History of Queen Hatshepsut

May 11, 2010

History of Queen Hatshepsut

The accomplishments of Queen Hatshepsut are many, but perhaps the greatest of all was her ability to rule Egypt during the 18th Dynasty. Until this time it had been extremely rare for a woman to sit on the throne of Egypt and unheard of for a woman to boldly assume the role of pharaoh.
History of Queen Hatshepsut

A timeline of Queen Hatshepsut's life indicates she was born the daughter of King Thutmose I and one of his queens. When the king died the throne was inherited by his son. In keeping with traditional Egyptian standards, the new king married his father's oldest daughter. This, of course, meant that he married his half sister, Hatshepsut. It is believed that the new king did not live long and upon his death his son, by another wife, became pharaoh. The child was too young at the time to rule the great nation of Egypt, so his aunt and stepmother took over on his behalf, as regent. Hatshepsut ruled as regent for six years. In 1473 B.C. Hatshepsut decided she had had enough of ruling on behalf of the child and declared herself to pharaoh.

This was a bold move for the female ruler. It was at this time that Hatshepsut began to take measures to insure the people of Egypt saw her as the legitimate ruler of the Egyptian nation. According to Egyptian custom, the ruling pharaoh was required to be considered as divine. Hatshepsut struck upon the brilliant plan of claiming her mother was visited by the deity Amon-Ra who called upon her while she was pregnant with Hatshepsut. This would seem to indicate that the queen was divine because of the visit. Hatshepsut was also astute enough to realize that her stronghold on the throne of Egypt was only as strong as priest's support of her. She therefore made efforts to curry favor with them and succeeded admirably. Finally, Hatshepsut disposed of traditional female clothing and donned the garb of traditional male pharaohs. Reliefs and artwork depicting the female pharaoh indicate that she wore a fake beard similar to the ones worn by previous males sitting on the throne of Egypt. The art portraying the queen also seems to indicate that among the accomplishments of Queen Hatshepsut was the respect of the Egyptian people.

The majority of the information gained about the accomplishments of Queen Hatshepsut came to light through the hieroglyphics and artwork found on the walls of the queen's temple at Beir-el-Bhari. The temple itself is a testament to the accomplishments of Queen Hatshepsut. Although construction on the shrine was begun during the reign of her father, it was the female pharaoh who actually finished it.
Other accomplishments of Queen Hatshepsut include her organization of a journey to the Land of Punt. The purpose of the trip was trade and evidence indicates that Queen Hatshepsut managed to bring back numerous precious and rare articles back to enhance the wealth of the Egyptian nation.

Any further accomplishments of Queen Hatshepsut were cut short when the female pharaoh disappeared under mysterious circumstances about fifteen years after taking the throne. Her nephew, Thutmose III, immediately regained control of the throne. It has been speculated that he had her assassinated when he became old enough to rule on his own.

Pharaoh Hatshepsut's Mummy

It wasn't until 2007 that pharaoh Hatshepsut's mummy has been found in an undecorated tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. The body was identified in the Egyptian Museum (Cairo) by matching a tooth with an empty toot socket of the mummy's skull. Later, a DNA test was done that shows a relationship between Hatshepsut's mummy and that of Amos Nefreteri, her grandmother.

It took so long to find the mummy because of the fact that Thutmose II proceeded to annihilate as much information as he could about his aunt and wife. This does seem to indicate that he might have been involved in whatever ultimately occurred to Queen Hatshepsut.


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