Hatshepsut was one of the most remarkable pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, and one of the few female rulers in its history.
She reigned as pharaoh for over two decades, from 1479 to 1458 BC, and was known for her successful military campaigns, her ambitious construction projects, and her trade expeditions to the land of Punt.
Hatshepsut was a controversial figure in her time, and her rule faced opposition from members of the Egyptian elite who disapproved of a female pharaoh.
Despite efforts to erase her legacy from Egyptian history after her death, Hatshepsut’s true legacy has been rediscovered and appreciated in modern times.
1. Hatshepsut was one of the few female pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
Hatshepsut is considered one of the most famous and successful female pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. She ruled during the 18th dynasty of Egypt, and her reign lasted for over 20 years.
Hatshepsut’s reign was marked by her many accomplishments, including successful military campaigns, impressive building projects, and her famous trade expeditions to the land of Punt.
Despite opposition from some members of the Egyptian elite who disapproved of a female ruler, Hatshepsut was able to maintain power and leave a lasting impact on Egyptian history.
2. She was the daughter of King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose
Hatshepsut was born into the royal family of Egypt as the daughter of King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose. She married her half-brother Thutmose II, who became pharaoh after her father’s death.
Thutmose II was not Hatshepsut’s full brother, but they shared the same father. After Thutmose II’s death, Hatshepsut became the regent for her young stepson, Thutmose III.
However, she eventually declared herself pharaoh and ruled in her own right, despite opposition from some members of the Egyptian elite who did not believe a woman should hold the title of pharaoh.
3. After her husband’s death, Hatshepsut became regent for her young stepson
After the death of her husband, Thutmose II, Hatshepsut became the regent for her young stepson, Thutmose III. As regent, Hatshepsut played an important role in governing Egypt, and she oversaw many construction projects and military campaigns.
However, she eventually declared herself pharaoh and ruled as such for over two decades, from 1479 to 1458 BC. Despite opposition from some members of the Egyptian elite, Hatshepsut was able to maintain power and leave a lasting impact on Egyptian history.
4. Hatshepsut was known for her successful military campaigns and her construction projects
Hatshepsut was known for her successful military campaigns, which included expeditions to Nubia and the Levant.
She also oversaw several impressive construction projects during her reign, including the famous mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri, which is considered one of the most important and well-preserved temple complexes in all of Egypt.
The temple was built in honor of Hatshepsut’s father, King Thutmose I, and was designed to showcase her own power and authority as pharaoh.
In addition to the mortuary temple, Hatshepsut also oversaw the construction of several other impressive buildings and monuments, including the Red Chapel at Karnak and the Temple of Pakhet in Beni Hasan.
5. She was also known for her trade expeditions to the land of Punt
Hatshepsut is also famous for her trade expeditions to the land of Punt, which was a mysterious land located somewhere in the southern part of the Red Sea.
The exact location of Punt is still a matter of debate among historians, but it is believed to have been rich in exotic goods like myrrh, frankincense, and other precious materials that were highly valued in ancient Egypt.
Hatshepsut sent several expeditions to Punt during her reign, and these expeditions were recorded in great detail on the walls of her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri.
The trade expeditions to Punt helped to cement Hatshepsut’s reputation as a wise and successful ruler, and they also helped to bring new wealth and resources to the kingdom of Egypt.
6. Hatshepsut had a reputation for being a wise and just ruler
Hatshepsut was widely regarded as a wise and just ruler, and her reign was marked by a period of peace and prosperity in Egypt.
She implemented several important economic and political reforms during her reign, including the expansion of trade and commerce, the promotion of art and culture, and the construction of new public works projects.
Hatshepsut was also known for her efforts to improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians, and she was greatly respected and admired by her subjects.
7. She was often depicted wearing men’s clothing
Hatshepsut was often depicted in Egyptian art wearing traditional male clothing, including the pharaoh’s kilt and headdress.
This was done to emphasize her authority and power as a ruler, and to assert her legitimacy as a pharaoh in a male-dominated society.
By adopting traditional male clothing and symbols of pharaonic power, Hatshepsut was able to overcome many of the cultural and social barriers that would normally have prevented a woman from ruling Egypt.
Her use of male clothing and regalia also helped to solidify her authority and establish her as a legitimate ruler in the eyes of her subjects.
8. Hatshepsut’s rule was controversial
Hatshepsut’s rule was controversial, and she faced opposition from some members of the Egyptian elite who did not believe that a woman should hold the title of pharaoh.
This opposition may have been fueled by traditional ideas about gender roles and expectations in ancient Egyptian society.
Some historians believe that Hatshepsut’s male advisors may have played a role in her rise to power, but also may have later worked against her when they realized that she was not a traditional pharaoh.
9. There are many theories about how Hatshepsut died
There are many theories about how Hatshepsut died, but the exact cause of her death remains unknown. Some historians believe that she died of natural causes, while others speculate that she may have been the victim of foul play, such as assassination or poisoning.
There is also some evidence that Hatshepsut may have suffered from a serious health condition during her later years, which could have contributed to her death.
Despite the many theories surrounding her death, the exact cause remains a mystery, and it is likely that we will never know for certain what happened to Hatshepsut in her final days.
10. After her death, Hatshepsut’s legacy was largely erased from Egyptian history
After Hatshepsut’s death, subsequent pharaohs of Egypt worked to erase her legacy from history, in part because they did not want to acknowledge a female ruler. Many of the monuments and buildings that Hatshepsut had constructed were destroyed or defaced, and her name was removed from official lists of pharaohs.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri was rediscovered by European archaeologists, and her true legacy began to be appreciated once again.
Today, Hatshepsut is widely recognized as one of the most important and successful pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, and her reign continues to fascinate and inspire people around the world.
11. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri was rediscovered
It wasn’t until the 19th century that Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri was rediscovered by European archaeologists, and her true legacy began to be appreciated.
The temple had been largely destroyed and buried over time, and it was only through the efforts of archaeologists that it was able to be restored and preserved.
Today, the temple is considered one of the most impressive and well-preserved monuments of Ancient Egypt, and it serves as a lasting testament to Hatshepsut’s skill as a builder and architect.
The rediscovery of Hatshepsut’s temple and other monuments has helped to raise awareness of her legacy and restore her rightful place in Egyptian history.
12. Hatshepsut’s mummy was discovered in 2007
In 2007, the mummy of Hatshepsut was discovered in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings by a team of archaeologists. The discovery was a major breakthrough in the study of Hatshepsut’s life and reign, as it provided new insights into her physical appearance, health, and cause of death.
Scientists have since used modern forensic techniques, such as CT scans and DNA analysis, to learn more about Hatshepsut and her life.
For example, the scans have revealed that Hatshepsut was a woman of average height and weight, and that she may have suffered from some health problems in her later years, including arthritis and tooth decay.
The discovery of Hatshepsut’s mummy has helped to shed new light on her legacy and has deepened our understanding of this fascinating figure from Ancient Egyptian history.
13. Hatshepsut was sometimes referred to as “the female Moses”
The nickname “the female Moses” was given to her by scholars in the early 20th century, due to the similarities between her reign and the biblical story of Moses.
Like Moses, Hatshepsut was seen as a leader who brought peace, prosperity, and great achievements to her people. Additionally, both figures faced opposition and controversy during their lifetimes, and both were able to overcome these challenges through their leadership and determination.
While Hatshepsut was not found in a basket on the Nile like the biblical figure of Moses, she is still remembered as a powerful and influential ruler in her own right, and her legacy continues to inspire people around the world.
14. There is evidence that Hatshepsut may have had a daughter named Neferure
Hatshepsut is believed to have had a daughter named Neferure, who was also a powerful figure in Egyptian politics. Neferure is depicted in several artworks and inscriptions from the period, and she is believed to have held an important role in Hatshepsut’s court.
Some historians believe that Neferure may have served as a kind of co-regent with her mother, and that she played a significant role in the administration of Egypt during Hatshepsut’s reign.
15. Hatshepsut remains one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in ancient Egyptian history
Hatshepsut remains one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in ancient Egyptian history, and her legacy continues to captivate historians, archaeologists, and the public alike.
Her reign as pharaoh was marked by great achievements in the areas of military conquest, trade, and architecture, and she was widely regarded as a wise and just ruler.