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What was Queen Hatshepsut known for?

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At around 1473 B.C., Queen Hatshepsut elevated herself to the status of pharaoh after Thutmose II died and left an underage heir. She is also known for commissioning the funereal temple at Deir el-Bahari and overseeing a period of architectural and economic advancement. Hatshepsut ordered an exceptionally successful trading voyage to the ancient civilization of Punt, which helped the kingdom procure unprecedented amounts of leopard skin, gold, ebony, myrrh and ivory.

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Hatshepsut is one of only three Egypt women to rule as an independent pharaoh. To reinforce her authority, she chose to have herself depicted with a beard and a king’s garments in Egyptian imagery. Although scholars consider her to be one of the most visionary pharaohs, they didn’t gain extensive insight into her history until the 19th century. Thutmose III attempted to obscure her memory as much as possible by desecrating her monuments and removing her inscriptions.

Hatshepsut served as regent after the death of her husband and half-brother, Thutmose II. As she had no sons of her own, Hatshepsut was meant to be co-ruler with her stepson and nephew, Thutmose III, until he came of age. However, after about seven years, she seized the throne and claimed to be the chosen successor of Thutmose I. She also staked her claim on grounds that she was divinely sired by the god Amun. Hatshepsut was effective at rallying support from influential figures, including her advisor and rumored lover, Senenmut.

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