Many scholars believe Nefertiti had a role elevated from that of Great Royal Wife , and was promoted to co-regent by her husband Pharaoh Akhenaten before his death. It is also possible that, in a similar fashion to Hatshepsut, Nefertiti disguised herself as a male and assumed the male alter-ego of Smenkhkare ; in this instance she could have elevated her daughter Meritaten to the role of Great Royal Wife. If Nefertiti did rule Egypt as Pharaoh, it has been theorized that she would have attempted damage control and may have re-instated the Ancient Egyptian religion and the Amun priests, and had Tutankhamun raised in with the traditional gods.
Archaeologist and Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass theorized that Nefertiti returned to Thebes from Amarna to rule as Pharaoh, based on ushabti and other feminine evidence of a female Pharaoh found in Tutankhamun's tomb , as well as evidence of Nefertiti smiting Egypt's enemies which was a duty reserved to kings. Pre Egyptological theories thought that Nefertiti vanished from the historical record around Year 12 of Akhenaten's reign, with no word of her thereafter. Explanations included a sudden death, by a plague that was sweeping through the city, or some other natural death.
This theory was based on the discovery of several ushabti fragments inscribed for Nefertiti now located in the Louvre and Brooklyn Museums. A previous theory, that she fell into disgrace, was discredited when deliberate erasures of monuments belonging to a queen of Akhenaten were shown to refer to Kiya instead.
During Akhenaten's reign and perhaps after , Nefertiti enjoyed unprecedented power. By the twelfth year of his reign, there is evidence she may have been elevated to the status of co-regent:  equal in status to the pharaoh — as may be depicted on the Coregency Stela. It is possible Nefertiti is 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 BC.
In that year, Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun. This is evidence of his return to the official worship of Amun , and abandonment of Amarna to return the capital to Thebes. In , the discovery of an inscription dated to Year 16, month 3 of Akhet , day 15 of the reign of Akhenaten was announced.
Biography of Queen Nefertiti, Ancient Egyptian Queen
This inscription offers incontrovertible evidence that both Akhenaten and Nefertiti were still alive in the 16th year of his [Akhenaten's] reign and, more importantly, that they were still holding the same positions as at the start of their reign. This makes it necessary to rethink the final years of the Amarna Period. This means that Nefertiti was alive in the second to last year of Akhenaten's reign, this pharaoh's highest attested regnal year was his Year 17 and demonstrates that Akhenaten still ruled alone, with his wife by his side. Therefore, the rule of the female Amarna pharaoh known as Neferneferuaten must be placed between the death of Akhenaten and the accession of Tutankhamun.
This female pharaoh used the epithet 'Effective for her husband' in one of her cartouches,  which means she was either Nefertiti or her daughter Meritaten who was married to king Smenkhkare. Nefertiti's burial was intended to be made within the Royal Tomb as laid out in the Boundary Stelae. One shabti is known to have been made for her. In , English archaeologist Nicholas Reeves announced that he had discovered evidence in high resolution scans of Tutankhamun's tomb "indications of two previously unknown doorways, one set within a larger partition wall and both seemingly untouched since antiquity To the north [there] appears to be signaled a continuation of tomb KV62 , and within these uncharted depths an earlier royal interment — that of Nefertiti herself.
A third radar scan has eliminated the possibility that there are any hidden chambers. These two mummies, known as the ' The Elder Lady ' and ' The Younger Lady ', were identified as likely candidates of her remains. More evidence to support this identification was that the mummy's teeth look like that of a to year-old, Nefertiti's most likely age of death. Also, unfinished busts of Nefertiti appear to resemble the mummy's face, though other suggestions included Ankhesenamun.
However, it eventually became apparent that the 'Elder Lady' is in fact Queen Tiye , mother of Akhenaten. A lock of hair found in a coffinette bearing an inscription naming Queen Tiye proved a near perfect match to the hair of the 'ELder Lady'. On June 9, , archaeologist Joann Fletcher , a specialist in ancient hair from the University of York in England, announced that Nefertiti's mummy may have been the Younger Lady.
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. Fletcher led an expedition funded by the Discovery Channel to examine what they believed to have been Nefertiti's mummy.
The team claimed that the mummy they examined was damaged in a way suggesting the body had been deliberately desecrated in antiquity. Mummification techniques, such as the use of embalming fluid and the presence of an intact brain , suggested an eighteenth-dynasty royal mummy.
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Other elements which the team used to support their theory were the age of the body, the presence of embedded nefer beads, and a wig of a rare style worn by Nefertiti. They further claimed that the mummy's arm was originally bent in the position reserved for pharaohs, but was later snapped off and replaced with another arm in a normal position.
Most Egyptologists, among them Kent Weeks and Peter Lacovara , generally dismiss Fletcher's claims as unsubstantiated. They say that ancient mummies are almost impossible to identify as a particular person without DNA. As bodies of Nefertiti's parents or children have never been identified, her conclusive identification is impossible. Any circumstantial evidence, such as hairstyle and arm position, is not reliable enough to pinpoint a single, specific historical person.
Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt
The cause of damage to the mummy can only be speculated upon, and the alleged revenge is an unsubstantiated theory. Bent arms, contrary to Fletcher's claims, were not reserved to pharaohs; this was also used for other members of the royal family. The wig found near the mummy is of unknown origin, and cannot be conclusively linked to that specific body.
Finally, the 18th dynasty was one of the largest and most prosperous dynasties of ancient Egypt. A female royal mummy could be any of a hundred royal wives or daughters from the 18th dynasty's more than years on the throne. In addition to that, there was controversy about both the age and sex of the mummy.
On June 12, , Egyptian archaeologist Dr.
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Zahi Hawass , head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities , also dismissed the claim, citing insufficient evidence. On August 30, , Reuters further quoted Hawass: "I'm sure that this mummy is not a female", and "Dr Fletcher has broken the rules and therefore, at least until we have reviewed the situation with her university, she must be banned from working in Egypt. The theory that the damage to the left side of the face was inflicted post-mummification was rejected as undamaged embalming packs were placed over top of the affected area.
A document was found in the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa which dates to the Amarna period; the so-called "Deeds" of Suppiluliuma I. The Hittite ruler receives a letter from the Egyptian queen, while being in siege on Karkemish. The letter reads: .
Nefertiti (Ancient World Leaders) - PDF Free Download
My husband has died and I have no son. They say about you that you have many sons. You might give me one of your sons to become my husband.
I would not wish to take one of my subjects as a husband I am afraid. This proposal is considered extraordinary as New Kingdom royal women never married foreign royalty. Understandably, he was wary, and had an envoy investigate the situation, but by so doing, he missed his chance to bring Egypt into his empire.
He eventually did send one of his sons, Zannanza , but the prince died, perhaps murdered, en route. The identity of the queen who wrote the letter is uncertain. Ankhesenamun once seemed likely since there were no candidates for the throne on the death of her husband, Tutankhamun, whereas Akhenaten had at least two legitimate successors. This makes the deceased Egyptian king appear to be Akhenaten instead rather than Tutankhamun. Furthermore, the phrase regarding marriage to 'one of my subjects' translated by some as 'servants' is possibly either a reference to the Grand Vizier Ay or a secondary member of the Egyptian royal family line.
Since Nefertiti was depicted as being as powerful as her husband in official monuments smiting Egypt's enemies, she might be the Dakhamunzu in the Amarna correspondence as Nicholas Reeves believes. Headless bust of Akhenaten or Nefertiti. Part of a composite red quartzite statue. Intentional damage. Four pairs of early Aten cartouches. Reign of Akhenaten. From Amarna, Egypt. Limestone relief fragment. A princess holding sistrum behind Nefertiti, who is partially seen.
Siliceous limestone fragment relief of Nefertiti. Extreme style of portrait. Reign of Akhenaten, probably early Amarna Period. Granite head statue of Nefertiti. The securing post at head apex allows for different hairstyles to adorn the head. Altes Museum , Berlin. Head statue of Nefertiti, Altes Museum , Berlin. Akhenaten , Nefertiti and their daughters before the Aten. Stela of Akhenaten and his family , Egyptian Museum , Cairo.
Nefertiti offering oil to the Aten. Brooklyn Museum.