Egypt's warrior queen, Ahhotep, was award these "Golden Flies of Valour" for her relentlessness on the battlefield.
"She has pacified Upper Egypt and expelled her rebels." These words praise Queen Ahhotep for her role in winning the war of liberation against the Hyksos.
If Ancient Egypt had an Independence Day, her heroine would be Queen Ahhotep, wife of the Theban king Seqenenre Tao II during the end of the 17th Dynasty. This was a time of civil war—the Second Intermediate Period. Foreign peoples—later called the Hyksos—had settled into the Delta region from West Asia and slowly broadened their influence and control. Eventually, the great city of Memphis fell under their control. Further south, in Thebes, Tao II declared his ruling family's independence from Hyksos rule and led a revolt against what they saw as foreign occupiers.
The war took a heavy personal toll on Ahhotep's family. First her husband, Tao II, and then her son, Kamose, were killed in the struggle. The queen's youngest son, Ahmose, was only around 10 years old when he inherited the throne, so Ahhotep stood in as regent to manage the country and coordinate the war effort.
Ahmose eventually took his place on the battlefield and drove the Hyksos across the desert and out of Egypt. Ahmose became the first ruler of a reunited Egypt—the New Kingdom.
It seems, however, that Ahmose couldn't have done it without Ahmose's leading role in the war. He recognised her efforts with the "Flies of Valour"—a distinction traditionally awarded for valour on the battlefield.
It is thought that the flies signify great relentlessness in attacking the enemy.
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