This story brought to you by the year 1508 to 1458 B.C.E.

Shh.  Listen to the winds of Egypt.  Can you hear her voice?  Listen.  You must be very quiet.  She will never speak when you are speaking.  If you listen closely enough, you will hear a mystery thousands of years old.  A story of success and sadness.  Listen to the wind.  It whispers the story of Hatshepsut . . .

"My name is Hatshepsut.  When I was twelve, I was married to my half brother, Thutmose II.  He was the ruler of Egypt, and I was his queen.  We were happy enough.  We had a daughter together.  Another woman had a son by his seed.  And then my husband died.  I was not yet thirty years old.  My husband's son took his name and his power, but he was only a child.  So I made all the choices for him.  A regent is someone who is made ruler of a country because the true ruler is too young or is away.  The child Thutmose III, my nephew and stepson, was the ruler . . . but I was his voice.

"Within seven years though, I took the throne for myself.  Let he or she who wouldn't have in my position speak now . . .  I was an excellent ruler.  I was the pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt.  I was not the first woman to hold this place . . . but I was the first woman to use its full power, and the longest to hold this power, for twenty-two years.  Of course, the people didn't believe that a woman could rule.  So I had to do things that would keep me in the throne . . .

"The people needed proof that the gods were in my favor.  So I built great obelisks, pillars with pointed tops that stood for my rule.  I knew my people would not want a woman as a ruler, so I told my people any piece of art that was made of me, painting or statue, was painted or made with a beard and large muscles.  With my people believing that I was a man, I could keep track of other things.  My twenty-two years as ruler were a time of peace.  This let me open new trade to my great city and build different projects to make Egypt more beautiful.  Let them not remember my sex.  Let them remember what I did.  Let them look on Egypt and see that the gods favored my rule.

"The gods could not save me from death.  I cannot tell you how I died.  It is too hard for me.  I will only tell you what happened after I died.  To vandalize is to break or destroy something on purpose.  This is just what someone did to most of my pictures and statues about 20 years after I died.  They went to all of my obelisks.  In the places they could not just remove my inscriptions, they destroyed.  I cannot tell you why they did this.  Was it because I was a woman, not meant to rule?  Was it because they needed the people to believe in him and only him?  I do not know.  Ghosts cannot see into the minds of the living.  

"Now there is almost nothing left of me.  A monument is a statue or building that is built to remember someone or something.  All of mine were torn down . . . So now I speak on the wind.  I was regent and I led Egypt for my nephew, who could not.  Soon after, I became the third woman pharaoh, but the longest ruling who held the most power.  I did not let my people know this though.  The obelisks I had built showed me as a man . . . That was until someone tore them down.  And now . . . now I . . ."

The wind dies down.  Only the sand speaks.  


References:

History.com.  "Hatshepsut"  A&E Entertainment, 2015.  <http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/hatshepsut>

Biography.com.  "Hatshepsut"  A&E Entertainment, 2011.  <http://www.biography.com/people/hatshepsut-9331094>