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Ancient Egypt


Statue of Hatshepsut Statue of Hatshepsut Queen Hatshepsut (ruled c. 1478–1458 BC) was a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty during Egypt’s New Kingdom period. Her name means "Foremost of Noble Ladies". When her husband Thutmose II died, she took power and was made pharaoh. She wore the traditional clothing of a male pharaoh, including a false beard. Her reign began a long, peaceful era in Egyptian history. She re-established trade with other kingdoms and brought great wealth to Egypt. That wealth enabled her to fund many building projects in a classical architectural style, including Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri.

Carving of Thutmose III (left) and Hatshepsut (right)Carving of Thutmose III (left) and Hatshepsut (right)

Becoming pharaoh

Queen Hatshepsut was the daughter of King Thutmose I and his primary wife, Ahmose. When the king died, the throne passed to his son (by a minor wife), Thutmose II. In keeping with tradition, the new king married his father's eldest daughter—his half-sister, Hatshepsut. They had a daughter called Neferure. Thutmose II, however, died at a young age. On his death, his son by another wife became pharaoh: Thutmose III. But the child was considered too young to rule Egypt, so Hatshepsut took over on her nephew’s behalf, ruling as regent for six years. Then, in 1478 BC Hatshepsut decided she had had enough of ruling on behalf of the boy and declared herself pharaoh.

Hatshepsut is considered by many scholars to be history's first important female ruler.

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