egyption ancient


Nefertiti has become a cliché for hollow beauty.  But Nefertiti is so much more, she was a Queen, a mother, a politician and a muse, she assisted in a religious revolution.  She was a woman who lived, breathed, loved and grieved.

Akhenaten and Nefertiti were the parents of six daughters; Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten (late Ankhesenamun), Neferneferure, Neferneferuaten Tasherit and Setepenre.  In many scenes Akhenaten and Nefertiti are shown spending time with their daughters, these leisurely scenes are virtually unheard of in Egyptian Art prior to the Amarna Period.  In many scenes their daughters are climbing on their laps of their parents or being played with, the three eldest princesses are also shown in art often behind their mother taking an active part in the worship of their monotheistic deity Aten.

In the 14th year of Akhenaten’s reign, their second daughter Meketaten died and the Amarna Artistic style with its embodiment of realism gives us a glimpse into the deep grief Nefertiti experienced.  It is assumed that Meketaten died of plague (two of her younger sisters, Neferneferure and Setepenre, their grandmother Tiye and their fathers wife Kiya) are not mentioned again after the plague-ravaged Egypt. The only name preserved in the royal tomb is that of Meketaten and with her name come images depicting the grief her parents suffered upon her death.  Nefertiti and Akhenaten are shown bent over her body, mourning and grasping at each other for support.

Her representation in art shows her as a devout member of the Atenist faith, often depicted (with her daughters) making offerings to the newly promoted deity.  She took titles to reflect her faith, adding the praenomen Neferneferuaten (beautiful are the beauties of Aten) to her name Nefertiti (The Beautiful One Has Come).  The polytheistic system relied on triad, husband, wife and child (like Osiris, Isis and Horus or Amun, Mut and Khonshu) and it would on the surface appear that the monotheistic system had abandoned this form of worship too.  But if one looks at the art, Aten is always present, his rays extending down giving the gift of life to the Royal Couple in the form of Ankhs and it can be interpreted that they are the new Triad.  Aten, Akhenaten and Nefertiti are the new divine Triad and their daughters whom they are often depicted with are the evidence of the strength and virility of their new take on the ancient trinity.

No Ancient Egyptian Queen appears to have as much influence as Nefertiti; she is shown not only as a pivotal part of Atenism, but also as a political figure. She is depicted as a sphinx and often surrounded by Pharonic symbols, something usually reserved only for the king. She has even been depicted in the act of smiting enemies, a gesture used time and time again when Pharaohs wanted to project their image as a strong warrior king.  In the Gempaaten it appears that Nefertiti is depicted twice as often as her husband the King, appearing to more or less eclipse him in such an important building to his religious revolution.

We don’t know how or when Nefertiti died, if she had any role in the reign of her stepson Tutankhamun and daughter Ankhesenamun or if she was the identity behind the mysterious, allusive figure Smenkhkare.  The mystery that surrounds her life and consequent death are as much a part of her appeal as her exquisite beauty that is shown to us in the famous bust found in the sculptor Thutmosis studio

The Rise of The Hieroglyph Lookbook

EL HIEROGLYPH is London’s first Ancient Egyptian inspired jewellery brand that specialises in materials such as sterling silver and semi precious stones. Owner and Creative Director ‘Nur el Hoda’ is inspired by the millennia of Egyptian culture, which is her heritage. Drawing on the pantheon of sacred and sectarian motives she finds through the inspiration for the modern interpretations of Ancient Egypt. Each piece is painstakingly handmade by skilled Egyptian craftsmen, and every detail is scrutinised before it is delivered to a client.

Orders / Stockists contact for the NEW private catalogue or visit


IN collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities, a team from the University of Pennsylvania discovered new evidence on the life and death of Pharaoh Senebkay, founder of the 16th Dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. 

The Pharaoh’s skeleton forensic analysis performed by researchers directed by Dr. Josef Wegner indicated that the reason behind the death of the king was due to a number of wounds received during a fierce battle from multiple assailants or an ambush. The skeleton was found by the Pennsylvania mission in 2014 inside the King’s tomb in Abydos, Suhag Governorate, declared Dr. Eldamaty, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities. 

Read More 

(Info by Jan van der Crabben on Ancient History Et Cetera) 

do you want to know something?? I always wondered what the hell kind of hairstyle the Ancient Egyptians were trying to portray with depictions like these

and this

until I did my hair this morning and 



you can take the noses off our statues but until you find a way to take Egypt out of Africa we’re still going to find ourselves



Hatshepsut was one of the most powerful women in the ancient world. She was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt and she ruled longer than any other woman in Egyptian history. Hatshepsut was married to her sickly half brother, Thutmose II, and the two of them began to co-rule after the death of their father, Thutmose I, in 1492 BC In 1479 BC, Thutmose II died and Hatshepsut continued to rule by herself until her own death in 1458 BC. It is believed by many Egyptologists and historians that Hatshepsut was one of Ancient Egypt’s most successful monarchs. She commissioned many building projects and reestablished trade networks that had been disrupted by the Hyksos invaders of the Second Intermediate Period. Hatshepsut also led a large-scale expedition to the Land of Punt, a wealthy and sophisticated country to the south of Egypt. Hatshepsut is also believed to have led successful military campaigns in Nubia, the Levant, and Syria during her reign.


The closest we will get to photographs of Egyptians who lived during 30 BC-AD 324. 

Shown here are examples of the extraordinary mummy mask portraits produced in Egypt during the Roman period. These portraits were essentially the mixing of two traditions: the Roman interest in realistic portraiture, and mummification, which had been practiced in Egypt for millennia. These were most often painted in encaustic (a mixture of pigment and hot wax), on a wooden board, at an approximately lifelike scale. These wooden panels were then placed on the outside of the cartonnage coffin, either cautiously wrapped into the mummy bandages, or placed over the head of the deceased individual. 

The topic of the accuracy of the portraits has been heavily researched, and it is now clear that these portraits displayed the person as they appeared in life -with sometimes a bit of artistic licence. It has been possible for researchers to recognize members of a family through analyzing their physical similarities depicted, and to date some mummies on the basis of clothing, hairstyles and jewellery worn in the portrait.

Now for a few points about the specific portraits shown as examples above (for more detailed accounts, check out the museum listings given below). All of these examples were, of course, found in Egypt. The ‘portrait of a thin-faced man’ shown first has remarkably free brushwork, and the man depicted displays a direct, intent gaze. The braids worn by the women in the 2nd example date the portrait to around the period of Roman emperor Trajan. The next portrait of a woman is attributed to the Malibu Painter. Dated to the Flavian dynasty by her hairstyle, she has incredibly large, expressive eyes, and her rich jewellery is indicative of her elite status. Perhaps the most remarkable of the portraits given in this post, the 4th example is of a young boy named Eutyches, who is dressed in a white Roman tunic, and looks calmly at the viewer. High rates of infant and child mortality, as attested to by this portrait, was an unfortunate reality of the ancient world in general. A bearded man is shown next, which dates to the Roman Imperial period. The portrait of a woman shown in the 6th image is attributed to the Isidora Master, and displays a mature women named Isidora, fully accessorized. A youth is displayed in the 7th portrait. Interestingly, a treated abnormality is evident in his right eye. Dating to the Roman Imperial period, the man displayed in the final example shown gazes confidently out at the viewer.

While I always strongly encourage people to view all forms of ancient art in person, the mummy portraits of Roman Egypt are of the most remarkable to see face-to-face. If you are to see no other form of ancient art, if at all possible, go see examples of these, for they bring ancient history alive. As artist Euphrosyne Doxiadis stated: “The Fayum portraits have an almost disturbing lifelike quality and intensity. The illusion, when standing in front of them, is that of coming face to face with someone one has to answer to—someone real.

Portrait of a thin-faced man, AD 140–170, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 09.181.3.

Female Portrait Mask, 2nd century, courtesy of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore: 32.5.

Mummy Portrait of a Woman, AD 75-100, courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California: 73.AP.91.

Portrait of the Boy Eutyches, AD 100–150, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 18.9.2.

Mummy Portrait of a Bearded Man, ca. AD 170-180, courtesy of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore: 32.6.

Mummy Portrait of a Woman, AD 100-110, courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California: 81.AP.42.

Portrait of a Youth with a Surgical Cut in one Eye, AD 190–210 courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 09.181.4.

Mummy Portrait of a Man, late 1st century, courtesy of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore: 32.3.

Faience amulet of goddess Nut 

The goddess is shown sitting on her legs, spreading her wings. She is wearing a crown of horns that enclose the sun. This represents her as the sky goddess. 11.5 x 23.6 in centimeters ( 4 1/2 x  9 5/16 inch.) 

It was found in Abydos, Upper Egypt. 

Egyptian, Third Intermediate Period, 21st - 25th dynasty, 1070 - 664 BC.

Source: Metropolitan Museum


I briefly mentioned the book Pharaonic Egyptian Clothing (one of the few available surveys on, predictably, pharaonic Egyptian clothing) in my historical fashion master post some months ago, but I also mentioned that it’s out of print and a royal pain in the butt to get your hands on.

Seeing how I’m never one to selfishly hoard good reference (and I’m tired of checking it out of the library over and over again like I’m Belle or something), I finally scanned the whole damn thing and uploaded it HERE for you to download and peruse!

(point of note: this book was published in 1993 so there’s always a slim chance that some of this information might be considered out of date over the past twenty-odd years, but there are so few resources dedicated to the topic that I’m more than willing to take that chance.)

Enjoy, let me know if the link stops working, and go draw some historically accurate Egyptian people!  NOW.  GO GOGOGOGO.