Archive for the Deir el-Bahri Category

Harwa TT37 Grand Steward High Priest Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun

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Harwa: “Great of the Greats”.

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 (14+) and currently not accessible to the public.

Harwa HieroglyphsThe 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 (or more?) dimensions simultaneously – 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’ reliefwith both his Ka and Ba ‘conscious’ (possibly his Akh + Ren + Shwt), ‘present’ and aware of their ‘state’ i.e. Harwa’s Ba – or possibly his Shwt or Ren – is shown as young and healthy whilst his Ka and physical form is as it was before the ‘freeze-frame’: corpulent, bald/ing and approximately 60 years old.

Alternatively, could the ‘freeze-frame’ relief depict the split-second when the Ka, Ba, Akh, Ren and Shwt ‘meet’ prior to the ‘magical’ departure to the different realms?
We will never know exactly why this complex scene is shown but it was most certainly important to Harwa and the explanation could possibly be beyond the understanding of our modern-day thought processes.
For the ancient Egyptians everything exists also in its complementary form. Nothing existed isolated, only for itself. The function/s was always intertwined with their universe, with Netjer and with Man.

 

This relief is highly unusual in ancient Egyptian scenes and whilst the above is purely personal conjecture, there is little doubt that Harwa was ‘more than a mortal’ given his almost ‘pharaoh-like’ status and titles.
Harwa was not only a dignitary holding vast powers but the ruler of Upper Egypt, ruling on behalf of the pharaohs of the twenty-fifth Dynasty, along with God’s Wives of Amun et al. This conclusion is supported by a limestone ushabti (shabty), discovered in TT37 during 1997, showing Harwa holding in his hands the crook and the flail i.e. the regalia – characteristic emblems of pharaonic royalty. A further ushabti is kept in the Egyptian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

 

Could it be that Harwa had numerous ‘Kas’, similar to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt?
Could the ‘freeze-frame’ be indicative of Harwa’s status as a ruling, ‘semi-royal’ noble?
Any further ideas, suggestions or comments would be most welcome – please e-mail me: Research@Amunirdis.net

 

A ushabti (shabty) of Harwa from TT37 – [image link].
More information and images from Harwa’s tomb – [link]

 

As an aside: I find it interesting that the tomb of Akhamenerau – TT404 (Theban Tomb 404) – is adjacent to TT37, the huge tomb of Harwa. Akhamenerau was “Chief Steward of the Divine Adoratrix Amenirdis I (Amunirdis I) and Shepenupet II (Shepenwepet II)” and, obviously, held office under these two powerful God’s Wives of Amun. It seems strange to me – though I’m no scholar – that Akhamenerau ruled at this time (though I can find no dates for Akhamenerau) and that placement of TT404 was so very close to TT37. Was this significant in itself, as – possibly – with the adjacent placement of the tombs of Montuemhat (TT34) and Petamenophis (TT33)? I would suggest so.
Did Amenirdis I and Shepenupet II’s rule of Upper Egypt overlap…?
Coregency for a few years before Amenirdis died?
Did Harwa hold Office under both God’s Wives of Amun…?
Amenirdis I ‘adopted‘ Shepenupet II and the latter obviously held Amenirdis I in high regard (see Medinet Habu, Chapel of the Adoratrice Amunirdis I) or did Akhamenerau live long enough to serve – and rule – under both God’s Wives of Amun?

 

Montuemhat and Petamenophis’ Theban Tombs
Montuemhat (TT34) served the Nubian Kings Taharqa and Tanutamun (Tanutamani, Tanwetamani or Tanutamon) as Fourth Prophet of Amun, Mayor of Thebes and Governor of Upper Egypt in the XXV dynasty.
[Bust of Montuemhat]
[Statue Group of Montuemhat and His Son, Nesptah]

Petamenophis (TT33) (Padiamenope, Padiamenipet, Petamenofi or Padiamenopea) served as Chief Lector Priest during the XXV to XXVI dynasties.

[Limestone fragment of tomb relief]

[Serpentine ushabti]

 

 

In Harwa’s Tomb (TT37), 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…)

 

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 to forty-six years.
[Taharqo (or Taharqa) was the uncle of Amunirdis.]
 

It is my personal belief that Amenirdis I and Harwa had a close ‘royal’ relationship and ruled ‘together’ (in 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 characteristics.
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. Does this also apply to Akhamenerau in TT404 and Peshuper (tomb location unknown at this time)? 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 et al., 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 to firty-six 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, 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.

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Chapels of the Gods Wives at Medinet Habu by www.EgyptSites.co.uk

Posted in Akhamenerau, Amen, Amenirdis, Amon, Amonardis, Amonirdis, Amoun, Amun, Ancient Egypt, Ankhnesneferibre, Assyrian, Deir el-Bahri, Divine Wife, Dynasty, Egypt, EgyptSites, First Prophet, God, Goddess, Habu, Harwa, Karnak, Kush, Luxor, Medinet, Medinet Habu, Memphis, Montuemhet, Mortuary Temple, Napata, Nasalsa, Necho, Nitocris, Nitoqret, Nubian, Nubian Queens, Oracle, Osorkon, Peshuper, Piankhi, Pie, Piye, Priest, Psammetik, Pye, Ramesses, Sais, Scribe, Shabaka, Shabaqo, Shabitko, Shepenupet, Shepenwepet, Taharqa, Tanis, Tantamani, Temple of Amun, Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, Upper Egypt, Uraeus, Wadi Hammamat, West Bank, www.EgyptSites.co.uk, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net

Chapels of the God’s Wives – Medinet Habu – Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, West Bank, Luxor

“It now seems to be a forgone conclusion that when we’re on the West Bank, we will end up at Medinet Habu and today was no exception. I wanted a last look at the temple and went to take more photographs in the shrines of the God’s Wives of Amun, the Divine Adoratirix that have become a study theme for me on this visit.

Relief of Shepenwepet in the Chapel of AmenirdisThere are four chapels at Medinet Habu dedicated to the God’s Wives. The earliest belongs to Shepenwepet I who was appointed by her father Osorkon III during the last years of Theban independence before full Nubian control. Little is left of her chapel, but the burial shaft still gives access to vaulted chambers below – not open to the public however. The next shrine is that of Amenirdis I, the successor to Shepenwepet and daughter of Nubian King Kashta. This is the best-preserved chapel and has many interesting reliefs, though it is very dark inside. A forecourt fronts Amenirdis’s chapel, the four columns now reduced to stumps, but there is still a black granite offering table in situ. Inside the shrine, a free-standing sanctuary surrounded by a corridor whose walls are adorned with excerpts from the Pyramid Texts and reliefs of Amenirdis I and her successor Shepenwepet II (who built this shrine for her aunt), before various deities. The walls are now blackened but little square openings in the roof send atmospheric shafts of light down onto the scenes. The workmanship is really beautiful here.

In due time Shepenwepet II adopted Amenirdis II, a daughter of King Taharqa, as her successor, but her rule was ill-fated as by then the Nubian Dynasty XXV came to an end with the Assyrian invasions of Thebes. The Theban priesthood was forced to accept an heiress from the Saite dynasty of the Delta and it was Psamtik’s daughter Nitocris who became the next God’s Wife of Amun, after being adopted by both Shepenwepet II & Amenridis II. It was Nitocris who completed the chapel for Shepenwepet II after her death, adding to the burial chambers to provide for herself and her birth mother Mehytenweskhet. The fourth chapel is now gone, but is thought to have belonged to Ankhnesneferibre, a daughter of King Psamtik II, who was the last holder of the office of Divine Adoratrice at Thebes and who also took the title of High Priest of Amun. Her beautiful sarcophagus, found in a shaft at Deir el-Medina after being re-used during Roman times, is now in the British Museum.

Sarcophagus of Ankhnesneferibre in the British Museum

Over the doorways to these chapels is a kind of threat, written as an ‘Appeal to the Living’, which consists of words to be uttered by people passing by. The text more or less states that anyone not participating in the mortuary cult by repeating the prayers will be cursed by the ‘Mistress of the West’ who will cause sickness to their families. I always bear this in mind, saying a little prayer of my own for the souls of the powerful ladies once buried here.”

http://egyptsites.wordpress.com:80/2008/05/27/chapels-of-the-gods-wives/

Reproduced courtesy of  http://www.EgyptSites.co.uk/ with thanks.

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The Divine Adoratrices By Patricia Blosser www.KingTutOne.com

Posted in Adoratrice, Akaluka, Akhamenerau, Amen, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amon, Amonardis, Amonirdis, Amoun, Amun, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Ankhnesneferibre, Assasif, Assyrian, Black Pharaohs, Chief Priestess, Deir el-Bahri, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Adoratrices, Divine Adoratrix, Divine Votaress, Divine Wife, Dynastic, Dynasty, Egypt, Egyptian, Egyptian History, Egyptian Queen, Egyptologists, Egyptology, el-Assasif, First Prophet, God, Goddess, Gods Hand, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Harwa, Karnak, Karnak Temple, Kashta, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Medinet Habu, Memphis, Montuemhet, Napata, Nasalsa, Necho, Nitocris, Nitoqret, Nubian, Nubian Queens, Oracle, Osorkon, Patricia Blosser, Peshuper, Pharaoh, Pharaohs, Piankhi, Pie, Piye, Prenomen, Priest, Princess of Nubia, Psammetichus, Psammetik, Psamtek, Psamtik, Pye, Queen Amenirdis, Queen Amunirdis, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, Sais, Scribe, Scribe of Amenirdis, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaka Stone, Shabaqo, Shabitko, Shebitku, Shepenupet, Shepenwepet, Taharqa, Taharqo, Tanis, Tantamani, Temple of Amun, Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, Twenty Fifth Dynasty, Upper Egypt, Uraeus, Wadi Hammamat, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, www.KingTutOne.com, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXV Dynasty, XXVI, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net

The Divine Adoratrices

By Patricia Blosser

In 656 BC, or regnal year 9, first month of Akhet, day 28, of the Sais King Psamtek I, his young daughter Nitocris, is recorded as leaving his private apartments in Sais. Dressed in the finest of linen garments and adorned with new turquoise she is headed for her own destiny. Her father had arranged for her to marry no other than Amun, the great god of Thebes(1). She left her father’s city in a great fleet sailing up the Nile to Thebes. It isn’t known how old she was at the time of her marriage, but she lived another 70 years (2) in Thebes as the Divine Adoratrice, the god Amun’s wife. She would s 

The office of the Divine Adoratrice, the God’s Wife had evolved greatly. Since the day Ahmose, first Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty had first made his wife Ahmose-Nefertari the god’s wife of Amun at Karnak(3). At this remote time Ahmose-Nefertari, the god’s wife, wasn’t the Divine Adoratrice. It would be several centuries yet, before the God’s wife took the office of the “adoratrice of the god”(4) and combined it with her royal office. Until that time this secondary office for women in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, was held by well-born noble women. The God’s Wife position was a priestly office at first held by non-royal ladies of the Middle Kingdom(5). From Ahmose-Nefertari on it would be an office held only by women of the royal house. Ahmose endowed the position with lands and entitlements, making it a wealthy position as well as a religious office. During Ahmose-Nefertari’s occupation of the office, its title the God’s Wife appears to be the title she preferred over the usual titles. She was entitled to use such as King’s wife, King’s principle wife, or even King’s mother. From Karnak Deir el Bahri, Abydos, and Serabit el Khadim in Sinai there are a number of ritual offerings dedicated by Ahmose-Nefertari. While other Queens and Kings dedicated similar objects, chronologically and numerically Ahmose-Nefertari heads the list and perhaps sets the trend. She opened quarries along with her husband and was asked for her approval on some of his building projects(6). Such participation of a queen is unique in the records.

Queen Hatshepsut, was the third holder of this important religious office, again the god’s wife was the title she too, preferred over other titles she was able to use. It is believed by modern scholars that it was her position as ‘God’s Wife’ that enable her to take up the titles and offices of King during her step-son’s minority(7). After she did become, Pharaoh she passed her role as god’s wife to her daughter Neferura(8). In the modern belief, that Neferura as the god’s wife assumed the role in temple rites that traditionally fell to a senior ranking royal woman. Roles she most likely fulfilled during her mother’s Kingship. Neferura’s preference of her title ‘the god’s wife’ is the third such preference of that title, by a royal woman over the more traditional titles such as the King’s daughter, or even King’s wife. It is as the God’s Wife that we find her, following her dressed as King mother, into the temple of Amun at Karnak. Whereas she is dressed in a simple sheath dress, sometimes tied at the waist unlike most such dresses, with a short wig and a thin fillet knotted at the back of the head the loose ends hanging down(9).

The office and title of God’s Wife, while not disappearing began a period of eclipse under the succeeding rule of Thutmose III, his son Amenhotep II, and grandson Thutmose IV. Under these three rulers there were four more god’s wives of Amun at Thebes. Aset, the mother of Thutmose III, and Meritamun his daughter held it. During the reign of Amenhotep II his mother Meritra, is given the title. While Tiaa, the mother of Thutmose IV is the last named god’s wife. In the reign of Amenhotep III, there is at one point a god’s wife but she is unnamed and after her the office disappears until the 19th dynasty(10). While the title disappears in the reign of Amenhotep III and his immediate successors, it would be incorrect to assume, that the power and statue of the King’s principle wife suffered any lost. In fact, with the advent of Amenhotep III’s queen, Tiye we see the power of the Queen rise to an equality that would have been familiar to Queen Ahmose-Nefertari back at the start of the dynasty. This was true as well with Akhenaten’s queen, Nefertiti. It is only after the death of Tutankhamun that we see the role of queens again fading into the background. Until Ramesses II once again, brings his principle wife Nefertari with a cult along side his at Abu Simbel(11). By this time, the title god’s wife is again being given to queens’ married to Kings, but it does not return to a position of power until much later.

In the mid-20th dynasty while Egypt began it’s post empire decay, as the power of the Chief Priest of Amun grew thorough out the nation. Ramess VI made his daughter Isis, the god’s wife of Amun at Thebes but this attempt of royal control was not successful(12). The country continued to decline, grave robbery of the Valley of the Kings and even the Queens grew at an alarming speed. The beginning of the 21st dynasty was beset with reburials of the ancient Kings and Queens. Into this came the Chief Priest of Amun at Thebes Pinudjem I, married to a daughter of Ramess XI. In the sixteenth year of Smendes, Pinudjem I(13) adopted royal titles and wrote his name in a cartouche and passed his office of Chief Priest of Amun to a son. He named his virgin daughter Maatkare, to the post of god’s wife of Amun at Thebes. Maatkare, combined the roles of God’s Wife and chief of the priestesses of Amun, in one title: the Divine Adoratrice from this time on the position was held by virginal daughters of the royal house who selected their successor by adoption(14). At one point, the burial remains of this Divine Adoratrice was thought to provide proof that the office wasn’t virginal in reality, because found with her remains was another smaller bundle of remains thought to be her child. However, as examination proved it was actually a monkey’s remains not a child. This finding restored both the honor of the Divine Adoratrice Maatkare, and the office she held(15).

Her successor isn’t known and might have been a member of the 22nd dynasty Libyan royal house. The next known Divine Adoratrice was Karomama, the granddaughter of Osorkon I(16). Her successor apparently was taken from the 23rd dynasty, another Libyan royal house and was Shepenwepet I, sister of Takelot III, the children of Osorkon III. Together this sister and brother shared the privileges of rule over Thebes. She appears to have taken over the position of chief priest that her brother had given up to ascend to the throne. While along with her brother and their father, she appears on the temple walls of Osiris heka-djet (‘lord of eternity’) at Karnak(17). It wasn’t long after her brother’s death, and the short succession of his heir. That Pianky the Kushite King began his conquest of Egypt from the southern boarders of Egypt. Shepenwepet I would adopt this foreign King’s sister as her heir and with that adoption. Pianky’s control over Upper Egypt was cemented as he continued his conquest of Middle and Lower Egypt(18.

In this Kushite Dynasty of the 25th, the role of the Divine Adoratrice, the maiden princess of the royal house, dedicated to Amun was equal to that of a royal governor in Thebes(19) . Considering that Pianky was busy most of the time with his conquest of Lower Egypt, and then his brother Shabak, the first Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty consolidating his rule over the rebellious northern Egypt. It was up to their female family members to control Thebes. This, Amenirdis I(20)did, as the adopted daughter and heir of Shepenwepet I.

Amenirdis I maintained the secular power of Amun’s chief priest, even after her brother Shabak revived the position for a son of his. It had remained vacant since Takelot III had given it up to become Pharaoh(21). She under took the building of her own mortuary chapel and tomb for herself within the temple enclosure at the 18th dynastic temple at Medinet Habu(22). She ruled Thebes into the reign of Pianky’s son Sebitku, when her adopted daughter Shepenwepet II, the daughter of Pianky succeeded her.

Shepenwepet II raised, along with another of her brothers Taharqa, a chapel to Osiris, Lord of Life, and another one to Osiris, Lord of Eternity at the temple at Karnak. Her building achievements continued with other sacred edifices in the Theban region. She adopted as her successor her niece, the daughter of Taharqa, who took the name Amenirdis II. Amenirdis II often appears next to her aunt in reliefs at Thebes, like a co-regent(23).

Assurbanipal, King of Assyria in 663 B.C.E. resumed Assyria’s attacks on Egypt. He conqueror Memphis and even reached Thebes sacking it. Despite this treatment Upper Egypt refused to accept Assyrian rule and continued support for the Kushite Pharaoh Tantamani, who had fled on to Kush. This state of affairs continued, until the Sais King Psamtek I 26th dynasty, given his power by the Assyrians, threw off the Assyrian yoke once and for all pushing them out of Egypt in 655 B.C.E.(24) shortly, after reuniting Egypt. With his daughter’s adoption, by the last Kushite Divine Adoratrice Amenirdis II in Thebes. At that time the elderly Shepenwepet II was still very much alive and had approved the adoption of Nitocris, by her own adopted daughter Amenirdis II. It was the first time in the history of the Divine Adoratrice, that there were three such ladies in Thebes.

Nitocris I lived and ruled in Thebes for another 70 years after her arrival in Thebes. Her own successor Ankhnesneferibre, daughter of Psamtek II mounted the throne of the Divine Adoratrice in 586 B.C.E. Two years later, she was invested officially with the office of high priest. Ankhnesneferibre was another long-lived God’s Wife ruling until her death in 525 B.C.E. The year the Persians invaded Egypt. Her successor Nitocris II, ruled only until the Persians took control of their new land(25). The office of Divine Adoratrice was over, the glorious royal women who served Egypt would never again offer sacrifices, adoration, or reenact age-old rituals in the Temple of Amun at Karnak.

 Resources
1) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pg 155
2) Karol Mysliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, translated by David Lorton pg. 115
3) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pgs 43, 44
4) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pg 27
5) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pg 150
6) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pgs 43, 44
7) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pg 153
8 ) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pg 48
9) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pg 151
10) Robin Gay, Women in Ancient Egypt, pg 150
11) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 313
12) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 288
13) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 312
14) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 314
15) Karol Mysliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, translated by David Lorton pg 34
16) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 332
17) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 331
18) Karol Mysliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, translated by David Lorton pg 57
19) Karol Mysliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, translated by David Lorton pg 94
20) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 335
21) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 345
22) Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 344
23) Karol Mysliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, translated by David Lorton pg 111
24) Karol Mysliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, translated by David Lorton pg 108, 109
25) Karol Mysliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, translated by David Lorton pg 131″

http://www.kingtutone.com/divine/

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Amenirdis the Great – Princess of Nubia – Queen of Egypt XXV Dynasty

Posted in Adoratrice, Akaluka, Akhamenerau, Amen, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amon, Amonardis, Amonirdis, Amoun, Amun, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Ankhnesneferibre, Assasif, Assyrian, Black Pharaohs, Chief Priestess, Deir el-Bahri, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Votaress, Divine Wife, Dynastic, Dynasty, Egypt, Egyptian, Egyptian History, Egyptian Queen, Egyptologists, Egyptology, el-Assasif, First Prophet, God, Goddess, Gods Hand, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Harwa, Karnak, Karnak Temple, Kashta, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Medinet Habu, Memphis, Montuemhet, Napata, Nasalsa, Necho, Nitocris, Nitoqret, Nubian, Nubian Queens, Oracle, Osorkon, Peshuper, Pharaoh, Pharaohs, Piankhi, Pie, Piye, Prenomen, Priest, Princess of Nubia, Psammetichus, Psammetik, Psamtek, Psamtik, Pye, Queen Amenirdis, Queen Amunirdis, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, Sais, Scribe, Scribe of Amenirdis, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaka Stone, Shabaqo, Shabitko, Shebitku, Shepenupet, Shepenwepet, Taharqa, Taharqo, Tanis, Tantamani, Temple of Amun, Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, Twenty Fifth Dynasty, Upper Egypt, Uraeus, Wadi Hammamat, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXV Dynasty, XXVI, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net

Amenirdis the Great – Princess of Nubia – Queen of Egypt XXV Dynasty

“The Ancient Kushite princess commonly known as Amenirdis I was the daughter of Kashta and sister of Piye and Shabaka. Kashta arranged to have her adopted by the Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Shepenupet I, at Thebes as her successor; this proves that he already controlled Upper Egypt prior to the reign of Piye, his successor. At the reign of Piye, Amenirdis was established as God’s Wife of Amun in Thebes, and this important post typifies the policy of the Napatan kings of Egypt and may anticipate the central role which royal women held in the later history of Kush.

She occupied one of the highest ranks a woman could attain in a cult of the god; that was the position known as God’s Wife. Another high temple rank for women was Divine Adoratrice, which in the 18th Dynasty was sometimes held by women of high status at court, like the mother of the queen, or by the wife of the high priest in the Amun cult at Karnak. From the reign of Osorkon III to that of Psammetik III, Thebes was ruled by a succession of five daughters of the ruling royal house who would live in Thebes and give all their attention to the god’s cult.

The first was Shepenwepet I, who was appointed Divine Wife by her father, Osorkon II, who received all the estates and property formerly possessed by the High Priest. She also officiated at the Temple of Osiris. Shepenwepet I continued in power under Osorkon’s successor, Takeloth III, though no mention of the Divine Wife appears in his records and he made no arrangements for a successor. When at the end of the Third Intermediate Period the rulers of Kush began to extend their authority into Egypt and took power away from the Libyans, Piankh invaded Thebes from Kush to become the first ruler of the 25th Dynasty.

He persuaded Shepenwepet I to adopt his sister Amenirdis, as successor. So Amenirdis carried the old title of Divine Adoratrice Apparent. Amenirdis I, sister of the general Piankh, reigned as Divine Wife under Piankh, Shabaka, and Shabitko of the 25th Dynasty. She in turne adopted Piankh’s daughter to succeed her as Shepenwepet II. Some years later Shepenwepet II adopted the daughter of Taharqa to reign as Amenirdis II.

There is a fragmentary stela that refers to Taharqa having given his daughter to marry the vizier Montuemhat and that they had a son named Nasalsa. When Amenirdis I died, her niece completed a mortuary chapel at Medinet Habu for her, though nothing now remains in the burial chapel. But her grave goods can be found in museums all over the world.”

http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/Pub/magazin/winter2008/110235000000000018.htm
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Egyptian Women in Power – Shepenwepet, Amenirdis, Nitoqret, Nitocris, Ankhnesneferibre – God’s Wife of Amun

Posted in Adoratrice, Akaluka, Akhamenerau, Amen, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amon, Amonardis, Amonirdis, Amoun, Amun, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Ankhnesneferibre, Assasif, Assyrian, Black Pharaohs, Chief Priestess, Deir el-Bahri, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Votaress, Divine Wife, Dynastic, Dynasty, Egypt, Egyptian, Egyptian History, Egyptian Queen, Egyptologists, Egyptology, el-Assasif, First Prophet, God, Goddess, Gods Hand, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Harwa, Karnak, Karnak Temple, Kashta, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Medinet Habu, Memphis, Montuemhet, Napata, Nasalsa, Necho, Nitocris, Nitoqret, Nubian, Nubian Queens, Oracle, Osorkon, Peshuper, Pharaoh, Pharaohs, Piankhi, Pie, Piye, Prenomen, Priest, Princess of Nubia, Psammetichus, Psammetik, Psamtek, Psamtik, Pye, Queen Amenirdis, Queen Amunirdis, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, Sais, Scribe, Scribe of Amenirdis, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaka Stone, Shabaqo, Shabitko, Shebitku, Shepenupet, Shepenwepet, Taharqa, Taharqo, Tanis, Tantamani, Temple of Amun, Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, Twenty Fifth Dynasty, Upper Egypt, Uraeus, Wadi Hammamat, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXV Dynasty, XXVI, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net

Egyptian Women in Power – Shepenwepet, Amenirdis, Nitoqret, Nitocris, Ankhnesneferibre – God’s Wife of Amun

“By the 23rd Dynasty, Egypt was under Libyan rule. From the reign of Osorkon III to that of Psammetik III, Thebes was ruled by a succession of five daughters of the ruling royal house who would live in Thebes and give all their attention to the god’s cult. The first was Shepenwepet I, who was appointed Divine Wife by her father, Osorkon II, who received all the estates and property formerly possessed by the High Priest.

She also officiated at the Temple of Osiris. Shepenwepet I continued in power under Osorkon’s successor, Takeloth III, though no mention of the Divine Wife appears in his records and he made no arrangements for a successor.

When at the end of the Third Intermediate Period the rulers of Kush began to extend their authority into Egypt and took power away from the Libyans, Piankh invaded Thebes from Kush to become the first ruler of the 25th Dynasty. He persuaded Shepenwepet I to adopt his sister Amenirdis, as successor. So Amenirdis carried the old title of Divine Adoratrice Apparent.

When Shepenwepet I died, she was buried along with several family members in a vault beneath the floor of her mortuary chapel at Medinet Habu.

Amenirdis I, sister of the general Piankh, reigned as Divine Wife under Piankh, Shabaka, and Shabitko of the 25th Dynasty. She in turned adopted Piankh’s daughter to succeed her as Shepenwepet II. Some years later Shepenwepet II adopted the daughter of Taharqa to reign as Amenirdis II. There is a fragmentary stela that refers to Taharqa having given his daughter to marry the vizier Montuemhat and that they had a son named Nasalsa.

When Amenirdis I died, her niece completed a mortuary chapel at Medinet Habu for her, though nothing now remains in the burial chapel. But her grave goods can be found in museums all over the world.

When the Assyrians first invaded Egypt, they placed a puppet, Necho of Sais, on the throne in the Delta. Taharqa had fled to Kush, leaving behind his wives and children. When Taharqa died, his successor, Tantamani, had a dream promising him Egypt, and marched north, killing Necho of Sais. The Assyrians again marched on Egypt and sacked Thebes. But Shepenwepet II remained in position as Divine Wife of Amun.

From Osorkon III’s time on, the title “Divine Wife of Amun” was that of a daughter of the king who became the consecrated wife of the god, Amun. She was expected to reside in Thebes and probably responsible to make known the will of Amun through oracular means. The Divine Wife held a second title, that of “Hand of the God.”

At this time, political power was held by Montuemhet, a man holding a minor political office. He was only Fourth Prophet of Amun, but also mayor of the city and governor of Upper Egypt. Taharqa had installed Montuemhet in Thebes when he was residing at the royal palace in Tanis in the Delta. After Taharqa fled Egypt, the Assyrians confirmed Montuemhet as vassal, and he boasts of protecting the city of Thebes and conducting ceremonies of purification in the despoiled temples.

Psammetik I became the first ruler of the 26th Dynasty, but was little more than an Assyrian vassal. Psammetik gradually formed an alliance with the rulers in Herakleopolis and was recognized as overlord. When he was recognized as ruler by Thebes, who had still considered the Kushites their king, Egypt was once again unified and could declare itself independent from Assyria. Psammetik appointed his daughter Nitoqret as Divine Wife of Amun.

Other women were still involved in serving in the temple, not just the daughter of the king. The title “singer in the temple of Amun” was held by approximately 100 women from the reigns of Takelot II to the end of the 26th Dynasty. They were most likely retainers of the god’s wives, and some are buried not far from the tomb chapels of the 25th and 26th Dynasties at Medinet Habu.

Shepenwepet II meanwhile, the reigning Divine Wife, already had an adopted daughter, Amenirdis II, to succeed her. Both of them were loyal to Tantamani, the Nubian. But Nitoqret did not arrive in Thebes until some months after Tantamani was already dead.

It has been suggested that Nitoqret was adopted by Amenirdis II, who was Divine Wife Apparent at that time, and not by Shepenwepet II. But possibly, Shepenwepet II adopted Nitoqret, and Amenirdis II returned to Kush.

This adoption of Nitoqret was recorded on a great granite stela at Karnak which tells how she was escorted from the Delta to Thebes in a long procession of boats bearing much dowry. It describes how, in the spring of 655 BCE, Nitoqret and her retinue boarded ships from the Delta and sailed to Thebes.

Montuemhet accepted Nitoqret as Divine Wife, and agreed to allow the king to appoint not only her officials but also the governor and border commander of the area to the south of Thebes. In return Montuemhet was allowed to retain his position as mayor of Thebes. Probably in return for his new loyalty, Montuemhet’s tomb near Deir el-Bahri is magnificent, its large pylon dominating the plain. It has a vast underground complex and enormous sun-court adorned with statues of him.

The God’s Wife now dressed in royal insignia, including the uraeus, was accorded royal titles and even wrote her name in a royal cartouche. She owned about 2000 acres of fertile land in both the Delta and in Upper Egypt.

Rather than administering her own wealth, Nitoqret’s father Psammetik I appointed an overseer who would answer to him. But once the king died, Nitoqret appointed her own men, loyal to her. Nitoqret was given some 2000 acres of land in both Upper and Lower Egypt. Every day, Nitiqret was to receive from the fourth priest of Amun, his eldest son, his wife, and from the first and third priests of Amun, a total of 600 deben of bread, 11 hin (just under half a liter) of milk, 2 1/6 cakes, 2 2/3 bundles of herbs. Monthly she would receive 3 oxen, 5 geese, 20 heben of beer, and the yield of many fields. Various temples gave her 1500 deben of bread. She thus received 2100 deben of bread daily and over 2000 acres in eleven nomes.

Nitoqret reigned for over fifty years, not appointing a successor in all that time. During her time, the Assyrians invaded and Thebes was sacked, the temple robbed of its treasure. But when she was in her eighties, in 594 BCE, she adopted the daughter of Psammetik II, her great niece Ankhnesneferibre. This girl not only took the title of Divine Wife of Amun, she was also given the title of First Prophet or High Priest of Amun, the only woman known to hold this office. Her beautiful stone sarcophagus shows her effigy wearing a queen’s headdress and holding the flail and crook scepters of Egypt.

Eight years later, Nitoqret died. Her funerary inscription bears language very similar to that used by the kings themselves. 

Year 4 of Apries, 4th month of Shomu, day 4, the Divine Wife Nitoqret, justified, was raised up into heaven, being united with the sun’s disk, the divine flesh being merged with him who made it.

She was buried at Medinet Habu. Though her burial chamber was pilfered, her sarcophagus sits in the Cairo Museum.

Ankhnesneferibre could not prevent King Amasis from appointing his own man as her steward. When the King of Persia conquered Egypt, she had reigned for 60 years. When the Persians conquered Egypt, the office of God’s Wife was discontinued and never again resurrected.

Sources: 

  • Position of Women in the Egyptian Hierarchy by Aylward Blackman, JEA 7
  • Daughters of Isis by Joyce Tyldesley
  • Celibacy and Adoption Among God’s Wives of Amun and Singers in Temple of Amun by Emily Teeter
  • Women in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Watterson
  • Women in Ancient Egypt by Gay Robins “

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/women2.htm

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