Hatshepsut, The Greatest Woman Pharaoh Of Egypt

Hatshepsut was daughter of Thutmose I. He ruled for 13 years during which he expanded the frontiers of Egypt as far as the most western part of the Euphrates river.

This way, he increased the wealth of his Empire, as those lands where very productive.

He was also a great builder. He started the Valley of the Kings, where he and other pharaohs were buried.

Thutmose wished than when he died, Hatshepsut succeeded him. But after his death, there was a big fight for the power.

The architect and vizier Ineni (architect of the Valley of the Kings) was very influential, and hated the idea of a woman ruling the Empire. So he promoted Thutmose II to the throne.
Thutmose II was son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife. So he was half-brother of Hatshesput.

They married Hatshepsut with his half-brother Thutmose II. This was a hard blow to her. She wished to rule, and not to be in the shadows. She was brought up to be a pharaoh, and her biggest wish was to exceed his father's successes.

Thutmose II was a very weak man with a bad health. He died 3 years after. But he had a son with a concubine that he called Thutmose III.

As Thutmose III was a child and can't rule, Hatshepsut came to power. For some time, she concentrated her efforts in getting allies, as she had strong enemies. She get the support of the priests, who spread that she was Daughter of Amun.

This way she was made pharaoh. She got the powers that were granted both to men and women. She dressed like a pharaoh, including the false beard that they used.

During her reign she restored cities and temples devastated by wars. In Thebes (her city) she built temples and obelisks decorated with gold and silver.

There was an ancient country called Punt. No one could never locate it with precision. Who managed to be there had brought with them gold, ivory, silver, incense... It was called the Golden Punt.
The most important expedition to Punt was sent by Hatshepsut, commanded by her official Nehsi. Nehsi was Nubian descent. His name means "He of Nubia".

A friendship with the Kings of Punt was established. From time to time, they brought presents to the Egyptian court.
They brought 5 ships full of treasures from that land. So many, that the palaces of Egypt were decorated with them for generations.
They brought exotic animals and incense trees too, and myrrh (which was the favorite fragance of Hatshepsut).
This expedition also was the first recorded attempt to transplant a tree of a foreign country. They took many trees from Punt, and planted them in Hatshepsut's mortuary temple of Deir-el-Bahari.

For the 22 years that she ruled, peace prevailed, the commercial activities raised, and increased the splendour of Egypt to its maximum.

When Thutmose III grew up, he started a conspiracy against Hatshepsut. It is said that he poisoned her, and tried to deface and destroy both the monuments and memories of Hatshepsut pretending that she never existed. And that never a woman could bring so much magnificence to an Empire.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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Tony said...

This is the best bio of Hatshepsut (I hope I spelled it right!) I've ever read! Very well explained.
I've always found the story of Punt very exciting, too. That strange country, so rich in gold... may be good for another article.

Emma Alvarez said...

Yes Tony, the story of Punt can be a very interesting article. Thank you for the idea.

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