This Independent Study investigates the representation and reception of Egyptian queenship through the perspective of museum exhibitions over time. Chapter One analyzes Egyptology history and foundations, the British museum’s involvement in Egyptian conquests, and the artifactual acquisition methodology. Chapter Two examines the museum catalogues, Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Cleopatra’s Egypt: Age of the Ptolemies and Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh to study the evolution of past exhibitions and their portrayal of Egyptian queenship. Chapter Three investigates the Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt museum exhibition and analyzes how Egyptian queenship representation has changed from the earlier catalogues. The research for this I.S. centers around the history of Egypt, Egyptology as it pertains to Britain’s imperialistic conquests and the acquisition of artifacts, the representation of artifacts in museums, and Egyptian queenship as a discipline. Furthermore, the majority of state-run museum collections cater to a personal agenda, aiming to shape public opinion. The museum catalogues of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries investigate the external sources that influence Egyptian queenship, like religion and politics to identify Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, and Cleopatra. Moreover, the live exhibition correlated with the investigations of the previous exhibitions of Chapter Two, yet, the Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt exhibition focused more on queenship as an autonomous occupation, demonstrating how royal women in the nineteenth dynasty lived independently of their male spouses. Thus, as time has progressed, the representation of Egyptian queenship is still explained through religious and political spheres, though modern exhibitions bring the role of women to the forefront.


Shaya, Josephine


Classical Studies


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity


Egypt, queenship, museum theory, Egyptology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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