"The beautiful one
December 6, 1912, German archaeologist, Ludwig
Borchadt on a dig in Armana, Egypt, finds an amazing treasure. It is the bust of
Nefertiti! Eradicated from history she is at last found. While excavating an
ancient sculpture's studio he comes across this icon of complete female beauty,
elegance and sophistication. It is said that he was so overwhelmed by the beauty
of Nefertiti that he wrote only one thing in his diary: " Description is
useless- see for youself." Wife of the herectic king, Akhenaten. She stood with
him in a revolution of monotheism. They replace the all powerful, king of all
gods, Amun, and other dieties to solely worship Aten, the Sun Disk. Banning
years of tradition that changed Egypt's history forever
Her story is one of intrigue shrouded in a cloud
of mystery, a time of religious upheaval, tyranny and possibly murder. She is as
elusive today as she was when she first disappeared from history some 3000 years
ago. Sadly today hardly anyone can agree on anything dealing with this period of
time due to a huge lack of information. I am by far no expert in this field but
I will write what I do know . And by all means if you have additional
information or would like to comment on this subject, go to the message board.
It is written that Ay at times called himself
"the god's father" leading one to believe that he was Akhenaten's father in law.
In Ay's highly decorated tomb in the Valley of the Kings, some of the
inscriptions show Mutnojme, Nefertiti's sister as his daughter. I have read that
in Ay's tomb there are several carvings of a woman that they identified as
Mutnojme. Confusing as this is, Ay's wife Teye is described as only a "nurse" or
"wet nurse" rather than "mother of the Great Royal Wife". The term wet nurse is
used for both men and women who looked after the royal children. Suggesting
quite possibly that Ay was father to both Nefertiti and Mutnojme and that they
had two different mothers. Others say she was from the house of
Ahmose-Nefertari. (In her bestowed tittle of The beautiful one has
It could be that Nefertiti's actual mother died early on, and it
was left to Teye to raise the young girl.
She bore the king 6 daughter's, Meritaten, Meketaten, who died in
the 12th year of Akhenaten's rule, Ankhesenpaaten who later becomes wife of
Tutankhamun and has her name changed to Ankhesenamun, Neferneferuaten,
Neferneferure and Setepenre.
"She who is
beloved of Aten" She was born early in her father's reign, before the royal
family moved to the new capital established by her father, Akhetaten. She was
shown beside her mother in reliefs carved into the Hut-Benben, a temple devoted exclusively to Nefertiti. She also
appears—along with her parents and younger sister Meketaten—on the boundary stelae
designating the boundaries of the new capital. She had one daughter, who was
named after her, Meritaten
Tasherit ("Meritaten the
Younger").Meritaten's titles include Great
Royal Wife, which can indicate either marriage to her father or to
Akhenaten's co-ruler Smenkhkare, who some believe was her (half-)uncle or
half-brother, although a simpler explanation for the title may be that Meritaten
simply assumed her mother's duties and office of "Great Royal
Aten" or "Protected by Aten") was the second daughter of six born.She was
probably born in year 2 or 3 Akhenaten's reign.Meketaten died in the 13th or
14th regnal year of her father. In Year 12 she was still alive, since she was
depicted with her parents and sisters at the reception of foreign tributes – a
ceremony that can be seen on several scenes in the private tombs of high-ranking
officials such as Huya and High Priest Meryre II.
under the canopy, on the wall paintings of the Gamma chamber. In front of her:
Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Meritaten, Ankhesenpaaten and Neferneferuaten
she was the third of six known daughters. The
change in her name reflects the changes in Ancient Egyptian religion during her
lifetime after her father's death. Her youth is well documented in the ancient
reliefs and paintings of the reign of her parents. She was probably born in year
4 of Akhenaten's reign and by year 12 of her father's reign she was joined by
her three younger sisters. He made his wife his co-regent and had his family
portrayed in a realistic style in all official artwork. Ankhesenamen was
definitely married to one king. She was the Great Royal Wife of pharaoh
Tutankhamun (who may have been her half-brother). It is also
possible that she was briefly married to Tutankhamun's successor, Ay. It has also
been said that she may have been the great royal wife of her father,
Akhenaten, after the possible death of her mother and co-regent
of Akhenaten's immediate successor, Smenkhkare, who now
is thought to have been a woman. She became the "Senior Princesses" and
participated in many functions of the government and religious rituals.
ring shows that Ankhesenamen married Ay, shortly before
she disappeared from history, although no monuments show her as a royal consort.
On the walls of Ay's tomb it is Tey (Ay's senior
wife), not Ankhesenamen, who appears as queen. She probably
died during or shortly after his reign and as of yet no burial has been found
for her. After excavating the tomb KV63 it is a theory
that it was designed for Ankhesenamen due to the location which is very close to
which is Tutankhamun's tomb. Also found in the tomb were coffins (one with
an imprint of a woman on it), womans clothing, jewelery and natron, also
fragments of pottery bearing the partial name Paaten. The only royal person
known to bear this name was Ankhesenamen whose name was originally
Ankhesenpaaten. However there were no mummies found in KV 63 so it remains just
(Ta-sherit means "the
younger one"); She was the fourth of six known daughters of the
royal couple. It is likely that she was born in Akhetaten, the capital founded
by her father. Her name Neferneferuaten
("Beauty of the Beauties of Aten" or "Most Beautiful One of Aten") is the exact
copy of the name Nefertiti took in the 5th regnal year. I found very little
information on her.
Neferneferuaten (right) and younger sister
Neferneferure, on a painting found in a
private house in Amarna.
She was the fifth of six known daughters She was
born in the 8th or 9th regnal year of her father in Akhetaten. Her name ("Beauty
of the Beauties of Re" or "Most Beautiful One of Re") is almost the same as the
name of her elder sister Neferneferuaten;
just a note, she doesn't have Aten in her name.
This indicates that there was a shortage of acceptable names for royals, since
most Egyptian names had the names of gods mentioned in them, and most of those
gods fell out of favor under Akhenaten's reign. Her name also indicates that the
discontinuation of the cults of other gods did not affect the cult of Re, who
was thought to be identical to Aten.
The sixth and
last daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
Her name also does not include the "aten" element. She was probably born in late
year nine, or possibly early year ten of Akhenaten's reign. Not much is known
about Setepenre, although it is assumed she died young, predeceasing
Meketaten who died in or around year 14. It
is likely, however, that the young princess was not much older than 8 when she
During Akhenaten's reign and more than likely
afterwards, Nefertiti enjoyed unprecedented power, and by the twelfth year of
his reign, there is evidence that she may have been elevated to the status of
co-regent, equal in status to the pharaoh himself. She was often depicted on
temple walls the same size as the king, signifying her importance, and shown
worshiping the Aten alone. Perhaps most impressively, Nefertiti is shown on a
relief from the temple at Amarna which is now in the MFA in Boston, smiting a
foreign enemy with a mace before the Aten. Such depictions had traditionally
been reserved for the pharaoh alone, and yet Nefertiti was depicted as
The reason for this may have been simple: love.
In an age when marriages were arranged for political reasons, the partnership
between Akenhaten and Nefertiti seems to have been unusually romantic. We also
know from relief inscriptions that these two are or look to be very much in love
and always family oriented.
With a lot of physical contact, such as kissing
in public, sitting on his knee, riding in a chariot together etc. Nefertiti is
also one of the very few Egyptian queens that we know to have been lovingly
described by her husband, the pharaoh.
Eulogy to Nefertiti found on one of the boundary
stelaes of Akhetate:
Heiress, Great in the Palace, Fair of Face,
Adorned with the Double Plumes,
Mistress of Happiness,
Endowed with Favours, at hearing whose voice the King
the Chief Wife of the King, his beloved, the Lady of the Two
Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti, May she
live for Ever and Always.
Even the figure of Nefertiti , Akhenaten had
carved onto the four corners of his granite sarcophagus and it was she who
provided the protection to his mummy, a role traditionally played by the female
deities Isis, Nephthys, Selket and Neith.
Painted by Winifred Burton
She bore the King no sons and he takes Kiya, a
secondary wife who gives birth to Tutankhamun. It is said that she too
disappears from history very suddenly. And quite possibly at the hands of
Nefertiti. Kiya goes missing around year 12 of Akhenaten's reign, at the North
Palace, stone fragments have been found with Meritaten's name chiseled over
Kiya's. It is assumed that Kiya may have stepped on Nefertiti's toes by getting
to close to the Pharaoh and was done away with.
Most would agree, that Nefertiti was an extremely
powerful figure in ancient times. However, some claim that she was never as
powerful as her apparently sickly husband Akhenaten. I on the other hand, feel
she was smarter than what people give her credit for. You're only as strong as
the weakest link. She knew her husband was sick.
Many scholars presume that the Mutnodjme,
Nefertiti's sister, who is said married Horemheb. In Akhenaten: King of
Egypt by Cyril Aldred, the author explains that a fragmentary statue of
Mutnodjme discovered at Dendera describes her not only as "Chief Queen", but also
"God's Wife of Amun", which he explains puts her in the line of those other
great consorts who traced their descent from Ahmose-Nefertari.
This links both sisters to the cult of
which he tells us could obviously not have been openly proclaimed at
Yet we must be very careful with this link
between Nefertiti and Amun by way of her sister's later attachment to the cult.
Horemheb considered himself to be an adamant restorer of the old religion after
the Amarna period, and so just because his Chief Queen took the title of
God's Wife does not necessarily mean that Nefertiti held any real interest in
Doubtless though, Nefertiti may very well, and
probably did participate in a similar manner as God's Wife in the cult of
Re Atum. Unlike other
chief queens, she is shown taking part in the daily worship, repeating the same
gestures and making similar offerings as the king. Where traditionally a
relationship existed between God and King, now that relationship is expanded to
include the royal pair.
She in fact exhibits the same fashion as God's
Wife. From her first appearance at Karnak, she wears
the same clinging robe tied with a red sash with the ends hanging in front. She
also wears the short rounded hairstyle. In her
case, this was exemplified by a Nubian wig, the coiffure of her earlier years,
alternating with a queens tripartite wig, both secured by a diadem bearing a
double uraei. Sometimes this was replaced by a a crown with double
plumes and a disk, like Tiye and her later Kushite counterparts. She dressed for
appeal, and if she fulfilled a similar function as God' wife of Amun
in the Amarna religion, part of this responsibility would have been to maintain
a state of perpetual arousal. However, since the Aten was intangible
and abstract, this appeal must be to his son the king. Ay praises her for
"joining with her beauty in propitiating the Aten with her sweet voice and her
fair hands holding the sistrums".
In fact, as the wife of the sun god's offspring,
she took on the role of Tefnut, who was the daughter and wife of Atum. After the
fourth regal year, she began to wear a mortar-shaped cap that was the headgear
of Tefnut in her leonine aspect of a sphinx. She was then
referred to as "Tefnut herself", at once the daughter and the wife of the
sun-god. Therefore, Nefertiti played an equal role with the king who was the
image of Re.
Of course, as a god, no mortal could claim to be
her mother, which may be the reason why Teye must content herself with the
titles of "Wet-nurse" and "Governess" In fact, it may have been that she hid her
parentage to conceal the fact that the progenitors of this high and mighty
princess were not also equally divine.
These days in Luxor and Karnak they are finding
clues to Nefertiti's stratagem. During the reign of Akhenaten and Nefertiti,
they had built temples to Aten in the sacred sanctums of the god Amun. This was
the supreme act of irreverence against the old ways. When thier reign was over,
all the temples of Aten were destroyed and the building stones were salvaged and
used as filler for the foundations of new monuments. As of writing this topic,
60,000 stones with hundreds of scenes have been recovered and catalogued with
more on the way. With new technology and a little bit of the old, computer
imaging has become an important tool. Some have determined that during this
dynamic duo's reign, there once stood an enormous entry by the eastern gate
leading onto the Temple of Karnak.
About Year 14 of Akhenaten's reign (1336 BC),
Nefertiti herself vanishes from the historical record. To this day she remains a
mystery. Some believe she went on to rule as Smenkare, other believe she changed
her name to Neferneferuaten, more believe she died during a so called plague.
And the list goes on. As time goes on, and new technology becomes available we
might in our lifetime know exactly what took place.
Web Set from
Glitter Background from
Akhenaten and Nefertiti Glitter pic
Pictures of Nefertiti, Painting and Tablet
from Tour Egypt
Divider from Wendy's