Hatshepsut (1509-14?? BC)

1509 BC. This seems to be the year when Hatshepsut was born, the first Queen of Egypt and one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs. She is considered the first woman-leader in the history and during her reign Egypt crossed a period of peace and commercial expansion. Since ancient times, in Egypt, women were very prized. At the beginning of Dynasty XVIII there was a strong tendency to matriarchy. Hatshepsut was the daughter of a great warrior king, Tutmes I.

1490-1468 BC. During this period she led Egypt as a pharaoh of Dynasty XVIII. Tutmes II followed Tutmes I after her two brothers had died prematurely. Statues show Tutmes II as a frail and slack boy while Hatshepsut, a little elder than him, was presented with the head straight, with a bold aquiline nose, firm mouth and a prominent chin that gave her the impression of force and decisiveness. She married to her step-brother, reduced him to the level of a straw man and became the main influence factor in state leadership.

       After few years, this two-headed leadership way stopped by Tutmes II killing, perhaps the result of a conspiracy. Hatshepsut became the regent of his husband’s son, Tutmes III, the result of his relation with an insignificant woman in harem and, while he was acting as a high priest of the god Amon, she took the control of the throne and was accepted as a pharaoh.

1483 BC. In the 7th year of her reign, she started to build the grand temple in Deir el Bahri.

1481 BC. In the 9th year of her reign, the expedition to Punt land took place. The expedition to Punt land (maybe Somalia nowadays) organized on Red Sea can be compared with exploration trips during the Renaissance. Her amazing mortuary temple that is adorned with terraces in Deir el-Bahri consists of many relieves which describe this expedition. It rarely happens that a single event like Hatshepsut’s expedition to be so thoroughly described. There are illustrated all event phases, from the fleet gathering on the Red Sea shore to the triumphant coming back to capital Thebes.

1475-1474 BC.  During this period two obelisks were carved and raised in Karnak.

1470-1469 BC. The power switched to Tutmes III, her step-brother. Hatshepsut disappeared from history. She was around 40 years old and her reign lasted 22 years.

Period when Hatshepsut led as a pharaoh was largely peaceful, thing that allowed her to lay the foundation of wide international trade network. Free commercial relationships were established. In exchange for Egyptian goods 31 aromatic trees, aromatic resin bags, gold, silver, ivory, ebony, clove, kohl, big monkeys, baboons, dogs, slaves and leopard skins were received.

Hatshepsut’s ambitious building programme was over that of her predecessors. She built on the entire Egyptian ground, by Nubia. Thebes enjoyed the most attention. The temple in Deir el-Bahri, called “Holy of Holies” was the complete material proof of the greatness of her reign. Hastepsut also built a monument in Kings Valley and extended Amon’s Temple in Karnak.