171) Nefertiti Neferneferuaten
Egyptian Queen and Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten
Born: c. 1370 BC, Thebes, Egypt
Died: c. 1331 BC, Egypt
Her name means “Beautiful of the Beauties of Aten, a Beautiful Woman has Come.”
Nefertiti is one of the most iconic figures from Ancient Egypt thanks to her alluring bust (and by that, I mean statue of her head and not…you know).
It is believed by some that she was the daughter of Ay—a top adviser who would go on to become Pharaoh after Tutankhamun’s death (and he would marry one of Nefertiti’s daughters--Ankhesenamun, so you know—gross).
Nefertiti lived through one of the greatest religious upheavals in Ancient Egypt—her husband decided to displace the main god of the Egyptian Pantheon—Amun—and supplant Aten in his place—downplaying all the other gods as well into basically what would become the first Monotheistic Empire.
Nefertiti is seen with a frequency unseen by any other Egyptian Queen in the empire’s history and is sometimes even seen in a position of power larger than her husband’s.
She gave the king six daughters but no male heir. Her daughters were: Meritaten, Ankhesenamun, Meketaten, Neferneferure, Setepenre, and Nefernefernuaten Tasherit.
Akhenaten had other wives though and one of them would be the mother of Tutankhamun—thought for years to be one of his lesser wives we now know Tutankhamun’s mother was also Akhenaten’s sister—but her name is not known beyond that of The Younger Lady.
Nefertiti disappears from the historical record in her husband’s twelfth year as Pharaoh leading many to believe she died; however another popular theory is that she changed roles and become her husband’s co-regent serving after him as the Pharaoh Smenkhkare—though this has yet to be definitively proven.
If this is true, she would have been the start of reversing her husband’s religious policies and returning Egypt to the polytheistic roots we all remember.
Find a Grave Marked
Located In My Personal Library:
Nefertiti by Joyce A Tyldesley
Nefertiti & Cleopatra by Julia Samson
Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley
The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt by Helen Strudwick
The Great Book of Ancient Egypt: In the Realm of the Pharaohs by Zahi Hawass
King Tutankhamun: The Treasures of the Tomb by Zahi Hawass
Lost Bodies by Jenni Davis
Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World edited by Ann R Williams
Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt by Rosalie David
Scanning the Pharaohs by Zahi Hawass and Sahar Saleem
Secret Egypt by Zahi Hawass
The Pharaohs by Dr. Joyce Tyldesley
National Geographic History Magazine Article "Nefertiti: Iconic Queen of Egypt" written by the editors of National Geographic (January/February 2022 Edition)
National Geographic History Magazine Article "King Tut's Unsolved Mysteries" by Ann R Williams (November/December 2022 Edition)
National Geographic Presents "Queens of Egypt When Women Ruled the World" by Kara Cooney
Warfare and Weaponry in Ancient Egypt by Rebecca A Dean
The Woman who Would be King by Kara Cooney
When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt by Kara Cooney