Women in ancient Egypt consider one of the most interesting Egypt facts.
Here we are going to talk about the women in ancient Egypt and we will talk about Queen Hatshepsut as a great example.
- Facts about women in ancient Egypt
The ancient Egyptian woman enjoyed by her position in the Egyptian society.
She had the same legal rights like the man. The ancient Egyptians considered the woman as the source of love and happiness in the house.
The Egyptians appreciated and valued the marriage and appreciated also the role of the woman at the house.
The ancient Egyptian woman had responsibilities exactly like the man.
She helped him in his work in the land and could manage his business in the case of his absence or death.
She also took care of the house and the children. The middle-class woman went outside for working.
She worked in many jobs like musicians, dancers, mourners, perfume making and in the priesthood.
The high-class woman worked inside her house like taking care of her children, managing the servants and slaves. Also, we found women worked as doctors.
The ancient Egyptian woman had the right to owe, inherit, and running her affairs by herself without needing to a representative. Also, she had the right to sue.
In marriage, she had the right to choose her partner and there was a contract between the spouses. The husband must take care of his wife and not treat her in a bad manner.
We have scenes in the tomb of king “Akhenaten” in el Amarna shows the real love and affection between the king and his wife “Nifrtity”.
We have also scenes depicting king “Tutankhamen” and his wife “Ankh s n pa Aton” in a real love.
Some examples of women in ancient Egypt
We have many examples of women had a great impact in the political life in ancient Egypt and some of them already became rulers of Egypt like Queen Hatshepsut.
- One of those women were queen Iah-Hotep the wife of king Seqnen-Ra who helped her son king “Ahmose” to rule Egypt and liberate it from the Hyksos invasion.
- We have also queen “Hatshepsut” who ruled Egypt with such a powerful character and managed to build temples and to make her country lived in prosperity and stability.
She was the first woman to rule Egypt as an independent after the co-regency with her husband and half-brother “Thutmose II”.
- Facts about Queen Hatshepsut
Her birth name in ancient Egyptian language is (ḫnmt imn ḥt špswt) which means she who embraces Amun, the foremost of women. She was the 5th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty.
Her father was king “Thutmose I” and her mother was queen “Ahmose”.
She married her half-brother “Thutmose II” to enable him to be the legitimate heir to the throne after his father “Thutmosis I” because he is a son of non-royal secondary wife, that’s what we call it in the history “the royal marriage”.
Hatshepsut and Thutmose II gave birth to a daughter called “Nefrw Re” who was described as king’s daughter, god’s wife, mistress of the two lands and the lady of Upper and Lower Egypt.
How did she ascend the throne?
Hatshepsut had a very strong character, so there was a struggle between her and her husband Thutmose II.
Her followers told her that she is the person who must rule Egypt because she is of a royal blood unlike her brother and husband Thutmose II.
They convinced her that she could rule the country behind the curtain, but she couldn’t because Thutmose II had a strong character also like her.
Thutmose II realized that Hatshepsut wanted to rule Egypt.
So he wanted to secure his throne from Hatshepsut, so he married a secondary wife her name was Isis to give birth a boy because he hadn’t a boy from Hatshepsut.
He already gave birth to a boy and called him Thutmose III.
Thutmose II celebrated the Opet festival which was the most important religious festival for god Amun “god of fertility”.
He made his son stand behind Amun and said that god Amun proclaimed Thutmose III the successor of Thutmose II, by this way Thutmose III became a legitimate heir to the throne.
Unfortunately, Thutmose II died before his son became old enough to rule the country.
So Hatshepsut seized the chance of Thutmose II’s death and declared herself as the co-regent with Thutmose III.
As she said that he was very young about 2 or 3 three years.
She wasn’t satisfied with her position as a co-regent, so she used what’s called in history “the divine birth”.
As she claimed that she was God Amun’s daughter, the story of the divine is inscribed on the walls of the northern half of middle terrace in her temple.
The facts about her internal achievements
Now she became she ruler of Egypt. She achieved many internal achievements like:
- Building projects in different areas such as Buhen, Semna and Quban.
- She built a temple at Buhen for god Horus
- She rebuilt some temples at Hebenu which were dedicated to goddess Bakhet, goddess of violence.
- She erected the 8th pylon at Karnak temple which was considered the southern gateway during her years of rule.
- She erected a great temple at el-Deir el Bahari. It was built from limestone.
Her External achievements
- She sent an expedition to Nubia lands
- She sent a commercial campaign to punt lands (Somalia nowadays) and came back with incense trees, spices, wood and other goods.
She died at the age of about 50 years and was buried at the Valley of the Kings tombs number 20.
Main causes of her death
- Cancer in the backbone
- Tumor in liver
Some scholars suggested that Thutmosis III might kill her, but another group of scholars rejected this suggestion because it wasn’t found any signs of murder when they examined her mummy.
The position of woman in ancient Egypt represents one of the most significant parts of the facts about Egypt.