1091: Tetisheri

The Mother of Egypt’s New Kingdom

Birth and Death Dates Unknown; Ancient Egypt

Tetisheri was born to nobles (but not of royal blood) and was not related to her husband in any way, something that was practically unheard of in Egypt’s royal families. Her husband was Senakhtenre Ahmose and her son was Seqenenre Tao. It is believed Tetisheri was also the mother of Queen Ahhotep I.

As regent to her son, she exercised great military might and may have even helped actively recruit troops in order to fight the Hyksos. When Seqenenre Tao died fighting the Hyksos, Kamose became Pharaoh, but he too died in the fighting. This made Ahmose, son of Seqenenre Tao and Ahhotep, pharaoh. Ahhotep served as regent for her son, but both looked to Tetisheri for advice. Remember, Tetisheri was Ahhotep’s mother and the grandmother of the pharaoh, and some claim she also acted as regent for Ahmose as well. This would either mean Ahhotep and Tetisheri served as Regent, that they both served as regent at different intervals in time, or that one was regent and not the other. Unfortunately, the historical record for three thousand years ago is not known for its clarity and completeness.

Tetisheri was the first Queen to wear the vulture headdress of the Goddess Nekhbet. Tetisheri served as her husband’s “Great Wife”, a title granted to the highest ranking of the Pharaoh’s wives. Her title, combined with the vulture headdress, set a precedent for many Great Wives to follow throughout the rest of Egypt’s history.

It is believed Tetisheri lived to the grand age of seventy.

Tetisheri has a pyramid at Abydos and a lavish tomb at Thebes. Her mummy was discovered in tomb DB 320, which contained forty-six mummies from dynasty’s seventeen through twenty-two.

Badges Earned:

Located In My Personal Library:

Scanning the Pharaohs by Zahi Hawass and Sahar Saleem

When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt by Kara Cooney

National Geographic History Article “Three of a Kind, the Rebel Queens of Thebes” (July/August 2017 Edition)