Queen Hatshepsut

Queen Hatshepsut




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Queen Hatshepsut


Thutmose II became king of Egypt when he married his father's eldest daughter by his principal wife. King Thutmose would have only one child by his sister bride Queen Hatshepsut, a daughter named Neferure. So when Thutmose II died 13 years later, the crown was passed to a son born into the royal harem. King Thutmose III was only an infant and not yet ready to rule Egypt. As a result, Queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt on his behalf. For many years she allowed the young king to take precedence in all activities, but as time passed it became more and more apparent that she was about to flout tradition.

After 7 years of this arrangement, Hatshepsut was crowned King of Egypt (1473 B.C.), and King Thutmose III became a lesser king. Hatshepsut loved art and architecture. In honor of her coronation Hatshepsut commissioned a pair of obelisks for the entrance to the Karnak temple of the divine father Amun. The obelisks confirmed that her rule was accepted. At the time, the Egyptians believed that they represented the first rays of sunlight that shone as the world was created. Hatshepsut did everything possible to to look life a male pharaoh, including wearing a man's clothing and a fake beard. She chose her daughter Neferue to assume the feminine side of the monarchy. Like most of Egyptís royal children Neferue had remain hidden in the royal nurseries. Then, soon after her motherís coronation she assumed the role of God's Wife of Amun. Neferure was given the finest education. As time passed they replaced their advisers with new people from humble birth. One of these, Senemut was a teacher of Neferue, and he would later became the lover of Hatshepsut.

One of the first things that Hatshepsut did when she became king was to subdue foreigners. She launched a series of attacks in the south and the east in pursuit of the foreigners who had captured towns and were causing the chaos. At the same time, she began an ambitious temple building projects. Hatshepsut had new temples constructed in almost every city, and she had Egyptís ancestral monuments remodeled. Today, historians describe the Egyptian architecture that occurred under her reign as feminized.

It would not take long before Hatshepsut turned her attention towards expanding trade. She sent missions to the Sinai for copper and turquoise, and to Lebanon for wood. Her mission to the fabled land African trading center of Punt was considered one of her greatest success stories. She placed her trusted envoy Neshy in charge of the expedition. He was accompanied by a well armed army. Punt, which is believed to be modern Somalia, was only reachable after a 100 mile march across the desert with a dismantled boat. After marching for days in the hot desert climate they finally arrived to the Red Sea port of Qusier. In Qusier, they reassembled the boat and sailed along the coastline until they arrived in Punt. In Punt the Egyptians traded for ebony, ivory, gold, exotic animals, and resins. They would eventually return in triumph, and all of Egypt marveled at the items, many of which had never been seen before. Hatshepsut would die in the 22nd year of her reign. At the time of her death, Thutmose would become pharaoh(king) for more than 33 years.