Arts/Literature

For Women’s History Month, meet Hatshepsut

Wikipedia introduces Hatshepsut as follows:

Hatshepsut (/hætˈʃɛpsʊt/; also Hatchepsut; meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies; 1508–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III who had ascended to the throne as a child one year earlier. Hatshepsut was the chief wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III’s father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. According to Egyptologist James Henry Breasted she is also known as “the first great woman in history of whom we are informed.”

Hatshepsut was the daughter of Thutmose I and his primary wife Ahmes. Her husband Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife named Mutneferet, who carried the title King’s daughter and was probably a child of Ahmose I. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had a daughter named Neferure. Thutmose II fathered Thutmose III with Iset, a secondary wife.

Her major accomplishments as pharaoh included establishing trade routes and undertaking building projects:

Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Arguably, her buildings were grander and more numerous than those of any of her Middle Kingdom predecessors’. Later pharaohs attempted to claim some of her projects as theirs. She employed the great architect Ineni, who also had worked for her father, her husband, and for the royal steward Senemut. During her reign, so much statuary was produced that almost every major museum in the world has Hatshepsut statuary among their collections; for instance, the Hatshepsut Room in New York City‘s Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated solely to some of these pieces.

1 reply »

  1. That was a fun read and led to further exploration into the period of Egypt’s New Kingdom Ceejay. So confusing, who done what to who when 8^)

    I picture a powerful industrious voluptuous woman..Golda Meir-esque? With an unquenchable drive to build and expand. Too bad her little shitass step-son Thetmose III thought it necessary to follow behind her chiseling her name off every one of her monuments he could find. Damnatio memoriae, a rude but common practice.

    I read a piece on pre-Minoan Crete last night that made me think of our discussions regarding matriarchal societies. A bit fluffy but there are some interesting thought nuggets in it. http://wakeup-world.com/2015/01/27/if-women-ruled-the-world-is-a-matriarchal-society-the-solution/

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