Hatshepsut (c. 1500 B.C.-1458 B.C.) : Egypt’s Queen Pharaoh and “The Greatest Woman Ruler of All Times”

“The Ablest Queen of Far Antiquity”- J.A. Rogers

This is Hatshepsut born Hatshepsitou. She was the eldest daughter of the 18th-dynasty King Thutmose I, conqueror of the known world and his primary wife Ahmes. Hatshepsut was born  either before or a little after 1500 B.C.  She lived 150 years before Tutankhamen which is 3500 years ago. Her name Hatshepsut means “Foremost of Noble Ladies.” Hatshepsut married Thutmose III, her half-brother and the son of Thutmose I and his secondary wife Mutneferet. Hatshepsut and Thutmose III had a daughter named Nefruara.  When her father became ill with paralysis, he appointed her as his chief aide. Hatshepsut proved herself to be efficient so her father made her co-ruler entrusting her with the management of the kingdom. After her father passed away, she became Queen of Egypt and wife of Thutmose III. She is the longest reigning woman in Egyptian history, was the first woman to challenge the theory of male supremacy, and is regarded as the greatest female ruler of all time. According to history.com:

Hatshepsut was only the third woman to become pharaoh in 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, and the first to obtain the full power of the position. Cleopatra, who also exercised such power, would rule some 14 centuries later.


Hatshepsut found her self in a fierce rivalry with two of Thutmose I sons, Thutmose II and III for complete power. After fighting her way to power, Hatshepsut came to full power around 1478 B.C. and ruled the world’s then leading empire for 33 years. She overcame male opposition by disguising herself a man, dressed in male attire, changed her name from Hatshepsitou to Hatshepsut its male equivalent, and announced herself of virgin birth. She declared her father to be the great god Amen, not Thutmose I  and said he (Amen) appeared to her mother “in a flood of light and perfume.” She was also disguised as a man in her sculptured portraits with a man’s chest and beard and took the titles of “King of the North and South,” Ka-Ma-Ra, the Horus of Gold, Bestower the Years, Conqueror of all Lands, Vivifier of Hearts, Chief Spouse of Amen, and the Mighty One.”

“The Greatest Female Ruler of All Time”-Egyptologists

During Hatshepsut’s reign Egypt expanded in exploration and building which help grow the empire. Hatshepsut accomplished a lot during her reign. She was popular amongst the people and her reign brought peace and prosperity to Egypt. Some of her accomplishments are:

  • Expanding the trade routes of Egypt. The most noted is an expedition to the Land Of Punt (modern-day Somalia to Sudan) which became a major trading partner with Egypt supplying the empire with wood, resin, gold, ivory, and wild animals. Hatshepsut sent five major ships to Punt to open trade returning with 30 live myrrh trees, frankincense, and other gifts. Hatshepsut has the entire story of this expedition drawn on the wall of her Temple at Deir-el-Bahari She was the first to use charred frankincense into eyeliner.
  • Overseeing a period of the building of  temples, pyramids, obelisks, statues, and other grand monuments with her chief architect Senmut. She added buildings to the massive complex at the Karnak and restored old temples and erected two obelisks, as a gift to the Temple of Amen-Ra encased at the tops with electrum ( a composition of silver and gold) which were the tallest in the world at the time and were taller than the Temple of Amen-Ra.
  • Built the Temple of Pekhet, a massive underground complex carved on the side of a cliff wall, to shame the Hyksos people who have taken over Egypt and interrupted traditional Egyptian culture and religion years before. Hatshepsut’s reign brought back the former glory of Egyptian culture and religion.


Hatshepsut died in 1458 B.C. in either her mid-40s to early 50s. She was buried in the Valley of the Kings. After her passing, her husband Thutmose III succeeded the throne and murdered her friends and was successful at concealing her great legacy for 300 years by defacing her images and inscriptions and walling in her obelisks.

J.A. Rogers stated:

Like most of the Pharaohs, Hatshepsut’s wish was to remain in the memory of man forever and ever. To the Egyptian this is true immortality. And she has achieved this, for graven in imperishable granite, her story is as fresh and fascinating now as when it was written thirty-five centuries ago.

The Sphinx of Hatshepsut
The Sphinx of Hatshepsut

I salute this AMAZING HER-story making sista!


“Hatshepsut.” (2015). History. A & E Televison Networks. Web. 18 Mar 2015. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/hatshepsut

Rogers, J. A. (1946). World’s Great Men of Color, Vol. I., pp. 43-51.  Macmillan Publishing Company.


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