retained access to the
Red Sea (cf. Bourriau 1999, p. 46; Bourriau 1997, p. 160), but there is no evidence for

Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological 4
Review 31.3: 395-405.
use of Mersa/Wadi Gawasis during this period. Furthermore, they may have lacked
sufficient resources (e.g., Levantine timber) to conduct the vigorous Red Sea trade of
their Middle Kingdom predecessors. The blockage of trade with the Levant has even been
proposed as a motivation for the Theban conquest of the north (OConnor 1997, p. 62).
Immediately following the defeat of the Hyksos and the reunification of Egypt by
Ahmose, imported materialsreal lapis lazuli for jewelry and cedar for sacred barges
and columns (Breasted 2001b, p. 14 32)were obtained from foreign sources to the
north. Ahmose stresses that his building projects employ new cedar (Breasted 2001b, p.
14 32) rather than engaging in the standard practice of reusing old timbers (Creasman
2013). The objects created from these imports were not (directly) for the king, or for his
family members or courtiers, but specifically for the cult of Amun-Re, patron deity of
Thebes, to whom the kings no doubt felt indebted for their victories. The cultic luxury
consumption that would increase through the New Kingdom (Silver 1995, p. 34) thus
began with such benefactions early in the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Egypts reassertion southward took root during the reign of Amenhotep I, who
campaigned personally in Kush (Breasted 2001b, pp. 3335 8081; Bryan 2000, p.
224). Hatshepsuts father, Thutmose I, delivered the fatal blow (Bryan 2000, p. 232).
This may have brought Egyptians into second-hand contact with Punt, perhaps via an old
Nilotic route used during the Old Kingdom, but evidence is lacking.
Although her co-ruler and eventual successor Thutmose III would choose to
extend Egypts influence northward, Hatshepsut elected to continue a southern
expansion. She actively continued to consolidate Egyptian rule in Nubia; surviving
inscriptions attest to two campaigns during her reign, at least one of which she undertook
personally (Davies 2005, pp. 5253). Given that additional territorial conquest southward
beyond that already achieved by her predecessors might have been logistically
unsustainable, in order to continue an expansion of Egyptian influence Hatshepsut had
few choices, one of which was to dispatch a fleet to the Gods Land. That this choice
could serve not only a material end but a political purpose as well made it all the more
valuable.
Through the period of Hyksos domination of the north and the flourishing of
Kerma in the south, Punt and its wonders had not been forgotten. An inscription at the
queens temple at Deir el-Bahri announced that a command was heard from the great
throne, an oracle of the god (i.e. Amun-Re) himself, that the ways to Punt should be
searched out, that the highways to the Myrrh-terraces should be penetrated (Breasted
2001b, p. 116 285). Upon hearing this oracle, Hatshepsut replied, I will lead the army
on water and on land, to bring marvels from Gods-Land for this god, the fashioner of her
beauty (Breasted 2001b, p. 116 285). Although this would not (and could not) be an
expedition of military conquest, Hatshepsut recognized the importance of not only
displaying her ability to command the military but indeed also including the military in
this sacred enterprise.
Hatshepsuts Punt inscriptions are accompanied by an astonishing series of reliefs
illustrating the expedition and the presentation of its cargo (Naville 1898, pp. 1121, pls.
6986). Sahures much older scenes have been proposed as a model for Hatshepsut; even
apart from the Punt reliefs, Sahures causeway offers iconographic parallels with
Hatshepsuts temple (Roth 2005, p. 149). Unfortunately, if Sahures text recorded the
impetus behind his expedition, it has not survived, nor have any from the Middle

Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological 5
Review 31.3: 395-405.
Kingdom, although the Eleventh Dynasty temple of Mentuhotep at Deir el-Bahri may
have once contained similar imagery (Doyle 2013, p. 139). To what extent Hatshepsuts
ancient predecessors may have inspired the queen or whether she was declaring a novel
motivation for the launch of her expedition cannot now be determined.
Possibly inspired by Sahures importation of living and trees, Hatshepsuts
expedition also took from Punt trees small enough to be dug up with sufficient roots to
keep them alive for eventual transplanting in Egypt (Dixon 1969). This feat also appears
in Theban tomb 67, belonging to Hapuseneb, who served as high priest of Amun under
the queen (Davies 1961). Besides these trees and probably several tons of antyw (Hikade
2001, p. 77), which she owed to the lord of gods (Breasted 2001b, p. 121 294), her
expedition returned with other luxuries for which Punt was known, including Puntites
(Wicker 1998, p. 157; cf. Breasted 2001b, p. 109 265). The success of the expedition
allowed Hatshepsut to give the god a Punt in his garden at Thebes (Breasted 2001b, p.
122 295).
PUNT AND ITS WONDERS AFTER HATSHEPSUT
If Hatshepsut was the first New Kingdom monarch to trade with Punt (a
consideration not to be ignored or exaggerated [Saleh 1972b, 157]), she was not the last.
Her coregent and successor, Thutmose III, continued to benefit from the renewed trade.
Interestingly, in the earliest surviving mention in Tutmose IIIs Annals (year 31), the
importation of antyw does not occur via Punt but rather from the Gnbtyw (Breasted
2001b, p. 201 474), who were possibly an Arabian people (Saleh 1972a). It is entirely
possible that the appearance of Hatshepsuts ships in Punt spurred interest among the
inhabitants of the region to seek out trade with Egypt through whatever means at their
disposal. Once aware of the new market, they would have no reason to remain passive
partners awaiting the arrival of another Egyptian fleet. Despite scholarly assertion of
trade expeditions to Punt in years 33 and 38 (Panagiotopoulos 2006, p. 373), the
ancient texts do not spell out the means by which marvels of Punt arrived in Egypt later
in Thutmose IIIs reign (Breasted 2001b, pp. 204 486, 210 513; cf. Saleh 1972a, pp.
246247).
Some later texts are straightforward on the matter of Egyptian travel to Punt. An
inscription of Rameses II at Aksha (Serra West), which parallels an inscription at Amara
West, records that an expedition reached Punt and received some of the usual
marvels, including and incense trees (Breasted 2001d, p. 203 407; Rodrigo 1985).
Rameses III sent to Punt a fleet on a voyage famously described in the Papyrus Harris I
(Bongrani 1997). This is likely how he obtained not only the antyw mentioned in the
papyrus but also the myrrh-sycamores planted at a temple of Ptah in Memphis
(Breasted 2001d, p. 169 333). However, unlike the case of Hatshepsuts ostensible
offerings to Hathor and establishment of a shrine, the Punt-bound fleet of Rameses III
consisted simply of ships laden with the products of Egypt without number, being in
every number like ten-thousands (Breasted 2001d, p. 203 407).
Some New Kingdom texts give Amun or Amun-Re credit for gathering tribute
from Punt (Seti I; Nineteenth Dynasty) (Breasted 2001c, p. 57 116; cf. Saleh 1977a, p.
257) or, mak[ing] the countries (pl.) of Pwenet come to [the king] with their tribute
(Amenhotep II; Eighteenth Dynasty) (Saleh 1972a, p. 257; cf. Breasted 2001b, pp. 361
362 892). This god also opened for Seti I the highways of Punt (Saleh 1972a, p. 257

Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological 6
Review 31.3: 395-405.
n. 3; Breasted 2001c, p. 76 155), but it is not specified who is traveling on them:
Puntites, Egyptians, or intermediaries. The means by which the tribute-bearing Puntites
who appear in Eighteenth Dynasty tombs (e.g., Davies 1922, p. 84, pls. 32, 33B; Davies
1944, pp. 1820; cf. Panagiotopoulos 2006, p. 395) came to Egypt is not stated. It is
certainly possible that these delegations arrived aboard an Egyptian fleet, as Puntites
accompanied their products aboard the ships of Sahure, Hatshepsut, and Ramesses III.
Although during the reign of Rameses III trade with the Gods Land to the
southeast may have shifted to land routes through the Arabian Peninsula (Somaglino and
Tallet 2011), a As late as the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty Egyptian expeditions were still
reaching Punt; after this, it persists only in literary and mythical contexts (Kitchen 1982,
p. 1199).
DISCUSSION: HATSHEPSUTS POLITICS OF PUNT
The belief that Hatshepsut was the first New Kingdom monarch to trade with Punt
is not new (Naville 1898, p. 11), While the veracity of this claim has been called into
question (e.g., Sve-Sderberg 1946, pp. 16-30; Wachsmann 1998, p. 18), it appears to
be largely accepted by the field.
The phraseology associated with later New Kingdom references to Punt contrast
sharply with those of Hatshepsut. Later texts make the god Amun/Amun-Re the actor
who makes Punt bring its products or who opens the highways to Punt for the king.
However, in Hatshepsuts texts the god commands the queen to send to the Myrrhterraces, to explore his ways [for him], to learn his circuit, to open his highways
(Breasted 2001b, p. 121 294). Rather than being the beneficiary of divine effort,
Hatshepsut acts on behalf of the god, opening the highways to Punt herself by means of
her fleet.
Both Sahure and Hatshepsut make equivalent statements that no former ruler had
ever accomplished an expedition to Punt. Whether this was literally true for Sahure in the
Fifth Dynasty is impossible to say at present (a speculative case can be suggested for the
Fourth Dynasty under Sneferus reign [e.g., El Awady 2006, pp. 4243]); the use of the
Red Sea harbor at Wadi el-Jarf, which has been speculated relates to the Punt trade,
predates him by a century (Tallet et al. 2012). Hatshepsuts claimed motivationnamely,
the oracle of Amuncould reflect the predominance of god as direct cause (actor) and
the elimination or, to be more correct, reduction in the role of social mores (conformity;
acting according to Maat [i.e., universal order]) in determining the body politic that
contrasts the early Eighteenth Dynasty with the Middle Kingdom (Spalinger 1998, p.
298). That is, the importance of Hatshepsuts expedition might arise not from its being
another iteration of an ancient pattern but rather from the expedition itself and its results
(cf. Assmann 1989, pp. 7576).
This need not mean that Hatshepsut was not consciously emulating her illustrious
ancient predecessors. That she did so in certain respects is clear, for example, from the
architecture of her temple, which reflected the Eleventh Dynasty temple of Mentuhotep,
beside which it was built (Roth 2005). Nonetheless, the pretext for her Punt expedition
was a specific, contemporary divine request. The return of her fleet would not be
celebrated for bringing back aromatics subsequently presented to the queen mother and
members of the court. Hatshepsut instead dedicated the aromatics directly to the god. It is
this act that most greatly contrasts her expedition with Sahures. This specific dedication

Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological 7
Review 31.3: 395-405.
is critical to understanding the motivation behind the venture.
Punt had valuable goods to offer those in charge of the divine estates and rituals.
An expedition to Punt offered the priests of Amun the opportunity to partake of the
bounties of Punt, cultic luxuries perhaps not available directly, in sufficient volume, or
possibly at all for some two or three centuries. Not coincidentally, a high priest of Amun
during Hatshepsuts reign, Hapuseneb, even included a Punt scene in his tomb (Theban
Tomb 67) (Davies 1961). This was probably not, however, merely royal largesse.
The timing of Hatshepsuts venture to Punt is revealing. The inscription indicates
that the fleet returned in year 9 (Breasted 2001b, p. 120 292); given that the voyage
would have taken 1012 months (Hikade 2001, p. 76), the expedition likely launched in
year 8. It would have required a great deal of preparation before departure: conversion of
wood into timbers, constructing and equipping the ships, assembling (and training?)
crews and support personnel who might number in the thousands (Kitchen 1993, p. 589;
Kitchen 2012, p. 62; Hikade 2001, pp. 7677), etc. This process might have begun a year
or more before the launch.
Might the queen have initiated the process immediately after, or even immediately
before, the formal coronation that recognized her as not mere regent but king? This event
took place no later than year 7, but possibly as early as year 2 (Murnane 1977, pp. 33
34). Critically, it is not until after the Punt expedition returned that official dates often
include both Pharaohs, with Hatshepsut occurring first more often than not (Spalinger
1998, p. 275; emphasis added). The voyage to Punt may have been an important element
of political theater. It is not surprising, then, that other such events are also recorded at
Deir el-Bahri, including Hatshepsuts journey with her father to the chief sanctuaries of
Egypt (Naville 1898, pp. 23) and Thutmose I presenting Hatshepsut dressed in mens
clothing as his associate and heir to high-ranking officials (Naville 1898, p. 6). It is
tempting (if cynical) to see the Punt expedition and its luxuries offered as a
reward/promise for those who supported her accession to the throne, including the
powerful priesthood of the god whose support was essential to pharaonic legitimacy. In a
speech recorded in an inscription at Deir el-Bahri, the queen herself proclaims that the
antyw of Punt was owed to the lord of gods [i.e., Amun], in order to establish the laws of
his house (Breasted 2001b, p. 121 294). To give to the god, one gives to the cult and its
personnel.
The politics of dispensing such favors may have been a factor in the choice of
expedition leader as well. Hatshepsuts fleet was not commanded by anyone with titles
related to Amun but rather by the overseer of the seal and chief treasurer Nehesy
(Breasted 2001b, p. 119 290). His burial at Saqqara suggests a close association with the
vizier of the north at Memphis, a place that may have served as the real administrative
center during the period (Bryan 2006, p. 77). Although electing a commander with
affiliation(s) in the north for such a prestigious voyage may have been a matter of
practicalityEgypts best seafarers were at this time likely concentrated in the north to
serve Egypts Mediterranean fleetit could have engendered vital goodwill in Lower
Egypt. Hatshepsut may have used this appointment to evidence her favoritism beyond
Egypts spiritual center, Thebes, and the cult of Amun, to encompass the geographic and
political whole: Upper and Lower Egypt, cult and bureaucracy, along with the important
third element of New Kingdom governance, the army, which accompanied, or even
constituted, the expedition.

Creasman, P.P. 2014. Hatshepsut and the Politics of Punt. African Archaeological 8
Review 31.3: 395-405.
Furthermore, Thutmose III makes an appearance in the scene, thus acquiring
some share in his coregent's display (Murnane 1977, p. 37); even within her own temple,
Hatshepsut could not forget who would remain on the throne upon her death.
CONCLUSION
Whether the decision to attempt to reach Punt originated with the queen or with
the priesthood cannot be known for certain. Certainly so complex and costly a decision
would not be undertaken without politico-economicand perhaps genuinely pious
reward. A successful expedition to Punt and back again would achieve two inseparable
and entirely practical goals: reestablishing trade in aromatics and other exotics, many of
which would have been highly desirable for cultic luxury consumption (and a tool to
curry favor) and demonstrating possession of the administrative wherewithal, personal
charisma, and perhaps even the moral superiority (Warburton 2007, p. 80) necessary to
organize and implement such an undertaking. Even when occupying the throne (or half of
it), Hatshepsut had to prove her abilities to perform all of the functions expected of a
king.
The expedition to Punt demonstrated that Hatshepsuts reach was not limited to
the borders of Egypt. Although she might have decided to showcase her Nubian conflict
and performance on the battlefield like other kings, Punt gave her a greater novelty, a
deed that her (immediate) predecessors could not claim. It also more directly benefited
the cult of the god whom, to legitimize her kingly status, she claimed as her divine father.
The political opinion and influence of Amuns priesthood, which could scarcely have
disregarded the symbolic and practical implications of her donations, would have been a
key element in the political base of her unorthodox kingship. Favoring an official from
Lower Egypt with the appointment as expedition commander, and including a military
contingent, may have been intended, likewise, to encourage support among the
bureaucrats in the north and officers of the army. Hatshepsuts Punt expedition,
undertaken in the period of her coronation, and its depiction were calculated elements of
her legitimization.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The author is especially grateful to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their
thoughtful suggestions, which have significantly strengthened this work. Furthermore,
Noreen Doyle is owed a great debt of gratitude for ensuring this work came to press and
for her intellectual contributions to it.
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