A Historical Note About the Novel
Hatshepsut, the female Pharaoh, really did exist. She reigned as King in the Eighteenth Dynasty, from 1490 to 1468 B.C. After her death, her mortuary temple was destroyed, her images smashed, and her obelisks were plastered over. Only a few small fragments remained, enough to give Egyptologists clues to her existence, which they found in the early 1900's. The process of restoring the temple is still underway. The temple itself is one of the loveliest in all of Egypt; with its series of colonnades and ramps, it seems to grow gracefully from the cliff towering at its back. You can still see images of Hatshepsut’s trading expeditions to Punt painted on the walls.
No one knows who damaged the temple of the female Pharaoh and tried to remove her name from history, although evidence points to her nephew Thutmose III. Perhaps it was done to make it look as though the kingdom had passed unbroken from father to son.
Hatshepsut’s mummy was lost for centuries and feared to have been destroyed along with her temple. However, it was rediscovered in 2007, and positively identified as Pharaoh Hatshepsut by DNA testing and by the match of a missing tooth, found in a Canopic box marked with her cartouche.