Archive for the Egyptian Goddess Category

The Hand of God – Gods Wives of Amun – Ancient Egypt – Karnak Temple Complex

Posted in Abode of Amun, Adoption, Adoratrice, Adoratrix, AEMES, Ahmose, Ahmose Nefertari, Akaluka, Akhamenerau, Amen, Amen-Ra, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amnirdis, Amon, Amonardis, Amonirdis, Amoun, Amun, Amun-Ra, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egyptian, Ankh, Ankhnesneferibre, Apries, Atum, Black Pharaohs, cartouche, ceremonies, Chantress, Chantress of Amun, Chief Priestess, Co-Regent, consort, Coronation Name, creation myth, De Ese Hebsed, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Divine Adoratrices, Divine Adoratrix, Divine One, Divine Votaress, Divine Wife, Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun, Dynastic, Dynasty, Egypt, Egyptian Goddess, Egyptian History, Egyptian Queen, Egyptological Research, Egyptologists, Egyptology, EgyptSites, falcon tail feathers, False Door, First Prophet, Flagellum, God, Goddess, Gods Hand, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Great Royal Wife, Harwa, Hatshepsut, Heka Djet, Henuttawy, Hieroglyphic, Hieroglyphics, Hieroglyphs, High Priest of Amun, High Priestess, High Priests, Inner Abode of Amun, Ished Trees, Isis, Karnak, Karnak Temple, Kashta, Khonsu, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Kushite Queen, Lady of the House, Late Period, Lord of Life, Lord of Thebes, Luxor, Luxor Egypt, Maat, Maatkare, Menat, Middle Kingdom, Min, Misr, Museum, Mut, Neb Ankh, New Kingdom, Nitocris, Nitoqret, Nubian, Nubian King, Nubian Queens, Oracle, Osiris, Osiris Hall, Osorkon, Peshuper, Pharaoh, Pharaohs, Pinudjem, Precinct of Amun, Prenomen, Priest, Princess of Nubia, Psamtik, Ptah, Ptolemaic Temple, Queen Amenirdis, Queen Amunirdis, Queen of Egypt, religious ceremonies, Research, royal ladies, Royal Uraeus, Ruler of Eternity, Saite, Saite Dynasty, Scribe, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaqo, Shabitko, Shebitku, Shepenupet, Shepenwepet, Sheshonq, Shrine, shwty plumes, Sistrum, Sole wife of the God, Taharqa, Taharqo, Takelot, Tanis, Tantamani, Temple of Amun, Temple of Khonsu, Temple of Ptah, Temples, Theban, Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, Tiye and Nefertari, Tomb, Tombs, Twenty Fifth Dynasty, Two Lands, Upper Egypt, Uraeus, Votaress, vulture headdress, Wahibre, Waset, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, www.EgyptSites.co.uk, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXV Dynasty, XXVI, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net

The “Hand of God” – “God’s Wives of Amun” – Ancient Egypt – Karnak Temple Complex

“I had recently become very interested in the religious role of ‘God’s Wife of Amun’ so I set off for the northern part of Karnak to investigate their shrines. At least this was away from the more crowded areas of the temples, which became more deserted as I walked past the open air museum on the path towards the Temple of Ptah. There are several chapels of the Gods’ Wives on the left hand side of the path, in various states of ruin, but some still had some interesting reliefs.

Path to the shrines at Karnak

During the Late Period the wives of kings are rarely represented, but in Thebes, the female office of the ‘God’s Wife of Amun’, or ‘Divine Adoratrice’ is often seen as supremely important, a figure holding a position of power and wealth even greater than that of the High Priest. The title of ‘God’s Wife’ can be traced right back to the Middle Kingdom, but the office became more prominent at the beginning of the New Kingdom, with Ahmose-Nefertari, wife of Ahmose I, whose donation stele found at Karnak, tells us much about her role. At that time the title was usually given to the wife of the reigning king, her names were written in a cartouche and she was often succeeded by her daughter. Many royal ladies of the New Kingdom were associated with this office, at least nominally, including Queens Hatshepsut, Tiye and Nefertari.

Duties of the God’s Wife were essentially religious, associated with musical ceremonies and titles such as ‘Chantress of the Abode of Amun’, and often with fertility connotations. Her function was to play the part of the consort of the god Amun in religious ceremonies, stressing the belief that kings were conceived from the union between Amun and the Great Royal Wife. The title ‘The Hand of the God’ was also sometimes used when referring to her relationship to Atum in a creation myth – Atum’s hand being regarded as female. The regalia changed through Dynasties XVIII to XX, but usually included the vulture headdress with uraeus and often the shwty plumes, or falcon tail feathers worn by Amun and Min, or sometimes the sundisc and Hathor horns on a modius, a sort of circular crown. In the later new Kingdom a pleated robe with a red sash replaced the earlier slim sheath dress. Her insignia included the sistrum, menat, a variety of musical instruments and the flagellum.

God's Wives Shepenwepet & AmenirdisFrom Dynasty XXI onwards it was always the king’s unmarried daughter or sister who was given the title of ‘God’s Wife’ and the role became increasingly important. Maatkare, daughter of Pinudjem I is depicted as God’s Wife in the Temple of Khonsu at the southern side of Karnak. Her titles were ‘Divine Adoratrice, sole wife of the god’. Henuttawy, daughter of Pinudjem II is also depicted here. It was from this time on that the God’s Wives adopted a coronation name as well as a birth name. During the reigns of the Libyan kings, their sons were given the office of High Priest of Amun and their daughters the title of ‘God’s Wife of Amun’. Some of the daughters of Libyan Chiefs and Egyptian elite were called ‘Chantress of the Inner Abode of Amun’ and presided over a college of priestesses, which seems to have been a kind of upper class convent.

At Karnak, several chapels were dedicated to Osiris and to Amun who was, by the Late Period, associated with him. They were mostly built during the period when Nubian kings ruled at Thebes and were dedicated by the reigning ‘God’s Wives’. The first shrine I came to on the northern path, the chapel of Osiris Neb-ankh (Lord of Life) dating to the Dynasty XXV reign of the Nubian King Shabaka, is in a fairly ruinous condition. Although there is now little remaining of the pylon entrance, courtyard and two inner chambers, the cartouches of Shabaka and the God’s Wife Amenirdis (I) can still be seen on the entrance.

Chapel of AnkhnesneferibreThe second structure here is better preserved with some good reliefs. This is the (earlier) chapel of Ankhnesneferibre who was a daughter of King Psamtik II of the Saite Dynasty XXVI and sister of King Wahibre (Apries). We know from surviving texts that this lady arrived in Thebes at only seven months old (in 595 BC) and was eventually installed as ‘High Priest’ of Amun. The next structure is her later chapel which is larger still and originally had a four-columned hall and a sanctuary at the rear. Parts of the gates survive and reliefs of Ankhnesneferibre before various deities can be clearly seen, including cartouches of Kings Ahmose II and Psamtik III. In one of the reliefs she is followed by her chief steward and fan-bearer who is named here as Sheshonq. There are also some lovely depictions of a lion-headed cobra and a strange underworld deity with two duck’s heads.

Shepenwepet's Chapel of Osiris Neb-ankhNext to Ankhnesneferibre’s chapel is another tiny shrine, also a chapel of Osiris Neb-ankh. This is like a little dolls-house, dedicated by the God’s Wife Shepenwepet (II), a daughter of King Taharqa of Dynasty XXV. Said to be perhaps the smallest religious monument in Egypt with a doorway only a little over a metre high leading to a tiny inner chamber, it is difficult to imagine any ceremony taking place here. There are some superb deeply-carved reliefs inside this little shrine with cartouches of Shepenwepet (II) and her sister the ‘God’s Wife’ Amenirdis, (II) as well as a cartouche inscribed for Osiris Neb-ankh.

Bypassing the Temple of Ptah I walked over to the next Osiris structure, an enigmatic little chapel, now just a small single chamber, dedicated by Amenirdis to Osiris De-ese-hebsed, also dating from Dynasty XXV. There were two God’s Wives named Amenirdis, the first a daughter of King Kashta and the second, who constructed this monument, was daughter of the Nubian King Taharqa. I had already seen the chapels at Medinet Habu belonging to this royal lady. Moving on I passed the scant remains of a Ptolemaic Temple of Osiris, no more than a lintel and two door-jambs.

Temple of Osiris Heka-djetAgainst the eastern enclosure wall is the largest remaining and one of the earliest chapels dedicated by the God’s Wives at Karnak. This is the Temple of Osiris Heka-djet (’Osiris, Ruler of Eternity’) which was built by the Libyan king Osorkon III and his son, the High Priest of Amun, Takelot III of Dynasty XXIII. This structure has high walls and I had to find a guard to let me inside through the locked door. Though there was once an entrance gate and a courtyard, these are now gone and I went straight into the first of three small rooms, the two innermost rooms being the earliest part of the temple. High on one wall there is a lovely relief of Shepenwepet (I) presenting an image of Ma’at to Amun and receiving a menat necklace from the goddess Isis, while her successor, Amenirdis (I), receives an ankh from Amun and Mut. There are some very unusual reliefs in this temple, including the only known depiction of a God’s Wife, Shepenwepet, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, complete with royal uraeus, normally a strict prerogative of the pharaoh. Another beautiful and unique dual-scene shows the two rulers, Osorkon and his co-regent Takelot, back to back under two ished-trees, while the gods write the kings’ names on the leaves. There is also an unusual series of seven false doors each one carved inside the other. I loved this little temple, it was just a pity that the combination of shadows and shallow reliefs did not offer a good opportunity for photography.”

http://egyptsites.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/the-hand-of-god/

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

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Brooklyn Museum: Dig Diary – http://digdiary.blogspot.com/

Posted in Adoption, Adoratrice, Aidan Dodson, Akaluka, Akhamenerau, Amen-Ra, Amenardis, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amonardis, Amonirdis, Amoun, Amun, Amun-Ra, Amunardis, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Ankhefenamon, Ankhnesneferibre, Apet, Ashdod, Assasif, Assyria, Black Pharaohs, Book of the Dead, Brooklyn Museum, Chief Priestess, Conundrum, David Aston, Dig Diary, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Divine One, Divine Votaress, Doorkeeper, Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun, Dynastic, Egypt, Egyptian, Egyptian Dates, Egyptian Goddess, Egyptian History, Egyptian Queen, Egyptian Years, Egyptological Research, Egyptologists, Egyptology, el-Assasif, Goddess, Gods Hand, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Grand Steward, Great of the Greats, Harwa, Harwa’s Tomb, Hatnefrumut, Hatshepsut, Hieroglyphic, Hieroglyphics, Hieroglyphs, High Priestess, High Priests, High Steward, Iamanni, Karl Jansen-Winkeln, Karnak, Karnak Temple, Kashta, Kawa, Kenneth Kitchen, Khaneferumut, Khons, Khonsu, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Lady of the House, Late Period, Lord, Lord of Thebes, Luxor, Medinet Habu, Meroë, Montu, Montu-Ra, Mut, Napata, Neferkare, Nestaureret, Nitocris, Nubia, Nubian, Nubian King, Nubian Kingdom, Osiris, Osiris Hall, Osorkon, Padimut, Peshuper, Pharaoh, Pharaohs, Precinct of Amun, Prenomen, Priest, Princess of Nubia, Psammetichus, Psamtek, Psamtik, Queen Amenirdis, Queen Amunirdis, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, Ra, Re, Regnal Years, Research, Rolf Krauss, Sargon, Scribe, Scribe of Amenirdis, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaka Stone, Shabaqo, Shebitku, Shepenupet, Shepenwepet, Solar Eclipses, Stelae, Steward of the Divine Votaress, Sudan, Taharqa, Taharqo, Takelot, Tang-i Var, Tashakheper, Temple of Amun, Temples, Theban, Theban Necropolis, Theban Tomb, Thebes, Third Cataract, Third Intermediate Period, TT37, Twenty Fifth Dynasty, Votaress, Waset, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXV Dynasty, XXVI Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net

“An end and a beginning

On March 23, 2007 the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art opens at the Brooklyn Museum. To celebrate the opening and the accompanying exhibition, “Pharaohs, Queens and Goddesses”, we decided to devote the last posting of the 2007 season at the Mut Precinct to some of the female figures, mortal and divine, associated with the site.

Hatshepsut being crowned by Amun-Re and granted life and dominion by the goddess “Great in Magic”, from the reconstructed Red Chapel in the Karnak Open Air Museum. An early 18th Dynasty temple at Mut dates to the reign of this woman who ruled as king.

“God’s Wife of Amun” was an important female priestly title in Thebes. In the 1st millennium BC it was usually held by a sister or daughter of the reigning king, each God’s Wife adopting her successor. They became so powerful that they were able to have themselves represented in roles normally played by the king.

In scenes of goddesses suckling humans, the human is normally the king, with the scene representing the transfer of life and power. Yet in this scene in the Chapel of Osiris-Ruler-of-Eternity at Karnak, not only is the God’s Wife of Amun, Shepenwepet I, being suckled, she is also wearing 2 Double Crowns, something shown nowhere else in any period.

In her funerary chapel at the temple of Medinet Habu, Amunirdis makes offerings to Amun and Hathor. The presence of funerary chapels to mortals within the sacred grounds of a temple is rare until the Third Intermediate Period, a time when God’s Wives of Amun flourished.

Intangible concepts could also be represented as goddesses. In a scene commemorating an important military campaign by Sheshonq I of Dynasty 22, the goddess “Victorious Thebes”, carrying a mace, an axe and a bow, drags conquered cities (shown as bound prisoners with the city names enclosed in cartouches representing fortified walls) to be slaughtered.

Upper and Lower Egypt were represented as the goddesses Nekhbet (right) and Wadjet. Scenes of the king flanked by these protective deities are common in all periods of Egyptian history. This one comes from the Mut Precinct’s Ptolemaic Chapel D.


Keeping Mut and Sakhmet happy was a main function of the Mut priesthood. In this scene from the Mut Precinct’s main entrance the king (holding Hathor-headed sistra) and two priestesses play music to Mut and Sakhmet to amuse them and keep them contented.


Two busts of Sakhmet in the Mut Precinct. Sakhmet angered could release disease and disaster on Egypt. Contented she could control these forces, which is why she is a goddess of health and healing as well as of death and destruction.


These 3 reliefs of Mut span a period of several hundred years. On the left is a relief from Amunirdis’s funerary chapel at Medinet Habu; in the center a relief from the chapel of Osiris-Ruler-of-Eternity at Karnak; and on the right a relief in Chapel D at the Mut Precinct. In all three scenes Mut appears in her usual guise of a human wearing the Double Crown.

And finally, a stela of a king offering to Mut that we uncovered in 2006. While the stela is uninscribed, it is entirely possible that it dates to the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, showing that Mut continued as an important goddess even after Egypt’s conquest by Rome.

Richard Fazzini
Director, Mut Expedition”

Re: Blogs

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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. 

 

http://www.Amenardis.net/
http://www.Amenirdis.net/
http://www.Amunirdis.net/

‘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]
http://www.Amenardis.net/
http://www.Amenirdis.net/
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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.
http://Queen.Amenardis.net/
http://www.Amenardis.net/
http://www.Amenirdis.net/
http://www.Amunirdis.net/
http://amunirdis.blogspot.com/2009/02/amenirdis-amunirdis-khaneferumut.html