Why is Hatshepsut unique?

          Hatshepsut was the first wife, and Queen of Thutmose II. When he died, she proclaimed herself Pharaoh, denying the old king’s son his inheritance. Hatshepsut was a very unique and intelligent individual. She used various strategies to legitimize her position as pharaoh. She claimed God told her to rule as the king, and so she took on several male adornments while she ruled Egypt. Unlike most women of that time, she attached a false beard, wore male clothing, and was depicted in statutes as a pharaoh, and not as a queen.

          Hatshepsut remained in power for twenty years, and during this time the Egyptian economy flourished. She ordered the army to make it useful, not by going to battle, but by setting off on a trading expedition to the land of Punt, where no Egyptian had been for more than 500 years.

          The expedition was an enormous success, and enhanced Hatshepsut’s reputation. She became known as the ruler who had reached out to foreign countries, and who had delivered to the Egyptians marvellous wonders from far away.