Models of Female Authority in Egypt During the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period

Author: Jessica White
Major: History, Art History
Approved: Spring 2019
Status: In progress

I want to analyze the similarities and differences between the female models of authority during the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period by analyzing the ways that Hatshepsut and Amenirdis I represented both themselves and female deities in the art of the period. I will compare their material legacy with that of male counterparts to not only examine the changes in royal power over time but also the differences between how men and women proved their legitimacy. Through this, I hope to understand the connection between how royal women modeled their relationship with the divine world and the extent of their power. I want to examine the ways that these representations differed between two people whose experiences would have been greatly different but who retained the same title of God’s Wife. Both of the women I am focusing on would have needed to exploit everything in their power to prove their legitimacy. The similarities and differences between each woman’s strategies and how they are reflected in the artwork they left behind to be remembered by could illuminate changes in the ways that female power was expressed.