The Black Presence in World History: Who Was Queen Hatshepsut?
Written by Aviana Brown
One of the most significant roles held in Ancient Egypt was by a woman, known as Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled as Pharaoh during the Eighteenth Dynasty, which were the golden years of Egypt’s New Kingdom (ca. 1550-1070 B.C.). She was the daughter of the great ruler King Thutmose I and Queen Amhes Nefertari. After both sons born to her mother Queen Amhes shortly ended in death, her father Thutmose I and a secondary wife conceived another son and named him Thutmose II.
After Thutmose II was crowned king, he was married to Hatshepsut, who was his half sister, early on in childhood. Marriages between siblings during this time in Egypt, was done to for the purposes of continuing the royal lineage. And since the royal line ran through the blood of the female, Thutmose II’s marriage to Hatshepsut, whose mother was directly and royally descended from the Old Twelfth Dynasty line, ensured this continuance. When Thutmose II met with death at an early age, instead of his young son Thutmose III now serving as king, his stepmother Hatshepsut crowned herself Pharaoh until his maturation.
Queen Hatshepsut ruled alone as Egypt’s fifth Pharaoh for fifteen years (ca.1473-1458 B.C.) and oversaw one of the most progressive times in Ancient Egypt’s history. She even wore attire formally worn by kings including the royal headdress with false beard attached and the male kilt.
*Aviana Brown is the Creative Director of SGMagazine. This piece was adapted from her 2014 Master's thesis at New York University, titled “Embodying the Egyptian: Implications of the Masculine and the Fashioning of the Body for the Modern Woman 1920-1929.”