Hatshepsut: Facts About the Ancient Egyptian Pharoah

Here are some facts about Hatshepsut.

  • Hatshepsut lived from about 1508 to 1458 BC, and was the 5th Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty. She reigned for about 22 years, making her one of the country’s longest reigning pharaohs.

  • It was almost unheard of to have a female ruler of Egypt at that time. Hatshepsut even dressed to look like a man, in a headdress and false beard.
  • Hatshepsut was more interested in building monuments in Egypt and making sure the country was rich, rather than invading other lands. She established new and existing trade routes.
  • One of her biggest achievements was the building of hundreds of monuments, temples and statues all over Egypt. Almost every major museum has at least one statue of her.
  • Hatshepsut ordered obelisks built to celebrate her 16th year as Pharaoh. Today one of the unfinished obelisks can still be seen in a quarry at Aswan.
  • She also built two of the tallest obelisks in the world at that time, at the huge temple at Karnack. One of the 30 metre tall structures is still standing today, 3,500 years later.
  • She planned and financed an expedition to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Gulf. The expedition returned with 31 live myrrh trees, probably the first ever attempt to relocate live trees.
  • Hatshepsut built her own mortuary temple to house her body after death, near the Valley of the Kings. The beautiful and symmetrical building is considered to be a masterpiece of architecture.
  • Hatshepsut died in her early 50s and, although the cause of death is not known, she may have had arthritis, bone cancer and a skin disease. Some historians think her stepson killed her.
  • Various tests have attempted to identify the mummy of Hatshepsut, although these have been inconclusive. She may have been buried in the same tomb as her nurse.

What next? Discover more facts about the Ancient Egyptians.