The Inscription on Hatshepsut's Obelisk

Based on the translation by Amir Hussein.

Western Side:

Horus strong spirited, youthful of years. Horus the Golden Bright God. Egyptian queen of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands Maatkare. She has erected this as a monument to her father, master of the brides of the Two Lands. She has erected two large obelisks in front of the Gate of Amun, made of lots of electrum. She lightens the Two Lands like Aten. She has done what no one has done since the beginning of the earth. Hatshepsut has done this, daughter of the sun, given life forever.

Eastern Side:

Horus strong spirited, queen of Upper and Lower Egypt Maatkare beloved of Amun. This monument stands forever with the name of her father. Flattery was given to the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands Aakheperkare (Thutmose I), by his majesty the great noble god. Two great obelisks have been erected by her majesty in the first occasion; they are words by the Lord of the gods. It is your father King of Upper and Lower Egypt Aakheperkare who gives the command to erect the obelisks. Your majesty shall repeat the monuments, causing life forever.

Southern Side:

Horus strong spirited, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Maatkare, the useful image of Amun. He caused her appearance as a queen of the throne of Horus in front of the sacred great house, and the nine gods brought her to be the mistress of the universe. They have mixed her with life and happiness before the life of the daughter of the sun, Maatkare. Beloved of Amun-Re, Lord of the gods who gives life as Re forever.

Northern Side:

Horus strong spirited green of life that is the bright god of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lady of the Two Lands Maatkare. Her father Amun has fixed her name Maatkare on the Holy Tree. Her annals like millions of years are united with life and welfare. Daughter of Re, Hatshepsut, beloved of the king of the gods Amun, in front of this beautiful solid monument, which she erected for him in the first Jubilee to offer eternal life.

Base of the Obelisk:

Living Horus strong spirited, green of years, Golden Horus, the Bright Goddess. Goddess of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, daughter of Re, Hatshepsut, living forever. The daughter of Amun who is in his heart, his only child whom he has brought. The useful image of everyone's master; the spirit of Iunu created her beauty. She is the holder of the Two Lands, as Irsu, who created her to carry his crowns, who is there as Khepri, who shines with his crowns like Akhti. She is the chaste egg that has come out useful, whom the two great of magic (Isis and Nephthys) reared, whom Amun himself raised to his throne in Iunu in southern Thebes. He has chosen her to protect Egypt and to protect mankind and people.

Horus is protector of her father, the old daughter of the god Kamutef, whom Re has brought to be for him an excellent seed on earth, for the welfare of his people, his living image. Egyptian queen Maatkare of Upper and Lower Egypt, is the best of kings. She has made this as a monument for her father Amun, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, in front of Ipet Issut (Karnak).

I have created two great obelisks of red granite of the south. Their upper sides are made of the best electrum of the Two Lands, which can be seen from both banks of the river, whose reflected rays flood the Two Lands. Aten (sun god) shines in their midst, as he shines in the sky.

I have done them with my heart, which loves my father Amun. I have had access to his secret for the first time. I have been introduced to his strong spirits. I shall not forget anything I go through. My majesty knows it is sacred. What I have done was really according to his command. He has guided me. I cannot do anything that is his doing. It is he who gives commands. I have not slept concerning his temple. I do not hide what I go through.

My heart is like Sia (goddess of wisdom) in front of my father, for I understand my father's wishes. I have not neglected the city of the Lord of All, but have given it my all. Therefore I know it is the horizon on earth, the great hill of beginning, the good eye of the Lord of All, in place of his heart which shows his beauty, encompassing all who follow him.

The king himself says I have put it before the people who shall come in the future, whose hearts care for this monument which I have made for my father. Those who shall talk in discussion, who shall look into the future. It is I who lives in the palace, I who remember my creator. My heart led me to make obelisks of electrum. From them I speak to the sky, in the honourable court of columns, between the two great pylons of the great king, the strong bull, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Aakheperkare, deceased.

Truly my heart turns this way and that, concerning what people speak and think - people who will see my monument years later, who will speak of what I have made. Beware of saying, 'I do not know why you have made that' - a mountain fashioned entirely of gold like that which has been made, which lives for Re, and loves me.

As long as my father Amun supports me and refreshes my nose with life and well-being, I have worn the white crown, and I shine in the red crown. The masters (Horus and Seth) have united the Two Lands for me. I have ruled this land like the son of Isis (Horus). I am strong like the son of Nut. Whereas Re sets in the boat of night and rises in the boat of morning, he gathered his mother in the Holy Boat. As long as the sky is there and his work is steady, I shall be forever like the star that does not end. I shall reign in the other life like Aten.

As for the two great obelisks, I have made them of electrum for my father Amun, for my name to last forever in this temple. They were one piece of strong granite, without a join or mend in them. My majesty ordered them to be made in year 15 (of Hatshepsut's rule), the second month of winter, on the first day, until year 16, fourth month, last day (when they were finished). The work has lasted 7 months since the arrangements in the mountain. I have made them for him with a loyal heart, like any king to his god. It was my wish to make them for him, golden of electrum. I have put their bodies on their bases.

I have thought of what people shall say. My lips are true, in all that goes out of them. I never go back on what I say. Listen to me: I have put on them the best electrum. I have weighed the electrum by the satchel like grains. My majesty has calculated, and the number is more than all she saw in the Two Lands. The ignorant as well as the learned knows that - you shall hear that. Don't say my words are exaggerations but say how like her it is, to be true to her father.

The god knows they are from me - Amun Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands. He has made me rule Egypt for what I have made. I have no enemies in all the land. All the foreign lands are my slaves. He has made my borders to the ends of the sky. All that surrounds the sun works for me.

He is true to those with him. He knew I shall present it to him. I am his true daughter, who glorifies him and carries out his orders. My reward from my father was life and welfare, and settling on the throne of Horus, with the help of all the beloved ones, like Re, forever.