Essay by cclgs99College, Undergraduate September 2004

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Queen Hatshepsut was the fifth ruler of the 18th dynasty and was able to rise from princess to queen to pharaoh. She was supposedly born a beautiful child to the pharaoh Tuthmosis I and his queen Ahmose. Her family came from an ancestral line of strong and effective leaders who were devoted to Egypt. Her reign was the longest of all the female pharaohs.

After the death of her father, her half brother Tuthmosis II became king. When he became pharaoh, Tuthmosis had no choice but to marry a woman of the royal blood. Marriages between close relatives were usually within ancient Egypt's royal family, so Hatshepsut was destined to become her half brother's wife, who had a son, Tuthmosis III, by a minor wife.

After Tuthmosis II died in 1479 B.C., his son Tuthmosis III would become pharaoh. However Tuthmosis was too young to marry or rule, so for a short time Hatshepsut ruled with her nephew as a regent.

At first, Hatshepsut stayed in the background so that Tuthmosis III would be seen as the true pharaoh. But little by little, she took on more of the work and more of the power. She chose officials and advisers, and she made decisions about running the kingdom. She also sent out the army when needed. Not long after was Hatshepsut basically ruling for herself and left Tuthmosis with very little power. As Hatshepsut gained power, she became more interested in ruling Egypt. She decided that she would become the next pharaoh and not Tuthmosis III.

Most of Hatshepsut's rule was peaceful, so she had plenty of time to work on projects in Egypt. She repaired many temples and other buildings that had been damaged in wars. She also had new buildings, statues, and monuments constructed to proclaim...