As a world explorer, Pogo has visited many exotic places but none quite as special as Egypt, the Great Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings. One day I hope to visit those same sites to see these wonders first hand. The most intriguing story of ancient Egyptian pharaohs that has captured my interest is that of Hatshepsut.

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There are many notable pharaohs and royalty in Ancient Egyptian history but none quite as fascinating as Hatshepsut. The only female to reign as king, Hatshepsut ruled in the 15th century B.C.E. As many pharaohs of her time, Hatshepsut recorded her image in stone statues and relief carvings with hieroglyphs. Hatshepsut broke from tradition and moved into taboo by portraying herself as a man wearing the beard and headdress that aligned her with the male gods.

Learn more about this bold woman on the National Geographic website and be sure to visit the online photo gallery. Hatshepsut was “one of the greatest builders in one of the greatest Egyptian dynasties” and her statues, temples and monuments are a sight to behold.

A grand expression of royal power, Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple rises against a desert bluff at Deir el Bahri. Reliefs in the porticoes record the greatest triumphs of her 21-year reign.

In a scene at Deir el Bahri, men carry a myrrh tree to Egyptian ships in Punt, a land still not clearly identified. Hatshepsut sent a trading mission down the Red Sea to procure luxuries there in about 1470 B.C.