A Conversation for Nefertiti - Queen of Egypt

The Hittite Marriage Appeal and other things

Post 1

Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru)

To the best of my knowledge, the Queen who appealed to the Hittite King for a husband who could rule, and save her form perhaps a fate worse than death was not Nefertiti, but the principle wife of King Tutankhamun.

It should also be stressed that the idea that Nefertiti became co-regnant as Smenkhare is based almost entirely on her disappearance from the Armarna period artwork at the same time that Smenkhare appeared. Prior to this, the repeated appearance of Nefertiti and her daughters in the art of the period is what truly marks her out as extraordinary (this and her daughters' aubergine-shaped heads).

Against the Nefertiti-as-Smenkhare hypothesis, it also bears noting that many have identified the mystery figure on the mis-matched canopic coffinettes and coffin of Tutankhamun as Smenkhare (and rather more manly than the eighteen year old boy-king he is, for whatever that's worth), and that some even believe that mystery body in Tomb KV-fifty-something (typing at work; no reference materials to hand I'm afraid, but I think it's 53) is Smenkhare. While buried in female posture, with one arm crossing the breast and the other at the side, this body is that of a man.

The Prophet

The Hittite Marriage Appeal and other things

Post 2

Researcher 170889

Whoever appealed to the Hittites for a husband (I thought it was Hatshepsut), would have caused a furor, not so much because the Hitties were enemies, but because the Pharoah was a living god. The divinity -( the right to rule) came through the female line, but the god himself was always (excepting Hatshepsut and one or two brief other female reigns) a male. Hatshepsut even went to the trouble of having herself depicted in statues (and wearing?) a beard - artificial, one hopes - in an attempt to add legitimacy to her rule. Because of the divinity coming from the female, most pharoahs married their sisters. A whole new dimension to family dynamics!

The Hittite Marriage Appeal and other things

Post 3

Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru)

Actually, the idea of a matrilinear descent is not widely followed these days, since many of the Egyptian kings were the children of secondary - and unrelated - wives, rather than a sister-wife. Rather, the divinity - in the New Kingdom at least - came not through blood so much as through the ritual birthing of the Pharoah as son of Hathor (and/or Isis) and infusion with the royal ba in the Festival of Opet. Hence Ai - a liminal royal at best, and possibly no more than an in-law - was acceptible, as was Horemheb, who succeeded him and begat the Ramessides of Dynasty XIX.

Hatshepsut wore the beard as the incarnation of Osiris/Horus, just like her male predecessors and successors. Actual facial hair was typically shaven by everyone, but the king wore a fake beard, IIRC.

It was definitely Tutankhamun's widow, Ankhesnamun, who appealed for the Hittite prince though; I doubt Hatshepsut ever begged for anything, at least not so publicly. The poor lad was sent, but got himself murdered in the desert en route.

The Prophet

The Hittite Marriage Appeal and other things

Post 4


yeah, I also heard that it was not Nofretete who wrote the letter, but scientists are stii fighting about this point... as always... smiley - winkeye

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