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Ancient Egypt
Hatshepsut



Hatshepsut
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.68

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    el-Bahri, determined, firstborn, entranceway, half-brother, co-regent, thou, dynasty, renovations, saying, adorn, ambition, commemorate, successor, heir, achievement
     content words:    Tuthmosis II, Tuthmosis III, Lower Egypt, Two Lands, East Africa, Mortuary Temple


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Hatshepsut
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     In Egypt, most pharaohs were men. Fathers usually passed on the throne to the firstborn son of their favored wife. However, Hatshepsut was the first of a few exceptions. She was an ambitious woman who ruled Egypt for twenty years. In a society where the leaders had always been male, how did this happen?
 
2     Hatshepsut ruled during the eighteenth dynasty. She was the daughter of Tuthmosis I and Ahmose. When her father died, her half-brother, Tuthmosis II was declared the new pharaoh. As was the custom, Tuthmosis II needed to marry a woman of royal blood. He chose Hatshepsut. Shortly after their wedding, he realized Hatshepsut's ambition was to make herself pharaoh. In order to prevent her from becoming too powerful, he named his son, Tuthmosis III, his child by one of his lesser wives, to be the heir to the throne. However, Tuthmosis II died a few short years after becoming pharaoh. This gave Hatshepsut the opportunity she needed to take control.
 
3     At first, she reigned with Tuthmosis III as co-regent. The young pharaoh was just a boy, and Hatshepsut used his youth to her advantage. She began by announcing that the god Amun had spoken to her, saying, "Welcome my sweet daughter, my favorite, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the King, take possession of the Two Lands." In addition, she had herself declared the wife of Amun, stating that the god had visited her and proclaimed his love for her. Gradually, Hatshepsut took on the role of pharaoh. She began to dress in the clothing of a man. She wore a false beard and dropped the female ending "t" from her name. She gained the favor of the priests of Amun by granting them great power. Thus, this determined woman took over the throne of Egypt, even gaining the acceptance of the people.

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