Hatshepsut, Female Pharaoh

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Temple of Hatshepsut

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One of the most impressive temples in the Valley of The Queens is the Temple of Hatshepsut. Standing on the front level of the temple, it is possible to see the Nile River valley in the distance.

Hatshepsut, meaning “Foremost of Noble Ladies” was the fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She is regarded as one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an Egyptian dynasty.

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She was the daughter of Thuthmose I and Ahmes. When her father died her half brother, Thuthmose II, ascended to the throne. He was young, apparently younger than Hatshepsut herself.

The Egyptian tradition of having the Pharaoh marry a royal woman led Thuthmose II to marry Hatshepsut. (The women in Egypt carried the royal blood, not the males. To become Pharaoh, the man had to marry a female of royal blood, often a sister, half sister or other near relative. Usually, it was the eldest daughter of the previous Pharaoh.) Thuthmose II died soon after becoming Pharaoh, leaving the widow Hatshepsut, a daughter Neferura… and a son by another wife – Thuthmose III.
Although it was unusual for a woman to rule Egypt, it wasn’t unprecedented, she was the second known woman to assume power after Queen Sobekneferu of the Twelfth Dynasty.

Her reign lasted almost 22 years as she became Pharaoh in 1479 BC and died in 1458.

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She re-established trading relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt. That wealth enabled Hatshepsut to initiate building projects that raised the caliber of Ancient Egyptian architecture to a standard, that would not be rivaled by any other culture for over a thousand years.

Among other women whose possible reigns as pharaohs are under study include Nefertiti, Meritaten, Neferneferuaten, and Twosret.

Another pharaoh, Smenkhkare, generally has been believed to have been male, but there is some evidence that this was a woman also.

Among the later, non-indigenous Egyptian dynasties, the most notable example of another woman who became pharaoh was Cleopatra VII, the last and arguably one of the most famous pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.

If you would like to learn more of the Egyptian Culture.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments welcome

land of the pharaoh

Coming from a small midwestern town, the traveler decides to go to Egypt as his first trip to a foreign country. Travel with him as he makes new discoveries in an ancient land.

Available in both paperback and ebook format.


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