Is it true that only some of Hatshepsut's monuments were defaced by Tuthmosis ll? If so, why? Was it also Pharoah tradition to destroy the former Pharoh's monuments?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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While it is true that some of Hatshepsut's monuments were defaced, archaeologists can't seem to agree on why it happened, who did the defacing and when these acts of political sabotage occurred. I have included links below for your perusal.

Here are several hypotheses archaeologists have come up with:

1) Her son, Tuthmosis III, resented reigning with her: he may have felt that being co-regent affected his legitimacy to rule. The delaying of Tuthmosis III's sole rule and his subsequent ill-will towards his mother led to the defacement of the images.

2) She offended Maat, the Goddess of truth and justice, and therefore her images were defaced as "punishment."

3) Many of Hatshepsut's images still remained after her death, so Tuthmosis III couldn't have been the one responsible for destroying some of the monuments. Egyptians believed that preserving a pharaoh's spirit after death was vitally important.

4) Her statues were smashed and some of her monuments were defiled after her death because Tuthmosis III wanted all credit ascribed to him for some of the successes of Hatshepsut's reign.

Was it common for pharaohs to deface images or defile monuments belonging to previous pharaohs? Not every pharaoh did this, but some did, and here's an example: Akhenaten, one of the most famous pharaohs, had his sun temples obliterated and his images and name chiseled from his monuments after his death. This is because he had angered his people during his reign by promoting Aten as the chief god and himself as the intermediary between Aten and man. Amun, the god previously in residence, was effectively banished to obscurity by this pharaoh. After his death, his mummy was defiled, and archaeologists believe that the parties responsible did so out of political and religious considerations. As to who exactly ordered the acts of vengeance, archaeologists are still stumped.  Akhenaten's name and the names of two of his successors were also effectively left out of the lists of kings.

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