Statue of Hatshepsut
-Metropolitan Museum of Art
During her reign as Pharaoh, she built beautiful temples and expanded trade to the south in Punt, trading jewelry, papyrus, and bronze weapons in exchange for ivory, perfume, gold, leopard skins and live apes. Much more has been written about her, but in brief, she was Egypt's 2nd female pharaoh and is considered to be one of Egypt's most important pharaohs. But before we get to her scientific contribution it's important to understand the back story.
After Queen Hatshepsut died, Thutmose III (her stepson/half-brother) was finally old enough to reign. She had been ruling in behalf of Thutmose, who had been ten-years-old at the start of her rule.
Confused with the genealogy? I sure was. Below is a chart that helps explain. Technically, Thutmose III and Amenhotep II were Hatsheput's half-brothers. Hatshepsut also (according to this chart) was the same queen who found Moses of the Bible floating in the river . . . but that's another story!
The two half-brothers are important in Hatshepsut's story, because these are the two pharaohs who proceeded to remove all references to Hatshepsut as pharaoh. Removal of Hatsheput's reign in history included the defacing of monuments. Within a short time two jealous (?) brothers had erased the records of accomplishments from her eulogies, and taken full credit. The reasons are not all together clear. Although this was not an uncommon practice, the fact that she had been Egypt's 2nd female pharaoh makes their act all the more outrageous. Further, an important aspect of her story was lost in the process.
|Temple of Hatshepsut built in Thebes|
Brooke, Elisabeth, 1995. Women Healers: Portraits of herbalists, Physician, and Midwives. Healing Arts Press.
Bennett, Jennifer, 2009. “Lilies of the Hearth: The Historical Relationship Between Women and Plants.” In: Botanical Medicine for Women's Health, Aviva Romm, ed. Churchill Livingstone.