Hatshepsut, Queen of Sheba

Hatshepsut, Queen of Sheba

Hatshepsut, Queen of Sheba

Hatshepsut, Queen of Sheba

Synopsis

Over the centuries the figure of the Queen of Sheba has loomed large in poetry and romance. The mysterious Queen, who is said to have visited Solomon in Jerusalem, has cast her spell over poets, painters and storytellers of many lands. The people of Ethiopia have always claimed her as her own, and to this day boast that her son Menelik - fruit of the union between the Queen and Solomon - stole the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple in Jerusalem after Solomon's death. For all that, historians have been more sanguine, and increasingly over the past century the academic community has veered towards consigning both royal characters to the fairyland of myth and romance. In 1952, however, Immanuel Velikovsky made an astonishing claim: He announced that not only did the Queen of Sheba exist, but that she left numerous portraits of herself as well as an account of her famous journey to Israel. The Queen of Sheba, Velikovsky announced, was none other than Hatshepsut, the female "pharaoh" of Egypt, who built a beautiful temple outside Thebes on the walls of which she immortalized the most important event of her life: an expedition to the Land of Punt. Punt, said Velikovsky, was one and the same as Israel. In this volume historian Emmet Scott brings forward dramatic new evidence in support of Velikovsky. He finds, among other things, that: - Ancient Israel, just like Punt, was a renowned source of frankincense. - Egyptian documents, generally ignored in academic circles, unequivocally place Punt in the region of Syria/Palestine. - The goddess Hathor was known as the 'Lady of Punt,' but she was also known as the 'lady of Byblos'. - The Egyptians claimed to be of Puntite origin, but Jewish and Phoenician legends claimed that the Egyptians came from their part of the world, and the Phoenicians named Misor - almost certainly the same as Osiris - as the Phoenician hero who founded the Nile Kingdom. This, and a wealth of additional evidence, has, Scott argues, shifted the burden of proof onto Velikovsky's critics; and the identification of Hatshepsut with the Queen of Sheba will eventually compel the rewriting of all the history books. Joyce Tyldesley's 'Hatchepsut' deals with the same character, but from an entirely conventional viewpoint. She never even raises the possibility that the accepted chronology of Hatshepsut's life may be wrong. In his 'Ages in Chaos,' however, Immanuel Velikovsky did raise this possibility, and was the first to suggest that Hatshepsut be identified with the Queen of Sheba. Velikovsky's work remains extremely popular, and the present book aims to take his ideas forward, exploring new evidence that has come to light since his death. This new evidence, Scott argues, puts the equation of Hatshepsut with the Queen of Sheba virtually beyond doubt.

Excerpt

The book that follows is partly biography; but more than the history of a person it is the history of a controversy and of a mystery. It is a history concerned as much with time and context as with personalities. It is the story of the Egyptian queen known to history as Hatshepsut and also of the mysterious queen known to history as the Queen of Sheba, or Queen of the South. These two characters, removed from each other in the textbooks by a little over five centuries, are revealed to be one and the same person.

I was not the first to reach this conclusion: That honor goes to Immanuel Velikovsky, whose 1952 book Ages in Chaos acquainted the reading public for the first time with this startling revelation. In line with his proposal that Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian history needed to be moved down the timescale by five centuries, Velikovsky came to the conclusion that Hatshepsut, the great female “pharaoh”, whom conventional history places between 1508 and 1458 BC, must have been a contemporary of Solomon, the most glorious of Israel’s early kings, whom history tells us reigned between 971 and 931 BC. Two such extraordinary characters, thought Velikovsky, if they had lived at the same time, must have interacted in some way. Could it be, Velikovsky mused, that Hatshepsut was the mysterious Queen of Sheba, whose meeting with Solomon in Jerusalem had led, throughout the centuries, to such romantic speculation? In the writings of Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, Velikovsky found evidence that the Queen of Sheba had indeed been an Egyptian monarch. According to Josephus, she was “the woman who, at that time, ruled as queen of Egypt and Ethiopia,” a woman who was, furthermore, “thoroughly trained in wisdom and remarkable in other ways.” Since . . .

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