Long before Cleopatra and the likes of Tutankhamun, a woman ruled Egypt for 25 years.
Hey! Don't look so surprised.
But, 20 years after Hatshepsut's death, someone tried to erase her existence from history.
Her name or drawings carved in stone were demolished and hieroglyphs about her reign were destroyed. Why? There are many theories and speculative answers.
With modern technology, archaeologists and Egyptologists were able to unveil parts of the story of this unknown Pharaoh Queen
Although little is known about Hatshepsut, the 25 years she spent as a ruler of the world's most powerful civilization appear to have been peaceful and prosperous for her people.
Hatshepsut ruled Egypt between 1650 and 1600 BC during the 18th dynasty.
She lived by her name, Hatshepsut Ma'atkara, which literally translates to "Foremost of Noble Women", and is considered one of the most successful pharaohs to ever rule ancient Egypt.
Born into royalty, Hatshepsut was the only child of King Thutmose I and his wife, Queen Ahmose.
After the death of her father when she was 12 years old, Hatshepsut married her half brother, Thutmose II, who reigned for 15 years. During their marriage, the couple never produced a male heir and only had one child, a girl named Nefrure. Therefore when Thutmose II died, the throne fell into the hands of Thutmose III, Hatshepsut's nephew.
As Thutmose III was only a child when he became King, Hatshpsut ruled Egypt for three years before proclaiming herself as a pharaoh.
However, a female pharaoh at that time was unheard of and may have caused civil unrest because a the idea would challenge "maat", the universal harmony that all ancient Egyptians believed in at the time.
After becoming a Pharaoh, Hatshepsut dropped all titles that only women were able to hold.
Hatshepsut dressed as a male ruler. She began wearing false beards and the traditional pharaoh's shendyt kilt and crown in order to assert her authority. Eventually, she dropped the "t" in her name, which was a female ending sound in ancient Egypt, and became His Majesty Hatshepsu.
Under her 25 year reign, Hatshepsut was not interested in conquering more land.
Instead, she focused on ensuring economic growth and building monuments throughout Nubia and Kemet. She had two obelisks built and cut at the ancient granite quarry in Aswan where they were later transported to the Karnak temple. One of the obelisks stood the test of time and still stands today. Her most ambitious building during her 25 year rule, was the temple at Deir El Bahri, which she was buried in upon her death. The temple was dedicated to Amen, Anubis, and Hathor and is considered as one of ancient Egypt's wonders.
The Pharaoh Queen went on numerous trading expeditions.
The most notable expedition was to the Land of Punt during the 9th year of her reign. Though the exact location of Punt remains a mystery, it is commonly believed that it is in North Eastern Africa, somewhere between present day's Ethiopia and Southern Sudan. From the remaining hieroglyphs of the Pharaoh Queen's reign, Punt is believed to be a land that is rich with products ancient Egyptians wanted such as different types of wood, myrrh, spices, gold, ebony, and much more.
Thutmos III went on to rule 30 years after her death and proved to be a great King and a fearless warrior.
One theory suggests that it was Thutmose III who ordered the destruction of anything that had evidence of Hatshput's reign, including all images on the temples and monuments she had built. Archaeologists and Egyptologists believe this was an attempt to erase the only example of a powerful female pharaoh.
Scholars and archaeologists worked alongside Egyptologists in desperate attempts to unlock the mystery behind the Pharaoh Queen.
Finally, in 1822, they were able to decode hieroglyphs found on the walls of Deir El Bahri and her story began to unfold. Howard Carter, world renowned archaeologist and discoverer of King Tutankhamun's burial temple, discovered one of three of Hatshepsut's tombs but it was empty. However, a new search for the Pharaoh Queen's remains was launched in 2005 and a team of archaeologists located her mummy in 2007.