Archive for April, 2008

Harwa – Chief Steward of Queen Amenirdis – God’s Wife of Amun and Divine Adoratrice – XXV Dynasty

Posted in Adoratrice, Akaluka, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amun, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Black Pharaohs, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Votaress, Egyptian Goddess, Egyptian Queen, Egyptology, Goddess, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Harwa, Hatnefrumut, Khaneferumut, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Napata, Peshuper, Princess of Nubia, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaqo, Third Intermediate Period, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXV Dynasty, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2008 by www.Amunirdis.net

http://www.Amunirdis.net/harwa_chief_steward_xxv_dynasty_tt37.htm

Harwa was an important man in ancient Egypt. He was an important figure in the life of Amenirdis I of ancient Egypt’s XXV Dynasty. He acted as the ‘Chief Steward’, or ‘Grand Steward’ for Amenirdis I, as God’s Wife of Amun and also whilst Queen Amenirdis served as Divine Adoratrice. Additionally, he held the title (as High Priest) of “Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun”.

Born in to a family of Theban Priests, Harwa held high office in Thebes (modern-day Luxor) with great responsibility to Amun and God’s Wife of Amun, the Divine Votaress, Amenirdis I. He was son of the “Lady of the House”, Nestaureret, and of a Priest attached to the temple of Amun in Karnak, Padimut son of Ankhefenamon.

His tomb is located in el-Assasif, part of the Theban Necropolis, near to Deir el-Bahri and is known as TT37 (Theban Tomb 37) which has been under archaeological examination for some years and currently not accessible to the public.

The tomb of Harwa (TT37) displays important features of a man holding such religious, spiritual and political power. Scenes and texts – at least those engraved in the principal axis of the monument – can be read as part of a description of the Egyptian man’s journey from his daily life to the Netherworld, passing through the ultimate experience of death and beyond. Each part of the monument concurs to document a different step of the path leading to eternal life.
The tomb (TT37) is large and in the “Osiris Hall” there is a wall relief describing the moment of the death where Harwa is shown ‘between worlds’, and separated from his physical body, with Anubis holding one hand. Harwa then exists in two dimensions – in the Land of Osiris and still in the land of the living, just. Harwa’s tomb shows the moment of death in its supreme glory and Harwa continues to be shown ‘in the middle’, almost in a freeze-frame relief with both his Ka and brain conscious. This is highly unusual in ancient Egyptian scenes.

A text well-engraved on the southern wall of the passage leading to the First Pillared Hall enumerates his good deeds having recourse to the most typical phraseology of the Egyptian “ideal biography”. It is Harwa himself who is speaking.

He tells the visitor to the tomb: “I gave bread to the hungry man, clothes to the naked man”.

This phrase is pivotal in the connection between Harwa and Queen Amenirdis I as, on the reverse (and base) of the famous alabaster statue of Amenirdis I, there is a well-carved series of hieroglyphs which say:

“I gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked man.”

The full translation can be found here:

http://www.Amunirdis.net/amunardis_alabaster_statue_hieroglyphs_translation.htm

 

I have not seen a connection made anywhere regarding these two series of hieroglyphs – online or offline. I believe that this connection hasn’t yet been made by the scholars but the importance of the similar phrases is amazing to me.

Harwa held the position of “Grand Steward” for about forty years from the time of Piankhy, serving under Nubian pharaohs Shabaqo or Shabaka (713-698 BCE) and Shebitqo (698-690 BCE), until the reign of Taharqo or Taharqa (690 – 664 BCE).

‘Coincidentally’, Amenirdis I is said to have served as God’s Wife of Amun, Divine Adoratrice (or Divine Votaress) and “God’s Hand” for approximately forty years.

[Taharqo (or Taharqa) was the uncle of Amunirdis.]

 

It is my personal belief that Amenirdis I and Harwa had a close relationship and ruled ‘together’ (under various roles) from ancient Thebes at approximately the same times in ancient Egypt.

During the 1997 archaeological campaign in Harwa’s tomb (TT37), a limestone ushabty (or shabti) was unearthed showing features which shed new light on some aspects of the role played by Harwa inside the Theban administration. It is a typically mummiform funerary statuette of the XXV Dynasty but it holds in his hands the crook and the flail, that is to say, the regalia, the characteristic emblems of the pharaonic royalty.

As far as it is known, it is the only example of non-royal ushabty displaying such a characteristic.

Furthermore, in the Chapter VI of the Book of the Dead engraved on the body, Harwa is mentioned as “Great of the Greats”.

These evidences should point out that Harwa had more power than the one deriving from his role and that he can be considered as the co-governor of the Theban region on the behalf of the Nubian King alongside the Divine Adoratrice, Amunirdis I.

Also the vastness of his tomb and the high number of his statues can support the hypothesis that Harwa was the most politically influential person of the State; stretching to the First Cataract (a graffito signed by him has been found at Nag’esh Sheikh, near Aswan).

If this assumption is confirmed by further excavations, then the positions of Montuemhat and Petamenophis will have to be reconsidered. They chose in fact to place their tombs east and west of the tomb of Harwa as if they attributed a high reverence to him and considered him a sort of ancestor. In this frame one has to ask: is it possible to speak of a “dynasty” of functionaries governing the Theban region with the consent of the Nubian kings? If this proves to be true, then, as they did not belong to the one family nor did they share the same titles and position, what was the mechanism of succession of these functionaries? No-one yet knows the answer to that question or the countless others raised by the life, works and tomb of Harwa, Grand Steward in the Precinct of Amun.

 

Many questions are raised merely because of the surviving evidence belonging to Amenirdis I and Harwa but there are some issues which are quite clear:

 

Upper Egypt was ruled well under the governance of these two mighty figures (and others) and for forty years, approximately, Upper Egypt was relatively peaceful (as opposed to the XXIII to XXIV Dynasties political and religious unrest and turmoil) whilst Pharaoh Shabaka (Amunirdis I’s brother) ruled from Memphis. Even after the death of her brother, Amunirdis I remained in control and acted, along with others, as the First Prophet of Amun, answering the State’s needs on many levels. Order was temporarily restored and both Amunirdis I and Harwa played a major role in ancient Egypt at that time.

 

If you would like to read more about Harwa, please see these web sites:

Harwa: The Man:

http://www.harwa.it/vecchisiti/sito99/harwlife.htm

Harwa’s Tomb:

http://www.harwa.it/vecchisiti/sito99/harwtomb.htm

Archaeological Seasons at TT37, Harwa’s Tomb:

http://www.harwa.it/vecchisiti/sito99/campaign.htm

The Italian Archaeological Mission in Luxor excavating TT37:

http://www.harwa.it/vecchisiti/sito99/index.htm

Harwa – The Official Egyptological Research Team’s web site

http://www.harwa.it/eng/index.htm

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Egyptian Dates in History – the Ancient Egypt Conundrum – Regnal Years, Egyptologists and Solar Eclipses

Posted in Akaluka, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Black Pharaohs, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Votaress, Egyptian Goddess, Egyptian Queen, Egyptology, Goddess, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Hatnefrumut, Khaneferumut, Kush, Kushite, Napata, Queen of Egypt, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaqo, Third Intermediate Period, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXV Dynasty, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2008 by www.Amunirdis.net

Egyptian Dates in History – the Ancient Egypt Conundrum – Regnal Years, Egyptologists and Solar Eclipses

 
 

As far as Egyptologists are concerned, the dates of any ruler in ancient Egypt are fairly solid – until the next scholar tells the world otherwise.

Some dates/years can be firmly fixed to a specific (and relatively accurate) time period but there is always doubt. That is the way of history in ancient Egypt and we have to accept that some dates are not to be relied upon – they are often best viewed as a guide only, in my opinion.

 

Regnal years, in some cases, are ‘fixed’ by an event that can be proved – solar eclipses being a good example. There is always doubt about any date or year stated by scholars and Egyptologists and we must live with that fact.

 

Shabaka (Amenirdis’ brother) is a good example of this:

Shabaka’s reign was initially dated from 716 BC to 702 BCE by Kenneth Kitchen. However, new evidence indicates that Shabaka died around 707 or 706 BCE because Sargon II (722-705 BC) of Assyria states in an official inscription at Tang-i Var (in Northwest Iran) – which is datable to 706 BCE – that it was Shebitku, Shabaka’s successor, who extradited Iamanni of Ashdod to him as king of Egypt. This view has been accepted by many Egyptologists today such as Aidan Dodson, Rolf Krauss, David Aston, and Karl Jansen-Winkeln among others because there is no concrete evidence for co-regencies or internal political/regional divisions in the Nubian kingdom during the Twenty-fifth Dynasty.

 

Amenirdis ruled during the Third Intermediate Period, XXV Dynasty – 736-690 BCE though some sources state her dates as being 740-720 BCE. There is still doubt regarding the dates that Amenirdis I lived and ruled. However, there are references to Amenirdis I ruling as ‘God’s Wife of Amun’ and ‘Divine Adoratrice’ for approximately forty years. 

 

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‘God’s Wife of Amun’ and ‘Divine Adoratrice of Amun’ – Important Women in Ancient Egypt

Posted in Akaluka, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amun, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Black Pharaohs, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Divine Votaress, Egyptian Goddess, Egyptian Queen, Egyptology, Goddess, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Harwa, Hatnefrumut, Khaneferumut, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Napata, Peshuper, Princess of Nubia, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, Scribe of Amenirdis, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaqo, Third Intermediate Period, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXV Dynasty, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2008 by www.Amunirdis.net

God’s Wife of Amun, a title for a similar Office of the High Priestess, originated as a title held by a daughter of the High Priest of Amun during the reign of Hatshepsut and continued as an important Office while the capital of Egypt remained in (or returned to) Thebes, modern-day Luxor and Karnak.

 

This Office reached the very heights of its political & religious power during the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt when Shepenupet I (Shepenwepet I), Osorkon III’s daughter, was first appointed to this post at Thebes. The Nubian King Kashta, in turn, appointed his daughter, Amenirdis I, as her successor, though it is said by many that Shepenwepet I ‘adopted’ Amenirdis I in to this important role in ancient Egypt, this ‘adoption’ procedure continued throughout the XXV and XXVI Dynasties. The high status of this Office is illustrated by the tomb of Amenirdis I at Medinet Habu and her building work at Karnak Temple.

 

When the Napatan Kings from Kush started to extend their power into Upper Egypt, the reigning God’s Wife of Amun, Shepenupet I (Shepenwepet I), ‘adopted’ Amenirdis I, the daughter of Pharaoh Kashta as her heir. This sequence was followed throughout the XXV Dynasty until Egypt was conquered by Psamtek I, who had his daughter, Nitocris I, adopted by Amenirdis II. The Adoption Stelae of Nitocris’ shows the ceremony involved by this event, and the prestige of the role:

“I have given to him my daughter to be a god’s wife and have endowed her better than those who were before her. Surely he will be gratified with her worship and protect the land who gave her to him.”

 

In the Third Intermediate Period, during the XXV and XXVI Dynasties, and the start of the Late Period, the Office was at its height politically, religiously and economically. As the role of the High Priests of Amun changed from a mostly spiritual to a more ‘earthly’ role, the Divine Adoratrice became the primary focus of the cult of Amun in Thebes.

During the XXVI Dynasty, the Saite King Psamtik I (Psammetichus or Psamtek) forcibly reunited Egypt under his rule in 656 BCE and he compelled the God’s Wife of Amun serving at the time, Shepenupet II (Shepenwepet II), daughter of Piye, to ‘adopt’ his daughter as her chosen successor to this position.

 

God’s Wife of Amun was an incredibly powerful spiritual and religious role in ancient Egypt as was “The Divine Adoratrice” (or ‘Votaress’) – the Queen being responsible for daily rituals and ‘communications’ with God; acting as an intermediary for the High Priests and officials within the Precinct of Amun and also “interpreted the oracles”. Some references still exist as to Amenirdis I’s interpretation of her communications with Amun – some involving members of the ‘public’, quite unusual for a ‘living Goddess’. Amenirdis I seems to have favoured contact with the people of the land of Amun. She was held in high regard and limited records refer to Amenirdis as a “fair and just” ruler in Upper Egypt whilst her brother, Shabaka (‘Shabaka Neferkare’ or Shabaqo), ruled as Pharaoh in Memphis in the north (Lower Egypt). Shabaka was also the originator of the famous ‘Shabaka Stone’, a fruitful source of insight into the culture and religious doctrines of the ancient Egyptians.

 

In ancient Egyptian history, there were in total thirty Royal women who held the title “God’s Wife of Amun” though there is some doubt regarding Tashakheper – daughter of Osorkon II who may have ruled as God’s Wife of Amun during the reign of Takelot III. If Tashakheper had indeed ruled as God’s Wife of Amun, this would bring the entire Dynastic figure to thirty-one. [NB: this does not include non-Royals from Dynasty X to the XII Dynasty]

 

Probably the most ‘well known’ of all God’s Wives is Hatshepsut who also held the title Divine Adoratrice of Amun.

 

The Divine Adoratrice of Amun (or the ‘Divine Votaress’) was a second title (in addition to God’s Wife of Amun) created for the Chief Priestess of the ancient Egyptian omnipotent deity, Amun.
The Divine Adoratrice ruled over the extensive Temple duties and domains, controlling a significant part of the ancient Egyptian economy and religious/spiritual matters primarily from the Precinct of Amun at Karnak and Luxor Temples.

Amenirdis I had notable staff in Office – I will write more about these later but they include Peshuper – ‘Scribe of Amenirdis’ & Harwa – “Steward of the Divine Votaress”.

 
 
 

‘God’s Wife of Amun’ and ‘Divine Adoratrice of Amun’

Under the above two titles there were, in total, six women during the XXV and XXVI Dynasties. They are, in order of rule:

 

Shepenupet I – 754 – 714 BCE

Amenirdis I – 740 – 720 BCE  prenomen: Khaneferumut

Shepenupet II – 710 – 650 BCE

Amenirdis II – 670 – 640 BCE

Nitocris I – 656 – 586 BCE

Ankhnesneferibre – 595 – 525 BCE

 
[Dates are, in my opinion, not an exact reflection of the rule of God’s Wife of Amun & Divine Adoratrice: Amenirdis I was said to have reigned for approximately forty years]
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Alabaster Statue of Queen Amenirdis I – Prenomen: Khaneferumut or Hatnefrumut

Posted in Akaluka, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amun, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Black Pharaohs, Cairo Museum of Antiquities, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Votaress, Egyptian Goddess, Egyptian Queen, Egyptology, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Hatnefrumut, Khaneferumut, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Napata, Princess of Nubia, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXV Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2008 by www.Amunirdis.net

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This alabaster statue of Amenirdis I (prenomen: Khaneferumut or Hatnefrumut) is probably the most famous image of this Kushite Queen – it inspired Verdi to compose Aida.
The statue is stunning when seen in real life. For many years it was on display in the Cairo Museum of Antiquities but since the ‘Black Pharaohs’ exhibition the alabaster statue has been moved for more of the public to see this magnificent depiction of an amazing Queen of ancient Egypt.
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http://amunirdis.blogspot.com/2009/02/amenirdis-amunirdis-khaneferumut.html

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Welcome to the www.Amenardis.net Blog about the Nubian Queen of Egypt’s XXV Dynasty known as Amenirdis I, Amenardis I, Amunirdis I or Amunardis I.

Posted in Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amun, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Gods Wife, Kush, Kushite, Napata, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXV Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2008 by www.Amunirdis.net
Welcome to the www.Amenardis.net Blog dedicated to research and providing information and resources about the Nubian Queen of Egypt’s XXV Dynasty known as Amenirdis I, Amenardis I, Amunirdis I or Amunardis I.
 
Please see my web site (a work in progress):
http://www.Amenardis.net/
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http://www.Amunirdis.net/