Facts about Hatshepsut

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Throughout our history we have had a huge number of strong and dominating women become the centre of focus because of their privileged position as rulers or queens. Queen Hatshepsut is one such pharaoh who belonged to Kemet.

Fact no 1: She was the first ever female pharaoh to rule over the land of Kemet. During the time of the 18th dynasty she ruled over between 1650 and 1600 BC. Her full name was Hatshepsut Ma’at-ka-Ra. The word “Ma’at” means Truth and Balance while the word “Ka” means Spirit. Hatshepsut itself means the first of the noblewomen.

Fact no 2: She was a pharaoh that ruled for the longest of durations. She reigned as a queen for over 20 years. Apart from being the longest pharaoh she is also known as one of the most successful ones in the history of Kemet.

Fact no 3: She was the only daughter and child of her father King Thutmose I from his first wife, Ahmose. Her father died when she was aged 12 and then she married her Thutmose II, who was her half brother in 1615 BC. Together they reigned for approximately 15 years.

Fact no 4: History did repeat itself and Hatshepsut did not reproduce any male heir, but she did give birth to a daughter named Neferure.

Fact no 5: Before Hatshepsut was 30 years old, Thutmose II died. The throne’s responsibility then fell on the shoulders of Thutmose III who was not only her step son but also her nephew. But Thutmose III was just a child and ruled unfit to rule Kemet at that age, thus she remained in power as the Queen Regent for three years before she labelled herself as the pharaoh.

Fact no 6: In order to assert her authority she began to dress like a king. She even wore a false beard and carried herself in a men’s manner so that people would not dismiss her authority just because she was a woman. She took this obsession with asserting her dominance to a whole new level. She began to dress herself in the traditional dressing of a king. She also ended by eliminating the “t” from her name as this was a female ending and proclaimed that she would now be known as His majesty Hatshepsu. All in all, she tried her best to place herself in a prominent position in a land she knew was tainted by male dominance and supremacy.

Fact no 7: She was a different type of leader than the ones that had come before her as unlike her predecessors she was not so interested in conquering new lands as she was in ensuring that Egypt had economic prosperity. Apart from trying to strengthen Egypt’s economic situation she also invested a huge deal in not only building but also renovating monuments throughout her lands in Kemet and Nubia.

Fact no 8: Hatshepsut ordered the construction of two obelisks, carved out of Ancient Granite in the Aswan valley. They were then ordered to be transported to the Karnak Temple. One of the obelisks still remains erect. She was so impressed by the Obelisks that in order to mark her 16th successful year as pharaoh she ordered for three more Obelisks to be built, one of which was damaged during its construction. If this obelisk would have reached completion it would have been the heaviest obelisk ever to be built in Kemet as it would have weighed approximately 1100 tons.

Fact no 9: The queen kept a council, and one of its members was Senenmut. He had risen to power along with the queen. There are still people who claim that he was Hatshepsut’s lover.

Fact no 10: She had died in 1600 BC, and when her mummified body was discovered it was found out that she had bone cancer, arthritis, cavities in her teeth and diabetes.

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