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Hatshepsut is historically significant because she was a female pharaoh. After her brother Thutmose II died, the crown passed to his underage son by a concubine, and Hatshepsut, who had also married her husband by royal custom, became the regent for the boy, whose name was Thutmose III. Through her competence and political skill, she was able to convince many in the Egyptian priesthood to support her bid to become the actual ruling pharoah, with Thutmose III as co-regent. Her claim was two-fold. First, she asserted that her father had actually crowned her pharaoh before his death. Then she claimed to have been born miraculously, as the child of the deity Amen himself. She had herself crowned pharaoh, and ruled for a number of years until her death, possibly murder. Her reign was successful in many ways by Egyptian standards. While she was not as aggressively imperialistic as her successor Thutmose III, she was devoted to building projects, and strengthened the bureaucracy while maintaining generally peaceful relations with Egypt's neighbors. Interestingly, Hatshepsut, as pharaoh, is almost always depicted as masculine, wearing the ceremonial beard that all pharaohs wore. Most portrayals of the pharaoh Hatshepsut, however, were destroyed by order of Thutmose III, not an uncommon practice among pharaohs.
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