From Nefertiti to Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt is known for its powerful women. Living in a world that was dominated by men, these Ancient Egyptian women ruled with extraordinary power, strength, and authority, and shaped history! One of these women was Hatshepsut, an incredible pharaoh. She changed Egypt for the better during her reign, which lasted from 1478-1458 B.C. in the 18th Dynasty.
Who Was Hatshepsut?
Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt and was only the second historically-confirmed female pharaoh (the first being Sobekneferu). Utilizing her bloodline (she was a daughter, sister, and wife of a king), education, and religious understanding, she came to the throne in 1478. She reigned till 1458 B.C. In comparison to other female pharaohs, Hatshepsut's reign was much longer and successful than the women before and after her. She won wars early in her reign but overall, she brought along a peaceful era to Egypt.
The Importance Of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut is known to be one of the most successful pharaohs and she reigned longer than any other woman of the Egyptian Dynasty. In her 20 year reign, she accomplished many great things including the following:
- Established Important Trade Routes - Hatshepsut re-established the trade routes that had been cut off during the Hyksos occupation of Egypt. The re-establishment improved trade to the Land of Punt (an ancient kingdom). Hatshepsut went on to trade with Byblos, the Sinai Peninsula, Nubia and Canaan. By doing this, she increased the wealth of the 18th Dynasty, which enabled her to fund building projects.
- Funded Important Building Projects - Hatshepsut is known to be one of the most prolific builders of ancient Egypt. She employed the great architect of the 18th Dynasty, Ineni, to help her execute her vision. She commissioned hundreds of incredible construction projects throughout Egypt. Her building projects were so amazing that later pharaohs attempted to claim them as their own. One of the most remarkable things that she did was build Hatshepsut's temple — a mortuary temple located in Upper Egypt.
During her reign, she produced so much statuary (statues) that almost every major museum with Ancient Egyptian artefacts in the world has Hatshepsut statuary in their collections. Today you can see some of her work at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, British Museum, and Egyptian Museum of Berlin. Through her actions, Hatshepsut was able to raise the calibre of Ancient Egyptian architecture to a standard comparable to classical architecture. Any other culture would not rival her work for a thousand years. Hatshepsut died 22 years into her reign on 16 January 1458 BC. If you love Hatshepsut as much as we do, check out our Hatshepsut merch.