When you think of ancient Egypt, what comes to mind?

Is it the first female Egyptian pharaoh, Hatshepsut? Probably not. Why? Well, this is the 3000-year-old mystery.

Twenty years after Hatshepsut’s death, an unknown suspect attempted to wipe Egypt’s first female pharaoh out of history. Her statues were destroyed, and her name was forgotten, but we have no idea why. Fortunately, enough evidence survived that we can remember her time as pharaoh, and maybe try to piece together why she was erased in the first place.

Hatshepsut has a very unique story. She ruled before Cleopatra and Nefertiti, taking the throne in 1478 BC, with a reign well known for its many accomplishments.

Today we explore this mystery and these accomplishments with TED-Ed as our guide…

Via: TED-Ed 1

Our frequent readers know how much we love TED. Watching the above video of theirs, how can you not? TED.com is one of the most interesting corners of the web. EWC features the best of their talks a couple of times each month. If I do say so myself, EWC and TED are the only places I have found where smart people, curious and hopeful, can always come away transformed. Check out our list of favorites from TED here!

Who writes history?

We choose to believe Hatshepsut’s history, even though it could have been a complete embellishment and a work of fiction. After all, she and her court told her tale. We also have an imperfect record of her reign as attempts were made to erase her from history.

So, who are we to believe? Will we ever truly figure out what kind of ruler Hatshepsut was? These types of questions can apply to us now, in modern times.

Who really writes history? Is our understanding of the past an exaggerated tale told by society’s winners?

Can this story help society become more inquiring?

As we grow and change, our society will hopefully begin to ask some of these questions and take matters into their own hands. Care to join us on the journey?

Be understanding, be passionate, be joyous. But most of all, be yourself.


“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

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  1. “The Pharaoh That Wouldn’t Be Forgotten – Kate Narev.” YouTube. TED-Ed, 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bYRy_wZEJI>.

Bethany is an editing and writing intern at Ever Widening Circles.