Hatshepsut, Pharaoh of Egypt 1508-1458BCE (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Hatshepsut
was a female Pharaoh of Egypt during the prosperous 18th Dynasty. She was the daughter of the powerful Thumosis II, though she was not the first female rule of Egypt (that was likely Sobekneferu, of the 12th Dynasty, a bit more than 300 years earlier), but she was one of its greatest rulers. As Pharaoh, Hatshepsut reopened trade routes that had been idle since the conquest of Egypt by the Hyksos. She also extended trade networks to distant areas, including a huge expedition to the distant land of Punt (in modern Ethiopia). At home, she engaged in a building program without compare in Egyptian history while investing heavily in the arts. Her reign was primarily peaceful, though she did continue her father’s military exploits early on. This was not a boom or bust deal – her successor, Thutmosis III built on her accomplishments and expanded Egypt’s boundaries to their largest extent yet and her social and economic investment at home helped to strengthen Egypt’s longest-ruling dynasty, the eighteenth.

Wikipedia: Hatshepsut

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