What are the theories as to why Hatshepsut's monuments were defaced by Tuthmosis ll?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To this day there is mystery surrounding the history of Hatshepsut, the wife of Tuthmosis II, who became the Egyptian pharaoh after her husband's brief reign of three years. At first she accepted her role as co-regent with Tuthmosis II's son by his concubine named Isis (Hatshepsut had no sons). However, in her third year of reign, inexplicably, Hatshepsut had her history and defense carved onto her temple walls. On these walls was written her defense of her right to rule, justified by her descent both from her father Tuthmose I and her heavenly father, the god Amen. To present herself as more worthy of the role of pharaoh, Hatshepsut even had herself portrayed with a male body and a beard.

Of course, why Hatshepsut maintained her co-regency for as long as she did remains a mystery. As the young Tuthmosis III grew, he was educated as a scribe and priest, an education that fostered in him a love of literature and history. Tuthmosis III was also trained as a soldier, and he became a strict proponent of tradition. When he finally took the throne two decades later after Hatshepsut's death and her campaigns that witnessed Egypt's restoration as an empire, Tuthmosis III was the richest man in the world.

With his great wealth and propensity for strict adherence to tradition, Tuthmosis III had all allusions to her eradicated. Her mummy was removed and all trace of her history was eradicated with the destruction of all monuments dedicated to her. In addition, it is known that Tuthmosis III wished to ensure that no one challenged his son Amurhofep II for the throne; therefore, by eradicating the history of Hatshepsut, Tuthmosis III secured his son's future.