What did Hatshepsut do to help Egypt?

Answered by John Hunt

Hatshepsut, the powerful pharaoh of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty, made significant contributions to the prosperity and development of the kingdom. Through her strategic trade networks and successful missions, she played a crucial role in building Egypt’s wealth and influence.

One of Hatshepsut’s notable achievements was her expedition to the Land of Punt, which took place in the ninth year of her reign. This mission was a resounding success and brought back valuable resources that greatly benefited Egypt. The Land of Punt was a region located in present-day Somalia and possibly parts of Eritrea and Ethiopia. It was known for its abundance of exotic goods such as myrrh trees and frankincense.

During her journey to the Land of Punt, Hatshepsut’s expedition traded with the people of Punt, exchanging Egyptian goods for the precious resources found in that region. The myrrh trees and frankincense obtained from this trade were highly sought after in Egypt and played a significant role in the country’s economy. Myrrh was widely used for its medicinal properties and as an ingredient in perfume, while frankincense was utilized for religious ceremonies and as an ingredient in cosmetics.

Hatshepsut’s clever utilization of these resources showcases her understanding of the economic potential they held for Egypt. One notable example is her use of frankincense as kohl eyeliner. This not only highlighted her personal style and fashion sense but also demonstrated her ability to promote and popularize Egyptian goods, ultimately boosting their trade value.

Furthermore, Hatshepsut’s trade networks extended beyond the Land of Punt. She established connections with other regions, such as Nubia, Lebanon, and even as far as the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia. These trade routes allowed for the exchange of various goods and resources, contributing to the economic growth of Egypt.

The wealth acquired through these trade networks allowed Hatshepsut to invest in ambitious building projects and promote cultural and artistic developments within Egypt. She commissioned the construction of numerous temples and monuments, including her famous mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari, which showcased her reign and solidified her legacy as a powerful pharaoh.

Hatshepsut’s contributions to Egypt were vast and significant. Through her successful trade missions, particularly the expedition to the Land of Punt, she brought back valuable resources that enriched Egypt’s economy. Her strategic trade networks, which extended beyond Punt, further bolstered the kingdom’s wealth and influence. Hatshepsut’s reign was a prosperous time for Egypt, marked by economic growth, cultural advancements, and impressive architectural achievements.