After Nefertiti had given birth to six daughters, her husband began taking other wives, including his own sister, with whom he fathered the future King Tut (Tutankhamen). Nefertiti’s third daughter Ankhesenpaaten would eventually become her half-brother Tutankhamen’s queen.
Nefertiti As a Possible Ruler
Nefertiti disappears from the historical record around the 12th year of Akhenaten’s 17-year reign. She may have died at that point, but it is possible she became her husband’s official co-regent under the name Neferneferuaten. Akhenaten was followed as pharaoh by Smenkhkare, who some historians suggest may have been another name for Nefertiti. This would not have been without precedent: In the 15th century B.C. the female pharaoh Hatshepsut ruled Egypt in the guise of a man, complete with a ceremonial false beard.
If Nefertiti kept power during and beyond Akhenaten’s last years, it is possible she began the reversal of her husband’s religious polices that would reach fruition during the reign of King Tut. At one point Neferneferuaten employed a scribe to make divine offerings to Amun, pleading for him to return and dispel the kingdom’s darkness.
The Bust of Nefertiti
On December 6, 1913, a team led by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered a sculpture buried upside-down in the sandy rubble on the floor of the excavated workshop of the royal sculptor Thutmose in Amarna. The painted figure featured a slender neck, gracefully proportioned face and a curious blue cylindrical headpiece of a style only seen in images of Nefertiti. Borchardt’s team had an agreement to split its artifacts with the Egyptian government, so the bust was shipped as part of Germany’s portion. A single, poor photograph was published in an archaeological journal and the bust was given to the expedition’s funder, Jacques Simon, who displayed it for the next 11 years in his private residence.
In 1922 British Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s tomb. A flurry of international attention followed, and the image of Tut’s solid gold funerary mask was soon a global symbol of beauty, wealth and power.
A year later the Nefertiti bust was put on display in Berlin, countering the “English” Tut with a German appropriation of ancient glamour. Throughout the 20th century’s upheavals, the bust remained in German hands. It was revered by Hitler (who said, “I will never relinquish the head of the Queen”), hidden from Allied bombs in a salt mine and coveted by East Germany throughout the Cold War. Today it draws more than 500,000 visitors annually to Berlin’s Neues Museum.
An Egyptian queen renowned for her beauty, Nefertiti ruled alongside her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten, during the mid-1300s B.C. Married at 15. Nefertiti - Mini Biography (TV-PG; 2:44) Nefertiti, whose name means, "The beautiful one has come," was the queen of Egypt and wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten during the 14th century B.C. They created the cult of Aten, the sun god
Nefertiti, whose name means "a beautiful woman has come," was the queen of Egypt and wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten during the 14th century B.C. She and her husband established the cult of Aten, the sun god, and promoted Egyptian artwork that was radically different from its predecessors. A bust of Nefertiti is one of the most iconic symbols of Egypt.
Little is known about the origins of Nefertiti, but her legacy of beauty and power continue to intrigue scholars today. Her name is Egyptian and means "a beautiful woman has come." Some evidence suggests that she hailed from the town Akhmim and is the daughter or niece of a high official named Ay. Other theories have suggested that she was born in a foreign country, possibly Syria.
The exact date when Nefertiti married Amenhotep III's son, the future pharaoh Amenhotep IV, is unknown. It is believed she was 15 when they wed, which may have been before Akhenaten assumed the throne. They apparently ruled together from 1353 to 1336 B.C. and had six daughters, with speculation that they may have also had a son. Their daughter Ankhesenamun would eventually marry her half brother Tutankhamun, the future ruler of Egypt. Artwork from the day depicts the couple and their daughters in an unusually naturalistic and individualistic style, more so than from earlier eras. The king and his head queen seem to be inseparable in reliefs, often shown riding in chariots together and even kissing in public. It has been stated that the couple may have had a genuine romantic connection, a dynamic not generally seen in depictions of ancient pharaohs.
Born: c. 1390 B.C.E.
Died: c. 1360 B.C.E.
Egypt Egyptian queen
Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen and wife of King Akhenaten who remains a mystery to scholars today. A bust (sculpture of a person's head and shoulders) of her discovered in 1913 is one of the most widely recognized symbols of ancient Egypt.
Few facts known
Nefertiti was born around 1390 B.C.E. Some believe she was of Egyptian blood, while others believe she was a foreign princess. Her name, which means "the beautiful one is come," is of Egyptian origin, and evidence indicates that she had an Egyptian wet-nurse or governess of noble rank, which has led to the belief that she was born within the circle of the Egyptian royal court. She may have been a niece or daughter of Ay, who was a keeper of records under King Amenhotep III.
When Nefertiti was fifteen years old, she married Amenhotep IV, who was a year older and became king upon his father's death. They had six daughters and, according to some, one son. During the first five years of Amenhotep's reign, Nefertiti enjoyed a high profile. Evidence of her political importance is seen in the large number of carved scenes in which she is shown accompanying him during ceremonial acts. She is shown taking part in the daily worship and making offerings
Nefertiti. Reproduced by permission of Archive Photos, Inc.
Reproduced by permission of
Archive Photos, Inc.
similar to those of the king—acts quite unlike those usually performed by previous chief queens, all of whom had a secondary role.
In the fifth year of his reign, Amenhotep changed his name to Akhenaten. He went against the beliefs of previous kings by announcing that the sun god Aten was the greatest of all Egyptian gods and the only one who should be worshipped, rather than Amen-Ra, who had long been considered supreme. Nefertiti shared his belief. Largely because of opposition over this issue, Akhenaten built a new capital called Akhetaten and moved the royal family there.
After the fourteenth year of Akhenaten's rule, there are no more pictures of Nefertiti; she simply disappears from view. Some believe she was the power behind the throne and thus responsible for the changes during the rule of Akhenaten until being dismissed from her position and banished to the North Palace at Amarna. This would mean there was a conflict within the royal family, with Nefertiti favoring the continued worship of Aten while Akhenaten and his son-in-law Tutankhamen (c. 1370–c. 1352 B.C.E. ) supported a return to the worship of Amen-Ra. Most scholars, however, now suppose that Nefertiti's disappearance may simply be due to the fact that she died, and one of the king's other wives took her place at his side. A more dramatic, if less accepted, theory holds that she assumed a new, masculine identity toward the end of Akhenaten's rule—that Nefertiti and the young Smenkhkare, who ruled briefly either with or after Akhenaten and is believed by some to have been his son, were in fact the same person.
Read more: http://www.notablebiographies.com/Mo-Ni/Nefertiti.html#ixzz3sibm8VN8
c. 1370 BCE
c. 1330 BCE
Place of Birth
Place of Death
Nefertiti (ca. 1370 BC – ca. 1330 BC) was the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc.
Nefertiti had many titles including Hereditary Princess (iryt-p`t), Great of Praises (wrt-hzwt), Lady of Grace (nbt-im3t), Sweet of Love (bnrt-mrwt), Lady of The Two Lands (nbt-t3wy), Main King’s Wife, his beloved (hmt-niswt-‘3t meryt.f), Great King’s Wife, his beloved (hmt-niswt-wrt meryt.f), Lady of all Women (hnwt-hmwt-nbwt), and Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt (hnwt-Shm’w-mhw).
She was made famous by her bust, now in Berlin's Neues Museum, shown to the right. The bust is 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. Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly after her husband's death and before the accession of Tutankhamun as Neferneferuaten, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate.
See also : Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt Family Tree
Nefertiti, Egyptian Nfr.t-jy.tj, original pronunciation approximately Nafteta, for ("the beauty has come"). Nefertiti's parentage is not known with certainty, but one often cited theory is that she was the daughter of Ay, later to be pharaoh. Scenes in the tombs of the nobles in Amarna mention the queen’s sister who is named Mutbenret (previously read as Mutnodjemet).
Another theory that gained some support identified Nefertiti with the Mitanni princess Tadukhipa.
The exact dates of when Nefertiti was married to Akhenaten and later promoted to his Queen are uncertain. However, the couple had six known daughters. This is a list with suggested years of birth:
Meritaten: Before year one or the very beginning of year one.(1356 BC).
Meketaten: Year 1 or three (1349 BC).
Ankhesenpaaten, also known as Ankhesenamen, later queen of Tutankhamun
Neferneferuaten Tasherit: Year 6 (1344 BC)
Neferneferure: Year 9 (1341 BC).
Setepenre: Year 11 (1339 BC).
Nefertiti first appears in scenes in Thebes. In the damaged tomb (TT188) of the royal butler Parennefer the new king Amenhotep IV is accompanied by a royal woman, and this lady is thought to be an early depiction of Nefertiti. The king and queen are shown worshiping the Aten. In the tomb of the vizier Ramose Nefertiti is shown standing behind Amenhotep IV in the Window of Appearance during the reward ceremony for the vizier.
During the early years in Thebes Akhenaten (still known as Amenhotep IV) had several temples erected at Karnak. One of the structures, the Mansion of the Benben (hwt-ben-ben), was dedicated to Nefertiti. She is depicted with her daughter Meritaten and in some scenes the princess Meketaten participates in the scenes as well. In scenes found on the talatat Nefertiti appears almost twice as often as her husband. She is shown appearing behind her husband the Pharaoh in offering scenes in the role of the queen supporting her husband, but she is also depicted in scenes that would have normally been the prerogative of the king. She is shown smiting the enemy, and captive enemies decorate her throne.
In the fourth year of his reign Amenhotep IV decided to move the capital to Akhetaten (modern Amarna). In his fifth year, Amenhotep IV officially changed his name to Akhenaten, and Nefertiti was henceforth known as Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti. The name change was a sign of the ever-increasing importance of the cult of the Aten. It changed Egypt's religion from a polytheistic religion to a religion which may have been better described as a monolatry (the depiction of a single god as an object for worship) or henotheism (one god, who is not the only god).
The boundary stelae of years 4 and 5 mark the boundaries of the new city and suggest that the move to the new city of Akhetaten occurred around that time. The new city contained several large open-air temples dedicated to the Aten. Nefertiti and her family would have resided in the Great Royal Palace in the center of the city and possibly at the Northern Palace as well. Nefertiti and the rest of the royal family feature prominently in the scenes at the palaces and in the tombs of the nobles. Nefertiti’s steward during this time was an official named Meryre II. He would have been in charge of running her household.
Inscriptions in the tombs of Huya and Meryre II dated to Year 12, 2nd month of Peret, Day 8 show a large foreign tribute. The people of Kharu (the north) and Kush (the south) are shown bringing gifts of gold and precious items to Akhenaten and Nefertiti. In the tomb of Meryre II, Nefertiti’s steward, the royal couple is shown seated in a kiosk with their six daughters in attendance.
This tribute from year 12 is one of the last times princess Meketaten is shown alive. Meketaten may have died in year 13 or 14. Nefertiti, Akhenaten, and three princesses are shown mourning Meketaten. Nefertiti disappears from the scene soon after that.
Further information: Amarna succession
About Year 14 of Akhenaten's reign, Nefertiti vanishes from the historical record. There is no word of her after that date. Theories include sudden death by a plague that was sweeping through the city or another natural death. This theory is based on the discovery of several shabti fragments inscribed for Nefertiti (now located in the Louvre and Brooklyn Museums).
A previous theory that she fell into disgrace is now discredited, since the deliberate erasures of monuments belonging to a queen of Akhenaten have been shown to refer to Kiya instead.
During Akhenaten's reign (and perhaps after), Nefertiti enjoyed unprecedented power. The Coregency Stela may show her as a co-regent with her husband. 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. It is possible that Nefertiti is to be identified as the ruler named Neferneferuaten. Some theories believe that Nefertiti was still alive and held influence on the younger royals. If this is the case, that influence and presumably Nefertiti's own life would have ended by year 3 of Tutankhaten's reign (1331 BC). In that year, Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun. This was evidence of his return to the official worship of Amun, and his abandonment of Amarna to return the capital to Thebes.
There are many theories regarding her death and burial but to date, the mummy of this famous and iconic queen has not been found or identified.
The Younger Lady (mummy)
On June 9, 2003, archaeologist Joann Fletcher, a specialist in ancient hair from the University of York in England, announced that Nefertiti's mummy may have been one of the anonymous mummies stored in tomb KV35 in the Valley of the Kings known as "the Younger Lady". The independent scholar Marianne Luban had published similar speculation in 1999 in an article posted on the Internet, entitled "Do We Have the Mummy of Nefertiti?"
Luban's points upholding the identification are the same as those of Joann Fletcher. Furthermore, Fletcher suggested that Nefertiti was the Pharaoh Smenkhkare. Some Egyptologists hold to this view though the majority believe Smenkhkare to have been a separate person. Dr. Fletcher led an expedition funded by the Discovery Channel that examined what they believed to have been Nefertiti's mummy.