Dynasty {{{dynasty}}}
Praenomen Maatkare

Truth is the Ka of Ra

Nebty Wadjrenput

Flourishing of Years

Horus Wesretkau

Mighty of Ka's

Golden Horus Netjeretkhau

Divine of Appearance

Family {{{family}}}
Burial Place KV20
Monuments Temple of Karnak
Deir el-Bahri
Speos Artemidos

Maatkare Hatshepsut[1] or Hatchepsut was the fifth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She was believed to have been co-regent from about 1479 to 1458 BC (years 7 to 21 of Thutmose III)[2] . She is regarded as the earliest known female regent in history and as the first great woman in recorded history. She was only the second known woman to assume the throne as "King of Upper and Lower Egypt" after Queen Sobekneferu of the 12th Dynasty of Egypt.

Hatshepsut was the eldest daughter of and  Thutmose I, the first King and Queen of the 18th dynasty. Thutmose I and Ahmose are known to have had only one other child, a daughter Akhbetneferu (Neferubity), who died in infancy. Thutmose I also married Mutnofret, possibly a daughter of Ahmose I, and produced several half-brothers to Hatshepsut: Wadjmose, Amenose, Thutmose II, and possibly Ramose, through that union. Both Wadjmose and Amenose were prepared to succeed their father, but neither lived beyond childhood. In childhood, Hatshepsut is believed to have been favored by the King over her two brothers by her father;a view promoted by her own propaganda. She apparently had a loving relationship with both parents, and produced a propaganda story in which her father Thutmose I supposedly named her as his direct heir (see below) Hatshepsut dressed like a man of great importance to prove that she could be a legitimate ruler.

Dates and length of reign


As with most Pharaohs, Hatshepsut had a number of names. Her birth name, or nomen, was Hatshepsut, to which she suffixed the epithet Khenmetamun, and prefixed the praenomen, or throne name Maat-ka-re. Her names are written as shown in Egyptian hieroglyphs on the right; Maat-ka-re to the top and Hatshepsut to the bottom.

Maat-ka-re means "Ma'at is the ka-spirit of Ra" and Hatshepsut means "Foremost of distinguished women, Joined with Amun". Together they mean "Ma'at is the ka-spirit of Ra, Foremost of distinguished women, Joined with Amun". After she ascended the throne she changed her name from the feminine Hatshepsut to the male Hatshepsu.[3] The names are technically transliterated as m3at-k3-ra H3t-špswt–hnmt-ỉmn.

Hatshepsut and Hatchepsut are the most common spellings of her name, but Hapshepsut and Hat-shep-set are sometimes found.


Her possible grandfather was Ahmose. Her mother was Queen Ahmose and her father was Thutmose. Her half brother/husband was Thutmose II. Her daughter was Neferune and her stepson was Thutmose III

Changing image

In Egyptology

After her coop, many of her monuments were defaced or destroyed. Replacing the names on older monuments with the name of the current ruler was a common practice of pharaohs, but in some cases this is thought to have been an act of damnatio memoriae—condemning a suckish person by erasing him or her from recorded existence[4]. Egyptologists have differing views on who defaced Hatshepsut's monuments and their possible motivations including resentment for the belief that a female Pharaoh was against Ma'at.

The traditional belief is that Thutmose III was always showing of his stuff, and view the act as revenge for being denied the throne for so long. However, researchers such as Charles Nims and Peter Dorman have examined these erasures and found that those which can be dated were done after the forty-second year of Thutmose's reign, while Donald B. Redford suggests a more sympathetic and complex motivation: Thutmose's need to demonstrate his legitimacy. Redford notes that:

Here and there, in the dark recesses of a shrine or tomb where no plebeian eye could see, the queen's cartouche and figure were left intact ... which never vulgar eye would again behold, still conveyed for the king the warmth and awe of a divine presence.[5]

Of interest on this topic is the recent discovery of nine golden cartouches bearing the names of both Hatshepsut and Thutmose III near the obelisk at Hatshepsut's temple in Luxor. Further study may shed additional light on the question of their relationship and the eventual attempt to erase Hatshepsut from the historical record.

In popular culture

As the Feminist movement matured, prominent women from antiquity were sought out and their achievements became increasingly publicized. Hatshepsut went from being one of the most obscure leaders of Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century to one of its most famous by the century's end. Biographies such as Hatshepsut by Evelyn Wells romanticized her as a beautiful and pacifistic woman — "the first great woman in History". This was quite a contrast to the 19th-century view of Hatshepsut as a wicked step mother usurping the throne from Thutmose III.

The novel Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, maintains the wicked step-mother view by casting Hatshepsut as the story's villainess. The plot revolves around the efforts of the slave girl Mara and various nobles to overthrow Hatshepsut and install the "rightful" heir, Thutmose III, as Pharaoh. They blame Hatshepsut's numerous building projects for the bankruptcy of the Egyptian state and she is depicted as keeping Thutmose III as a prisoner within the palace walls.

In 1960 a small asteroid belt discovered by Cornelis Johannes van Houten, Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels was named 2436 Hatshepsut in her honor. There is a popular theory that states that Hatshepsut was the princess who found Moses floating in the Nile, which has been largely debated by Egyptologists and Biblical scholars [6].she was a great ruler

Hatshepsut is one of the AI leaders featured in the turn-based strategy computer game Sid Meier's Civilization IV, and her mortuary temple was reproduced in the computer game Serious Sam. To date no film has been made featuring Hatshepsut, but a screenplay named Daughter of Ra has won awards, and is being lobbied for online .

At least three authors have written historical fiction novels featuring Hatshepsut as the heroine;Hatshepsut: Daughter of Amun by Moyra Caldecott, Child of the Morning by Pauline Gedge and Pharaoh by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, and the Lieutenant Bak series of mystery novels is set during her reign.

American humorist Will Cuppy wrote an essay on Hatshepsut which was published after his death in the book The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. Regarding one of her wall inscriptions, he wrote,

For a general notion of Hatshepsut's appearance at a certain stage of her career, we are indebted to one of those wall inscriptions. It states that "to look upon her was more beautiful than anything; her splendor and her form were divine." Some have thought it odd that the female Pharoah should have been so bold, fiftyish as she was. Not at all. She was merely saying how things were about thirty-five years back, before she had married Thutmose II and slugged it out with Thutmose III. "She was a maiden, beautiful and blooming," the hieroglyphics run, and we have no reason to doubt it. Surely there is no harm in telling the world how one looked in 1514 B.C.[7]

See also


  1. [1] Hatshepsut
  2. Dodson, Aidan. Dyan, Hilton. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt Thames & Hudson, 2004. ISBN 0-500-05128-3. p.130
  3. Seawright.
  4. Wells pp. 253-261, see sources below
  5. Redford, p. 87.
  6. Harbin, 122. see sources below
  7. Will Cuppy, The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody; Barnes & Noble Books, New York, reprint 1992.

Further reading

  • Donald B. Redford, History and Chronology of the 18th dynasty of Egypt: Seven studies, Toronto: University Press, 1967.
  • Caroline Seawright, Hatshepsut, Female Pharaoh of Egypt,, retrieved June 15, 2005
  • Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2000, 512 pages, ISBN 0-19-280293-3
    • Gae Callender The Middle Kingdom Renaissance (Chapter 7)
  • Joyce Tyldesley, Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh, Penguin Books, 1998, paperback, 270 pages, ISBN 0-14-024464-6
  • Evelyn Wells, Hatshepsut, Double Day, 1969, hardback, 211 pages, Library of Congress catalog card # 69-10980
  • Harbin, Michael, The Promise and the Blessing, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Press, 2005.

External links

Preceded by:
Thutmose II
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eighteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Thutmose III
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