Egypt: New Kingdom Egypt From the reign of Amenhotep III to the death of Rameses II. Changing role and contribution of queens: Tiye, Nefertiti, Nefertari Tiye was from non-royal background and married Amenhotep early in his reign. The Marriage Scarabs clearly proclaimed Tiye’s parents, Yuya and Thuya who were of non-royal background. She held the status of “Great royal wife” “Mistress of upper and lower Egypt” “lady of the two lands”. Her name often appears in a cartouche and in reliefs and sanctuary she is often shown beside Amenhotep as the same size.
Amenhotep III undertook a massive building of a lake for Tiye, which shows he took pride in her. He also built a palace for Tiye at Malkata. Even some monuments indicate Tiye played an important part in Amenhotep’s life. Evidence from the Amarna letters also indicate Tiye played an active role in foreign affairs. Foreign rulers wrote directly to her. “To Tiye, Lady of Egypt. Thus speaks Tushratta, King of Mitanni. Everything is well with me. May everything be well with you. May everything go well for your house, your son, may everything be perfectly well for your soldiers and for everything belonging to you. ”
Even when Amenhotep died the Mitanni king still wrote to her to maintain good relations. Early in Akhenaten’s reign, he relied on advice from his mother Tiye regarding matters relating to the Mitanni. It is not known what role Tiye played in Akhenaten’s religious reform, but she was still held in high esteem after the Aten collapse solidifying her importance to Egyptian society. Arguably, to those who are not very involved in the study of ancient Egypt, Queen Nefertiti is perhaps better known than her husband, the heretic king Akhenaten. Undoubtedly, Akhenaten seems to have had a great love for his Chief Royal wife.
They were inseparable in early reliefs, many of which showed their family in loving, in almost idealist compositions. At times, the king is shown riding with her in a chariot, kissing her in public and with her sitting on his knee. Nefertiti was more then just a queen, she supported her husband, promoted his religious beliefs, and was depicted more pharaonic, rather then queenly. New findings are proving that Nefertiti was probably one of Egypt’s most powerful queens to ever rule. She was shown with the crown of a pharaoh and was depicted in scenes of battle.
Nefertiti and her King lived during a highly unusual period in Egyptian history. It was a time of religious controversy when the traditional gods of Egypt were more or less abandoned at least by the royal family in favor of a single god, the sun disk named Aten. t is believed that Nefertiti was active in the religious and cultural changes initiated by her husband. Nefertari had other roles to carry out than to be a bearer of children to Ramesses. She played an important behind the scenes role in the Peace Treaty between her husband and Hattusil.
Although things were technically peaceful on the treaty, there was still tension between the two shortly thereafter, with some uncertainty over some towns. The signing of the treaty was accompanied by an exchange of letters and gifts between Hattusil and Ramesses and their chief Queens, Padukhepa and Nefertari. “Says Naptera (Nefertari)… with you my sister may all be well, and with your country may all be well… in friendship and sisterly relation with the great queen of Khattte now and forever. ” By doing this, it ensured that not only was there resolve between the two kings Ramesses and Hattusil, but between the two nations too.
This was significant for Egypt as it aided in portraying Ramesses a good leader and diplomat, without making him seem weak, as well as overall strengthening Ramesses’ rule. Thus, the good links between the two nations would also have positive ramifications, letting trade routes stay open and resources becoming available to all which was the result of the communication of Nefertari. (Bradley, P. 2005) Post-Amarna reforms: restoration of Amun and other gods Akhenaten died in his seventeenth year on the throne and his reforms did not survive for long in his absence.
His co-regent Smenkhkare, about whom we know virtually nothing, appears not to have remained in power for long after Akhenaten’s death. The throne passed to a child, Tutankhamun who was probably the son of Akhenaten and Kiya. The regents administering the country on behalf of the child soon abandoned the city of Akhetaten and the worship of the Aten and returned to Egypt’s traditional gods and religious centers. The temples and cults of the gods were restored and people shut up their houses and returned to the old capitals at Thebes and Memphis.
Over time, the process of restoration of traditional cults turned to whole-scale obliteration of all things associated with Akhenaten. His image and names were removed from monuments. His temples were dismantled and the stone reused in the foundations of other more orthodox royal building projects. The city of Akhetaten gradually crumbled back into the desert. His name and those of his immediate successors were omitted from official king-lists so that they remained virtually unknown until the archaeological discoveries at Akhetaten and in the tomb of Tutankhamun made these kings amongst the most famous of all rulers of ancient Egypt.
Horemheb’s wrecking crews destroyed all reminders of the Aten by following a careful plan as described by Redford in, Akhenaten, The Heretic King. “First and mud-brick construction within the Gempaaten was demolished and the rubble flattened. Then the legs of the colossal statues around the outside of the court were smashed and the upper parts of the images allowed falling forward on their faces into the courtyard. Next, the roofing blocks of the colonnade were taken off and thrown into the court, and the piers demolished one by one. The dismantling of the talatat wall, with its still-fresh reliefs, followed immediately, section by section. ”
Ankhesenpaaten and Tutankhaten also changed their names to Ankhesenamen and Tutankhamen, to honor the old gods that however despite this Aten was not abandoned at this point. Although the temples of the other gods were being reopened, the priest of the Aten would operate alongside the priests of the other gods. When the Restoration Stele was completed, the royal couple abandoned Akhet-Aten for good, presumable traveling between the reinstated capitals of Egypt: the administrative capital in Memphis and the religious capital, in Waset, where Amun ruled. Bibliography Egyptian Historical Records of the Later Eighteenth Dynasty, Fascicle VI – B.
G. Davies / 1995 Also Available at: •http://www. angelfire. com/ne2/TiaDuat/tutstela. html S. T. Smith 2003. Wretched Kush: ethnic identities and boundaries in Egypt’s Nubian empire London. Also available at: •http://books. google. com/books? id=M4gn7-aZ4DgC=PA176=PA176=with+you+my+sister+may+all+be+well,+and+with+your+country+may+all+be+well. +May+the+sun+got+(of+Egypt)+and+the+storm+god=bl=uyTLhfcWWn=ZcczIEtPj6JsX62asbgsnaTyp9w=en=DhceTOz6KZDCce2–a0N&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=Nefertiti&f=false
P. Bradley. 1999. Ancient Egypt: Reconstructing the Past. Reprinted in 2007 KingTutOne. com. The Queens. 2001. King Tut One Authors. Available at: •http://www. kingtutone. com/queens/nefertiti/ •http://www. kingtutone. com/queens/nefertari/ Queen Tiye . Megaera Lorenz . Published 4/2/00 Available at: •http://www. heptune. com/Tiye. html The End of the Amarna Period. Dr Marc Gabolde. Last updated 2009-11-05. Available at: •http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/ancient/egyptians/amarna_01. shtml