Women in Ancient Egypt
Historians and archaeologists believe that some women can be identified as having served as female Pharaoh, or ruler, of Egypt. Learn more about these women who likely ruled Egypt.
Hatshepsut, Pharaoh of Egypt
A comprehensive guide to the woman who ruled Egypt nearly 3500 years ago.
Egyptologists posited that royal lineage was matriarchal in ancient Egypt. Does this theory explain why Hatshepsut and other women sometimes ruled in Egypt?
The third ruler of the first Egyptian dynasty which united upper and lower Egypt is known only by name and a few objects -- but many scholars believe that this ruler was a woman. We don't know much about her life or her reign.
Warrior Queen Zenobia of Palmyra in Syria challenged Rome, though she was eventually defeated.
Egyptian Queens and Pharaohs
Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe takes up the question of whether a matriarchy existed in ancient Egypt.
Egyptian Women in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
The author translates texts from Demotic to document the legal and economic status of women in several periods of ancient Egypt.
From Warrior Women to Female Pharaohs: Careers for Women
Dr. Joann Fletcher documents the choices available to women in ancient Egypt in work life, based on the Egyptian concept of full duality of male and female.
Matriliny in New Kingdom Egypt
Essay detailing historical incidences of matrilineal rule in Egypt, including Nefertiti and Ankhesenamon.
Menkaure and His Queen:
Part of a multi-page essay on a statue discovered in 1910, this part concentrates on evidence within the image on the status of the queen vs. the king.
Recommended Reading: Ancient Egypt
With current interest in Cleopatra, this reading list may help provide accurate historical context. Includes books for students. (Not focused on women's history.)
Web Resources for Young People and Teachers
Good index of web resources to put Cleopatra, ancient Egypt and related topics into historical perspective. Specific info on women hard to find here.
Women in Egypt: Bibliography
Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe's print bibliography, used in a university seminar on images of women in the ancient world. Includes image of Menkaure and his queen.