Humanities › History & Culture Hatshepsut: She Became a Female Pharaoh of Egypt How Did She Become a Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt? Share Flipboard Email Print Hatshepsut as King, Offering Food to the God Horus: Image from the Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor, Egypt. Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images History & Culture Women's History Important Figures History Of Feminism Key Events Women's Suffrage Women & War Laws & Womens Rights Feminism & Pop Culture Feminist Texts American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century View More By Jone Johnson Lewis Women's History Writer B.A., Mundelein College M.Div., Meadville/Lombard Theological School Jone Johnson Lewis is a women's history writer who has been involved with the women's movement since the late 1960s. She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. our editorial process Jone Johnson Lewis Updated January 12, 2018 Hatshepsut was a pharaoh (ruler) of Egypt, one of very few women to hold that title. A major temple in her honor was built at Deir el-Bahri (Dayru l-Bahri) near Thebes. We know Hatshepsut mostly through references to her during her lifetime that were meant to reinforce her power. We don't have the sort of personal biographical material that we might have for more recent women of history: letters from the woman herself or from those who knew her, for instance. She was lost from history for many years, and scholars have had different theories about when to date her reign. Hatshepsut was born about 1503 BCE. She reigned from about 1473 to 1458 BCE (the dates are not certain). She was part of the Eighteenth Dynasty, New Kingdom. Family Hatshepsut was the daughter of Thutmose I and Ahmose. Thutmose I was the third pharaoh in Egypt's 18th Dynasty, and was likely the son of Amenhotep I and Senseneb, a minor wife or concubine. Ahmose was the Great Royal Wife of Thutmose I; she may have been a sister or daughter of Amenhotep I. Three children, including Hapshetsup, are associated with her. Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose II, whose father was Thutmose I and mother was Mutnofret. As Great Royal Wife of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut bore him one daughter, Neferure, one of three known offspring of Thutmose II. Thutmose II Thutmose III, son of Thutmose II and a minor wife, Iset, became the Pharaoh on the death of Thutmose II, who ruled for about 14 years. Thutmose III was likely very young (estimated between 2 and 10 years old), and Hatshepsut, his stepmother and aunt, became his regent. Hatshepsut as King Hatshepsut claimed, during her reign, that her father had intended her to be a co-heir with her husband. She gradually assumed the titles, powers and even the ceremonial clothing and beard of a male Pharaoh, claiming legitimacy through a divine birth, even calling herself a "female Horus." She was formally crowned as king in about year 7 of her co-reign with Thutmose III. Senenmut, the Advisor Senenmut, an architect, became a key advisor and powerful official under the reign of Hatshepsut. The relationship between Hatshepsut and Senenmut is debated; he was given unusual honors for a palace official. He died before the end of her reign and was not buried in the tombs (2) which had been built for him, leading to speculation on his role and his fate. Military Campaigns The records of Hatshepsut's reign claim that she led military campaigns against several foreign lands including Nubia and Syria. The mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri records a trading expedition in Hatshepsut's name to Punt, a legendary land thought by some to be Eritrea and argued by others to be Uganda, Syria, or other lands. This trip was dated to the 19th year of her rule. Thutmose III's Rule Thutmose III eventually became sole Pharaoh, presumably on the death of Hatshepsut when she was 50 years old. Thutmose III was general of the army before Hatshepsut's disappearance. Thutmose III is probably responsible for the destruction of many of Hatshepsut's statues and images, at least 10 and probably 20 years after she died. Scholars have debated how Hatshepsut died. Finding Hatshepsut's Mummy In June 2007, the Discovery Channel and Dr. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced a "positive identification" of a mummy as Hatshepsut's, and a documentary, Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen. Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney was also involved in the documentary. Many of these details are still being debated by scholars. Places: Egypt, Thebes, Karnak, Luxor, Deir el-Bahri (Deir el Bahari, Dayru l-Bahri) Hatshepsut also known as: Hatchepsut, Hatshepset, Hatshepsowe, Queen Hatshepsut, Pharaoh Hatshepsut Bibliography Cooney, Kara. The Woman Who Would Be King. 2014. Robins, Gay. Women in Ancient Egypt. 1993. Tyldesley, Joyce. Hatchepsut, the Female Pharaoh. 1996. Andronik, Catherine M., and Fiedler, Joseph Daniel. Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself. 2001. Ages 9-12.Carter, Dorothy Sharp; illustrated by Michele Chessare. His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut. 1987. Young Adult.