|Name(s)||Hatshepsut (Foremost Nobles of Ladies)|
|Culture||Ancient Egypt (18th Dynasty)|
|Date(s)||c. 1478 - 1458 B.C.|
|Location||Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Hatshepsut (/hætˈʃɛpsʊt/; also Hatchepsut; meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies; 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu. (Various other women may have also ruled as pharaohs regnant or at least regents before Hatshepsut, as early as Merneith almost 1500 years prior.) Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III, who had ascended to the throne the previous year as a child of about two years old. Hatshepsut was the chief wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III’s father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. According to Egyptologist James Henry Breasted she is also known as "the first great woman in history of whom we are informed."
Hatshepsut died as she was approaching what we would consider middle age given typical contemporary lifespans, in her twenty-second regnal year. The precise date of Hatshepsut's death—and the time when Thutmose III became the next pharaoh of Egypt—is considered to be Year 22, II Peret day 10 of her reign, as recorded on a single stela erected at Armant or January 16, 1458 BC. This information validates the basic reliability of Manetho's kinglist records since Hatshepsut's known accession date was I Shemu day 4 (i.e.: Hatshepsut died nine months into her 22nd year as king, as Manetho writes in his Epitome for a reign of 21 years and nine months). No contemporary mention of the cause of her death has survived. If the recent identification of her mummy (see below) is correct, however, the medical evidence would indicate that she suffered from diabetes and died from bone cancer which had spread throughout her body while she was in her fifties. It also would suggest that she had arthritis and bad teeth.
In comparison with other female pharaohs, Hatshepsut's reign was much longer and more prosperous. She was successful in warfare early in her reign, but generally is considered to be a pharaoh who inaugurated a long peaceful era. She re-established international trading relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt. That wealth enabled Hatshepsut to initiate building projects that raised the calibre of Ancient Egyptian architecture to a standard, comparable to classical architecture, that would not be rivaled by any other culture for a thousand years. She managed to rule for about 20 years. One of the most famous things that she did was building Hatshepsut's temple.
Hatshepsut was the daughter and only child of Thutmose I and his primary wife Ahmose. Her husband Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife named Mutnofret, who carried the title King's daughter and was probably a child of Ahmose I. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had a daughter named Neferure. Thutmose II fathered Thutmose III with Iset, a secondary wife.