Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art History and Visual Culture

First Advisor

James Hutson

Second Advisor

Sarah Cantor

Third Advisor

Jeanette Nicewinter


This analysis is addressing a form of divine advocacy by looking at the role of the goddess Hathor in the political/religious context of Egypt. Traditionally, pharaohs have used Hathor in Egyptian canonical imagery to convey messages of power- reiterating their own role as the incarnation of the God Horus. Here, we will focus on the role of traditional role of Hathor juxtaposing Royal Women in power during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom. The two female pharaohs, Sobekneferu and Hatshepsut, used their traditional roles as incarnations of Hathor to establish a power base before becoming a “female Horus”. An iconographic analysis of the religious reveals the reasons why Hatshepsut and Sobekneferu were required to change their female imagery to a male oriented image while maintaining their traditional roles of protectors of the divine kingship of incarnations of Hathor.