Life of Pharaoh Hatshepsut
Despite a queen’s relative high status, many people thought that it was wrong and improper for a woman to rule. Through old, antiquated beliefs, people deemed a woman unworthy of a leadership position no matter her qualifications. So as Pharaoh, Hatshepsut had to spend her reign making sure her position was secure and fought for her place as a legitimate ruler.
At the age of 12, after the death of Tuthmose I, Hatshepsut became queen to Tuthmose II, her half-brother. After the death of Tuthmosis II, the power passed over to her young stepson, Tuthmosis III. She also had a daughter named Neferu-Ra. This stepson was fathered by Tuthmose II with his concubine named Isis because Hatshepsut couldn’t bore a son. The stepson of Hatshepsut had to be given the throne. Since Thutmose lll was too young to assume the throne without any aid, Hatshepsut served as his regent. She surprised everyone by declaring herself the role Pharaoh during the 18th dynasty, known as the New Kingdom from 1473 BC to 1458 BC, and became one of only a handful of female rulers of Ancient Egypt. Hatshepsut reigned longer than any other known female pharaoh. Although many thought that she became pharaoh because of ambition, many scholars have said that it also could have been because of threats and or political crises that were threatening her royal lineage and throne. So, this way she could save the throne for both herself and her stepson Thutmose lll. Knowing how limited her power is as a female and how she had gotten that power under special circumstances, she had to defend her legitimacy by pointing out and claiming that her father had appointed her as his successor. She wanted to reinvent her image, so she ordered to be portrayed as a male pharaoh in the statues and paintings of that time; with a beard and large muscles.
She also relied heavily on propaganda to strengthen her reign. She ordered carvings on her temple walls that depicted how the god Amen, kings of gods; had taken her father’s appearance on the day he had conceived her. This made her daughter of the chief of all Egyptian gods.
As pharaoh she did many things from organizing a trade expedition to overseeing many ambitious building projects. The trade expedition to the land of Punt, after which they became major trade partners. Their partnership helped supply Egypt with many gold, resin, wild animals, and other vast riches. All of which helped make her reign prosperous and her empire wealthy and peaceful.
She didn’t do all this work by herself, she surrounded herself with supporters that were in her government. This included Senenmut, who was her chief master. Some even say that he could have been more than just moral support, but there is little evidence to support the claim that they might have been lovers.
She is noted for having sent five ships to punt to open trade, and those five ships returned with 30 myrrh trees among many other gifts. Legend has it that she...