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Thousands of years ago, a great empire ruled the land of Egypt. The Pharaoh, or king, ruled the lands and the throne was passed down through generation. After the pharaoh died, his appointed son would become the new Pharaoh. Before Hatshepsut, they were always male. Tuthmosis I, her father left the throne to his son Tuthmosis II, her husband. After a couple years he died, and Hatshepsut temporarily took the throne, teaching her inexperienced nephew Tuthmosis III how to be pharaoh. Hatshepsut, the first female Pharaoh of Egypt, maintained peace and order throughout Egypt by creating an important trade route to Punt and using political tricks such as pretending to be a man and child of a god.
Hatshepsut s ancestry, as shown in Figure 1, is complicated. King Amenhotep was a great Egyptian pharaoh. He did not have a son, so he appointed his trusted warrior Tuthmosis I to rule after he died. Too keep ancestors of prior pharaohs, Tuthmosis I married Ahmos, one of Amenhotep s daughter. Their only child was Hatshepsut, who Tuthmosis I treated as his favorite, raised her as a boy, and wanted her to take the throne.
Hatshepsut s childhood was different than most Egyptian girls, even if they were of royalty. She was born around 1500 BC and was considered the daughter of Amon Re, the chief Egyptian god. Her father, Tuthmosis I of the 18th dynasty treated her as his favorite, and like a boy. They did a lot of male activities together. She became very curious which he probably inspired. Leaning to read and write, she would be ready to know how to be Pharaoh.
Other children of Tuthmosis I and his other wives were sons, but not of royal blood. Tuthmosis II was the only one of them who survived when his father died. He took power after Tuthmosis I died so Tuthmosis II married Hatshepsut. Tuthmosis II s reign was short, lasting a couple years because he was sick. Tuthmosis II and Hatshepsut had only one daughter. Because Hatshepsut s stepson Tuthmosis III was very young when his father died, he originally took power with Hatshepsut as his advisor because Hatshepsut knew all about what to do as Pharaoh. Later she declared herself as Pharaoh until Tuthmosis III was ready to take over again.
The known date of Hatshepsut s crowning is unknown because Tuthmosis III was originally Pharaoh and because the years begin at year 1 again when the Pharaoh s reign begins. She was the first female to become a Pharaoh because none of the other females were actually thought of as Pharaoh. Since Hatshepsut had no husband any more and the wife of the pharaoh had important roles in ceremonies, her daughter Neferure acted as the wife. Then Neferure married Tuthmosis III (Hatshepsut: Her Majesty, Herself 4-20).
Hatshepsut did not wait for Tuthmosis III to become old enough to be Pharaoh. She kept her power for a long time, raging from 15 to 22 years, which is not definite, considering she was a woman and her stepson was becoming impatient. It was tough for her to keep her power. With her propaganda and good political tricks, she kept her reign and solved many problems. What she did to keep people believing in her was pretending to act and dress like a man. She wore a beard. By saying she was a daughter of a god, people believed in her more. She used her father s followers to fallow her. Since there was no term for a female king, she was considered a Pharaoh, or king, and dressed and acted like a male Pharaoh would. One of her greatest accomplishments was her expedition to Punt, which is present-day Somalia. In return of animals, spices, aromatic tree, the Egyptians trade gold and other valuables to Punt (Millmore, Mark).
She was also a great politician. While keeping control of the Egypt people for about 20 years she accomplished many things. To keep order she said she was the child of a god. With the support of Tuthmosis I, her father and a great and well-liked ruler, she had a lot of followers. When Tuthmosis III got older, he became impatient and did not like the idea of becoming ruler after a woman. He would not let her rule for much longer (Millmore, Mark).
Hatshepsut made many magnificent structures. She had a great interest in building and art. Figure 3 and 4 are pictures of some of these structures. One of these is her temple. This was built in her honor, while she was alive, to tell her story and hold her sole when she died. The temple also held her mummy after she died. The temple was built in the cliffs of Deir el-Bahri (Hatshepsut: Her Majesty, Herself 4). Her two obelisks were built in her honor. They are made of rose granite. It is over 97 feet high. It stands outside her temple along with the other one. Most obelisks are in a pair and stand outside a temple ( Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut. ). These structures, the temple and the obelisks helped to please the people. Hatshepsut built many other structures as well. It was sort of a hobby for her. Many statues of her were very common. These statues would most likely be found in her temple. They liked it when these were built. Because Hatshepsut pretended to wear a beard, the statues were of her with a beard on. This helped as a political trick to win over the people (Hatshepsut: Her Majesty, Herself 28).
All great pharaohs have a cartouche. Figure 2 is Hatshepsut s cartouge. Her name is split up into 4 parts. The first is she who is rich, powerful through her ka s, her doubles. The second is nebti which refers to her ruling both east and west Egypt. The third is her Horus name, which is the divine on in her risings. The last part is made of two cartoushes, which is Karma, which is the true double of Ra, and the second one is her name given at birth, Hatshepsut. This name is inscribed on her great seal. Her full name is the Horus, mighty by his kas, the lord of East and West abounding in years, the good goddess, the pious lady, the golden falcon, divine in her rings, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Kamara, the daughter of Ra, Khnumit Amon, Hatshepsut. Edouard Naville deciphered this name. Though this is her full name, she is referred to as Hatshepsut, which is probably what she was called. (Bediz, David)
Hatshepsut left an important legacy on her stepson and predecessor, Tuthmosis III. On of Hatshepsut s most important jobs was to teach Tuthmosis III how to rule and be pharaoh. Even though he tried to erase her past, he still knew that she taught him everything. Women in history do not have as many important roles as men. In this case, a woman has a lot to do with the future of a country that will still rule for many hundreds of years. Her Legacy is important because Tuthmosis III became a very important leader in Ancient Egyptian history. He was a great warrior even though Hathspesut was a very peaceful leader. Although she did not influence him in everything, she helped him become a much better leader. It would not have been good If Tuthmosis III became leader right after his father had died.
After Hatshepsut s death in approximately 1482, Tuthmosis III, her stepson, probably tried to erase her history. He had also probably tried to murder her. He would want to do that because he wanted to become pharaoh. This was not uncommon. King Tutenkamen had also been murdered because someone else was impatient and wanted to become the pharaoh. Her temple gave a description of her, but Tuthmosis III tried to erase his stepmother s history. This might be true because he would not want to be known as by reigning after a female. Her temple is very important because it tells of everything that happened in her life, everything she did. Though Tuthmosis III did try to destroy everything in it, he failed to do it enough, and it is is conclusive that she had existed. This temple is the burial place of Hatshepsut and her treasures.It is not knows if there is more evidince of the things she did. Her father Tuthmosis I was buried in the
Valley of the Kings but was robbed so there might have been more of the story there (Bediz, David).
In conclusion, Hatshepsut maintained peace and order throughout Egypt by creating an important trade route to Punt and using political tricks such as pretending to be a man and child of a god. Archeologists are pretty sure that Hatshepsut existed even though since she lived over 3000 years ago and her memory had tried to been erased by her stepson Tuthmosis III. His motive was that it is not good to follow a female pharaoh. Because of that, archeologists are not sure. Tuthmosis III also tried to erase the history of his father and grandfather. Even though her philosophy and techniques were brilliant, we may never know if she actually existed.
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