Just as she might have been subjected to the prejudices of a predominantly male royal court culture during and after her lifetime, Hatshepsut’s historiography has equally suffered from the tangible, underlying gender biases expressed in nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholarship, which may make any historiographical assertions about her rule more revealing of the prejudices afflicting scholarship at different points in time than of the actual nature and significance of Hatshepsut’s rule on the throne of the pharaohs.
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Historians debate the significance of Hatshepsut, one of few female rulers of ancient Egypt. Traditionally she has been viewed as a schemer who usurped the throne, while more recent scholarship acknowledges the complex difficulties she would have faced as a female ruler some 3,500 years ago. Her seemingly uninhibited access to natural and human resources, however, allowed her to engage in a substantial building program throughout Egypt.