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Queen Hatshepsut was a pharaoh of the New Kingdom from 1473 BCE to 1458 BCE. She is known as the first "great" woman in history.


According to an inscription in Karnak, her father appointed her as his successor before his death:

"This daughter of mine, Khnumetamun Hatshepsut, may she live, I have appointed as my successor upon my throne... she shall direct the people in every sphere of the palace; it is she indeed who shall lead you. Obey her words, unite yourselves at her command." The royal nobles, the dignitaries, and the leaders of the people heard this proclamation of the promotion of his daughter, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare - may she live eternally."

Her rise to the throne was unusual for her time. At first she ruled with her brother, Thutmose II, until he died. Then she ruled alongside his son until she decided to declare herself the sole ruler of Egypt. She ruled Egypt from Deir el- Bahri.

Rule & Achievements

Under Hatshepsut’s rule the Egyptian economy grew strong. The Queen established trade networks that had been banned under the rule of previous Pharaohs due to foreign attacks. She worked to make these routes safe for her people. She organized several trading expeditions to foreign lands that exchanged Egyptian goods for luxury items not available in Egypt. Many of these goods included gold, ivory, leopard skins, ostrich feathers, incense, rare woods, greyhound dogs, and cheetahs.

She oversaw the preparations and paid for a mission to the Land of Punt. This trip is remembered for the items her traders brought back to Egypt. Egyptians returned from the voyage with thirty-one live myrrh trees, the roots of which were carefully kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage. This was the first recorded attempt to transplant foreign trees.

Hatshepsut was one of the best builders in ancient Egypt; she ordered hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Arguably, her buildings were bigger and more numerous than those of any Pharaoh that had come before her. Later pharaohs attempted to claim some of her projects as theirs because hers were so great.

During her reign she had so many statues of herself built that nearly every major museum in the world has one of her statues on display.

Hatshepsut had monuments constructed at the Temple of Karnak. She had twin obelisks (tall pillars of stone), at the time the tallest in the world, built at the entrance to the temple. One still stands, as the tallest surviving ancient obelisk on Earth; the other has broken in two and toppled.
To achieve her ambitious building plans she employed two great architects; Ineni (who had been employed by both her husband and father) and a man named Senenmut. She built the Red Chapel within the temple that was already there. She also fixed a number smaller statues in Middle Egypt in particular the shrine of Speos Artemidos) dedicated to the lion-goddess Pakhet. The man, Senenmut, designed her crowning glory, Djeser-djeseru (her Mortuary Temple at Deir el Bahari). The temple is considered to be among the most beautiful ever constructed.

Hatsheput's Temple


Hatshepsut would not have been able to rule Egypt without the support of the nobles and the priesthood. She was supported by a number of loyal advisors during her reign as Pharaoh.

She was one of Egypt’s few female rulers. During her rule she seemed to have been more afraid of no one remembering who she was than of actual death. She was one of the greatest builders in one of the greatest Egyptian dynasties. She raised temples and shrines from the Sinai to Nubia. The four granite obelisks she built at the temple of the great god Amun at Karnak were among the most magnificent ever constructed. She paid for hundreds of statues of herself and left accounts in stone of her heritage, her titles, her history, and even her thoughts and hopes. Expressions of worry Hatshepsut wrote on one of her obelisks at Karnak still stand: "Now my heart turns this way and that, as I think what the people will say. Those who see my monuments in years to come, and who shall speak of what I have done."

When Hatshepsut died her body disappeared. Some believe that her nephew, who ruled with her for a short time, had a part in her death and the disappearance of her body. After she died he destroyed many of the queen’s monuments that she had built during her life time. He did all that he could to erase her from history.

Hatshepsut's Mummy