Queens of the Ramesside Dynasty in New Kingdom Egypt

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Ancient Egypt - Ramesside Queens

Although not as influential as the queens of Dynasty XVIII, the Ramesside queens continued to play a prominent role. In the New Kingdom, the Queen became much more prominent and powerful. She acquired in her own right secular and religious titles that carried with them genuine jobs to do and estates with land, servants and administrators to provide an independent income. The title God's Wife of Amun provided the queen with her own source of money and gave her a considerable degree of independence. It is clear, that Queens such as Nefertari, Tiy, Tuya, Istnofret and Tauosret enjoyed this independence and played an important role in the running of Egypt and the Empire during its so-called, 'Glory days.'

It is very possible that Ramesses II's Chief Royal Wife (his favorite from many)- 'Nefertari', grew up as the daughter of a nobleman in Thebes. She most likely became Ramesses II's first wife when the prince was only 15. It was Nefertari who bore Ramesses II his first male heir 'Amun-her-khepseshef' (Amun Is with His Strong Arm) as well as at least three more sons and two more daughters all after his ascension to the throne. It can be said that Nefertari certainly wielded a great deal of influence over Egypt during her time, she:

* Held titles 'King's Great Wife', 'Mistress of the South and the North' and 'Lady of the Two lands'

* Epithet 'Beloved of Mut'

* Was possibly the granddaughter, daughter or niece of Ay

* Accompanied Ramesses II on all ceremonial occasions e.g. investitures, religious festivals and processions.

* Is depicted in offering scenes with Ramesses II at Karnak, Luxor and Gebel el Silsila

* Has a temple dedicated to her at Abu Simbel

* Appeared in statuary on the faç;ade of temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel

* Was identified with the Godesses Hathor of Ishbek and Sothis

* Died between Years 24 and 30

* Was buried in a lavish tomb in the Valley of the Queens (QV66).

Ramesses II...
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