Today’s Illustrated Women in History is a written submission by Hollie Peck.
HATSHEPSUT was the longest reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt during the 18th dynasty. Her reign lasted for nearly two decades from 1479 to 1458 BC.
Daughter to King Tuthmoses I and Queen Ahmose, she had two younger brothers who both died in their infancy, making her an heir.
She was married to Tuthmoses II, who was also her half-brother.
Having been unable to provide a male heir, her stepson was next in line for the throne. However he was a minor, so Hatshepsut took over the royal duties. She proclaimed herself pharaoh just 3 years later. After becoming an official leader she changed the spelling of her name to its male variation of Hatshepsu. Statues exist of Hatshepsut in both feminine and masculine forms, which symbolises gender equality.
She wore male clothing meant for a king, which included a false beard to assert her dominance and authority as it was unthinkable in those times for a woman to rule the empire. However, under her leadership, Egypt prospered and made great advances in politics, trade and architecture.
Upon her death, the stepson took up his rightful kingship.
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