A young girl was one day sold to a rich man of Ancient
Egypt. He treated her well, naming her Rhodopis for her fair skin and rosy
cheeks. Unlike the other slave girls, he kept her for companionship, and gave
her shoes made from petals of the flowers of the Nile. The other girls were jealous of the favor shown on her. One day, the other girls
cornered her on the Nile River while she was doing laundry. Taking one of her
slippers, they threw it in the air. To their amazement a falcon swooped in and
stole the slipper.
Later, flying over a festival the Pharaoh was attending, the
falcon dropped the slipper in his lap. Seeing a sign of divine prophecy he
declared the girl’s foot that fit the slipper would be his Great Royal Wife.
Searching along the River for any girls foot that could fit, he came across Rhodopis crying for the gift she received. After so many girls, the Pharaoh finally found his future bride. Freeing her she became his wife and Queen of Egypt.
Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (ca. 1370-1330 BC) was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. She and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped 1 god only, Aten, or the sun disc. They were responsible for the creation of a whole new religion which changed the ways of religion within Egypt. With her husband, she reigned at what was the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husband’s death and before the accession of Tutankhamun, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate.
She was made famous by her bust, now in Berlin, Germany’s Neues Museum. It’s one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. It was attributed to the sculptor Thutmose, and it was found in his workshop. The bust is notable for exemplifying the understanding Ancient Egyptians had regarding realistic facial proportions.
Painted cedar ushabti of Yuya, an Egyptian nobleman during the 18th Dynasty and father of Queen Tiye, Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III. Artist unknown; ca. 1390-1352 BCE. From the tomb of Yuya and his wife Tjuyu in the Valley of the Kings; now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Iset was a secondary wife or concubine of Thutmose II. Iset was the mother of Thutmose III, the only son of Thutmose II. This statue of Iset made from black granite by Thutmose III after his father’s death, the king honored his mother by preparing this statue for her.
Although in these later instances Iset is referred to as “Great Royal Wife”, during the reign of Thutmose II the great royal wife was Hatshepsut. Thutmose II died in 1479 BC and, after his death, Hatshepsut became regent for the young king Thutmose III. Thutmose III became the head of the armies of Egypt as he grew up.
Her son Tuthmosis III depicts his mother several times in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. In KV34 there are depictions of the king with several female family members on one of the pillars. His mother Queen Isis is prominently featured.
Queen Isis is depicted behind her son on the boat. She is labeled as the King’s Mother Isis. In the register below the boat Tuthmosis III is shown approaching a tree which is a representation of his mother Isis. Behind the king we see three of his wives: Queens Merytre, Sitiah, Nebtu and his daughter Nefertari.
18th dynasty, Reign of Thutmose III, 1479–1425 BC. Cairo Museum.
Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (ca. 1370 – ca. 1330 BC) was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc. Akhenaten and Nefertiti were responsible for the creation of a whole new religion which changed the ways of religion within Egypt. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husband’s death and before the accession of Tutankhamun, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate. [x]
Akhenaten joins a cult and other tales of the Amarna Period
So there’s this new Spike miniseries coming out next year, and it’s all about the life of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Or, you know, a very fictionalized version of it. Leave it to a network more remembered for that Deadliest Warrior about zombies vs. vampires than prestige programming to actually cast people of color as people of color. Of course I’m going to watch it, but it got me thinking: why is that everyone likes to obsess over King Tut when his batshit crazy alien father was so much better?
Calcite canopic jar; lid in the form of a human head; three columns of
incised Hieroglyphic text on the body including the cartouche of Queen
She was the Great Royal Wife of Horemheb, the last Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, and is thought by some to have been the sister of Nefertiti. She died in her mid 40s, and was buried in her husband’s unused tomb near Memphis.
With her was the mummy of a stillborn, premature infant, meaning it’s highly likely she died in childbirth. Analysis of her mummy showed she’d supposedly given birth several times, but Horemheb had no children at the time of his death.
He was succeeded by his vizier, who would be known as Ramesses I.
The Stela of Pasi, Provenience Unknown, Amarna Period Egypt (1353–1336 BCE)
The Stela of Pasi is an small, unfinished limestone stela dating to the reign of the eccentric pharaoh, Akhentaten. According to the inscription, The stela was created by an individual named Pasi, who identifies himself as “captain of the state barge.” The stela is approximately 21.7 cm in height and depicts two unidentified kings in a loving embrace under the rays the solar diety Aten.
The Stela of Pasi is one of the most interesting pieces of Amarna art in existence, and there is much debate as to the identity of the two kings. One theory is that it depicts Akhenaten and his mysterious successor, Smenkhkare. Very little is known about Smenkhkare; depictions of him are extremely rare, and his name was erased from the historical record by later kings. It is known, however, that Smenkhkare served as co-regent with Akhenaten before his brief independent reign. The intimate embrace suggests that Akhenaten and Smenkhkare were perhaps relatives or in a homosexual relationship (the latter of which was accepted by Victorian archaeologists in an attempt to vilify Akhenaten as a heretic and sexual deviant).
Another theory that has emerged recently is that the two kings Akhenaten and his wife, Nefertiti. It is well known that Nefertiti had more political power than any previous Great Royal Wife, and was depicted equal to her husband in many respects. The most convincing evidence for the two figures being the royal couple is the cartouches on the stela. Although they are unmarked, we can infer the identities of the figures based on number of cartouches present. The odd number cartouches reveals that the two figures are not coregents since kings and deities are identified with two cartouches (on this particular stela, Aten has two pairs of cartouches located on either side of the sundisk). If the figures in the relief are indeed Akhenaten and Nefertiti, then she is the only known Great Royal Wife to be depicted wearing the Double Crown or the Blue Crown. Egyptologists who believe that Nefetiti became co-regent and later ruled independently use the Stela of Pasi as one of their main pieces of evidence.
Another interesting theory is that the stela is a forgery created by a 19th century artist looking to exploit Victorian consumers of “Egyptomania” The scene is considered too crude and poorly carved to have been created by a skilled artist, although this can be easily explained by the fact that Pasi was not an artist by trade. Unknown provenience is always a red flag for forgeries, and it is extremely rare for Ancient Egyptian artists to sign their work. The majority of egyptologists, however, consider the Stela of Pasi to be authentic.
The Stela of Pasi is located in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin.
Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (ca. 1370 – ca. 1330 BC) was the Great Royal Wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (originally Amenhotep IV). Together, they introduced a whole new religion to Egypt in which they worshipped the sun god, Aten. She and Akhenaten had six daughters together: Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten Tasherti, Neferneferure and Setepenre; and their marriage is generally believed to be a genuinely romantic, happy one. This belief has been strengthened because she’s often been depicted like a pharaoh would be – fighting and defeating enemies, thus making Nefertiti believed to have been a very influential and powerful queen. Nefertiti’s name is Egyptian and means “the beautiful one has come”, which is suiting considering that she is well-known for her elegant beauty. Some believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husband’s death and before the accession of his son, Tutankhamun, but another possibility is that one of her daughters ruled Egypt for that time period (+more).