Changing Roles of

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queens“Evaluate the changing roles of queens during the reign of Amenhotep 3 and Akhenaten”

In Egypt's New Kingdom, the role of queens during the reign of Amenhotep 3 and Akhenaten significantly transformed from the confinements of their traditional roles as passive heirs to the throne who provided a divine consort for the king. This is evident through Queen Tiye and Queen Ahmose-Nefertiti through the depictions and evidence displaying the prominent roles in political and religious policies Queens began to assume.

Queen Tiye was the Chief Queen and matriarch of the Amarna family. The wife of Amenhotep III and mother to Akhenaten is assumed to be the beginning of the significant changing roles of Queens in New Kingdom Egypt. It is believed that soon after Amenhotep’s accession to the throne or even as part of his coronation ceremonies, the young king was married to Tiye and he publicized this important event through a series of commemorative scarabs that was inscribed and circulated around the kingdom. The scarabs which gave mention and honored Queen Tiye, ‘live mighty bull, shining in truth…smiter of the asiatics, good god, ruler of Thebes, Lord of strength…Amenhotep, who is given life and great kings wife Tiye, who liveth…’ This is the first time that a queen’s name was cited in the royal titulary. The devotion and attention the pharaoh dedicated to Queen Tiye and the importance she held to Amenhotep is evident and reinforced through his monument-building craze where he devoted a number of shrines to Tiye such as the Temple at Sedeinga and Soleb at Nubia, a palace for the Chief Queen and ‘his majesty commanded to make a lake for the Great King’s Wife, Tiye, in her city of Djakura.’ This process of great devotion and flattery was followed and furthered by Akhenaten. This can be seen through Queen Nefertiti’s depiction on the walls of temples at Thebes, which is described as Queen Nefertiti’s ‘her greatest honor’ along with ‘illustrations of Nefertiti...
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