Theories Surrounding Hatshepsut

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Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt during the 18th dynasty, was one of a small handful of female pharaohs. Despite her many achievements, her reign is most remembered for the fact that she was a woman. Her unique story has been a source for dispute among scholars, which has led to a number of conflicting views. The small amount of Hatshepsut’s life that has been documented does not allow us to see the more intimate details of her life. Historians have a broad range of opinions on her, but one thing is certain: her reign provided Egypt with a period of peace and prosperity after 100 years of foreign rule. There are a number of theories involving Hatshepsut’s personal and public life.

Hatshepsut was born to Ahmose and Tuthmosis I, who was pharaoh at the time. Tuthmosis I and Ahmose also gave birth to two sons, both of whom died, leaving Hatshepsut as the only heir to the throne. It is unknown whether her parents raised her to become the pharaoh or not, but she grew up and married her half-brother, Tuthmosis II. Marrying within your family was a regular practice in royal families because it kept blood lines intact. Tuthmosis II and Hatshepsut had a daughter together named Neferure. Hatshepsut’s father died when she was very young, probably around 15 years old. Tuthmosis II took over, but only ruled for about three or four years, when he died from what is believed to be a skin disease. After his death, Tuthmosis the III, Hatshepsut’s stepson, was still too young to rule, which led to her ruling as Queen’s Regent. Her charismatic personality and group of followers led to her fully becoming pharaoh about seven years into Tuthmosis III’s rule. While having a female pharaoh was not unprecedented, Hatshepsut was the first to take on the f...

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...ast ten years into his reign that the defacing took place. Why would someone as filled with hate Egyptologists claim he was wait so long to get rid of her images? Hatshepsut had twin obelisks built to frame the entrance to the Temple of Karnak, where it was tradition for Pharaohs to build monuments for themselves. At the time, these obelisks were the tallest in the world, and one of them still stands today. The bottom of the obelisks showed images from Hatshepsut’s life, and these images were spared. However, there was a wall built around them to cover up the figures of her reign. The wall, according to archeology, was not put in until 20 years after her death.


Roehrig, Catharine, editor. Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.

Tyldesley, Joyce. Hatchepsut The Female Pharaoh. New York: Penguin, 1996.
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