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Reply #7: All pharaohs wore the false beard. [View All]

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Bear down under Donating Member (289 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-09 06:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. All pharaohs wore the false beard.
Of course it was a symbol of virility, especially as Egyptian men rarely had luxuriant natural beards; but it was a standard part of the royal regalia. Take a look at the one on the golden mask of Tutankhamun. They didn't wear it all the time, of course, any more than present-day kings and queens go round in crowns all the time. The famous statue of Hatshepsut in the Metropolitan Museum depicts her wearing the Blue Crown (the one Tut's mask wears) but not the royal beard, though of course it might have broken off in the nearly forty centuries since the staue was made.

"Came forth the king of the gods, Amon-Re, from his temple, saying: Welcome my sweet daughter, my favourite, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the King, taking possession of the Two Lands."

So the Egyptian records tell the story, and she was indeed crowned King -- the idea of a woman ruler was so foreign to the Egyptians they didn't even have a word for it. The word we usually translate as "queen" (as in the case of Queen Nefertiti, for example) means literally "king's wife".
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