Describe the Role Played by the Divine Birth and Coronation Reliefs in Legitimizing Hatshepsut’s Rule

The implementation of the Divine Birth and Coronation Reliefs located in Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple in Deir el Bahri played a vast role in the justification of her claim to the throne as co-regent.

Through the depictions in the Divine Birth scene, Hatshepsut was able to emphasise her close relationship with Amun by proclaiming that she is his daughter, and clarifying the fact that he supposedly prophesized her right to the throne. In the scene, Amun comes down disguised as Hatshepsut’s father, Thutmose I, and impregnates Hatshepsut’s mother, Queen Ahmose. This is symbolized in the relief as Amun touches the ankh (symbol of life) to her nose. Amun then proceed to state to Queen Ahmose that she will give birth to a daughter called Khnemet Amun Hatshepsut who will live to rule Egypt.   Although Hatshepsut went to extensive efforts such as this to legitimize her right as co-regent to Thutmose II, modern historian Dr. Karl H. Leser suggests that Hatshepsut’s claims were false and she was trying to deceive the Egyptian public, as the majority was uneducated and gullible. The relief then shows the baby’s birth being attended by other gods. Here, Hatshepsut is attempting to acknowledge the fact that other gods accepted her claim to the throne as future pharaoh.   Although this scene is an important indication of Hatshepsut’s efforts to legitimize her rule, due to little evidence known about Hatshepsut, it is unknown whether these scenes did play an impact on the people of Egypt. However, Hatshepsut did go on to rule a greatly successful reign, following in her father’s footsteps.

Although the coronation inscriptions do form a natural continuation of the divine birth scenes, there has been much dispute between historians on whether these were fabricated or were in reality, true details about Hatshepsut’s right to the throne. In these depictions, Hatshepsut is claiming that she was chosen by Amun and her father once again, as his only legitimate successor and was...