Hatshepsut, or Hatchepsut, meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies, was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful female pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty.
Although it was uncommon for Egypt to be ruled by a woman, this situation was not unprecedented. Hatshepsutwas the second known to have formally assumed power as "King of Upper and Lower Egypt" after Queen Sobekneferu of the Twelfth Dynasty. As a queen regnant she is preceded by Merneith of the First Dynasty; and Nimaethap of the Third Dynasty, who may have been the dowager of Khasekhemwy, but who certainly acted as regent for her son, Djoser, during the Third Dynasty, and—she may have reigned as pharaoh in her own right. Among the later, non-indigenous Egyptian dynasties, the most notable example of another woman who became pharaoh was Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
Although records of her reign are documented in diverse ancient sources, Hatshepsut was once described by early modern scholars as only having served as a co-regent from about 1479 to 1458 BC, during years seven to twenty-one of the reign previously identified as that of Thutmose III. It is now known that Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh, and her reign as king is usually given as twenty-two years since Manetho assigns her a reign of 21 years and 9 months. The date of her death is known to have occurred in 1458, which implies she became pharaoh circa 1479 BC.