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The Discovery of the Mysterious Pharaoh Head

Lately, the Egypt Centre provided the students studying Egyptology at Swansea University the golden chance to study genuine Egyptian artefacts. On deep observation, Dr. Ken Griffin, from the University's Department of Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology, found one of the objects more fascinating among all the artefacts.

This object was one of the famous pharaohs in history -- Hatshepsut (one of only a handful of female pharaohs). It was kept in storage for over twenty years. The front side consists of a head of a figure, although the face of the figure is absent. There were traces of hieroglyphs present above the head. It depicts a ruler of Egypt, particularly with the presence of the uraeus (cobra) on the forehead of the figure. As far as the historical background of the object is concerned there are no such details regarding it. This object came to Swansea in 1971. It was part of the distribution of objects belonging to Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), the pharmaceutical entrepreneur based in London. Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty (c.1478-1458 BC) and one of only a handful of women to have held this position. Initially she was represented as a female figure wearing a long dress. Later, she was depicted as a masculine figure with a beard. Hatshepsut’s reign was of peace and prosperity. A memorial temple named Deir el-Bahri, built to celebrate and maintain her cult, is a masterpiece of Egyptian architecture. Since 1961 the Polish Archaeological Mission to Egypt has been excavating, restoring, and recording the temple. While Deir el-Bahri seems to depict the origin for this artefact, further research is needed in order to confirm this fact.

By: Anuja Arora