Nefertiti – lost to history?

The famous bust of Nefertit gets a CT Scan
The famous bust of Nefertit gets a CT Scan

Hi GirlMoguls – it’s Rose, and I hope you’re close to wrapping up Sphinx’s Princess – we’ll be posting some more about the actual book but I wanted to follow up on the Truth or Fiction part of Nefertiti’s life…In my last post I gave you some deets on what historians think they really know about her life – how her father was probably Ay (who later became a Pharaoh himself) and her sister really was Bit-Bit…and how she married the Pharaoh Akhenaten and changed Ancient Egypt’s religious practices.    Nefertiti was a powerful queen – she is often shown in paintings in poses usually reserved for pictures of a Pharaoh.  Historians and scholars think this means she was revered as one powerful lady, perhaps even considered a co-regent (or ruler) along with her husband.

But then something happened….After the 14th year of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s reign, all historical references to Nefertiti disappear – like she was totally forgotten.  At first, a lot of historians thought that she fell into disgrace (nobody knew why) and all references to her were erased by later Pharaoh’s – pretty harsh if you ask me.  Now, though, most scholars think that it was different wife of Akhenaten (Pharaoh’s usually had one main wife and many “minor” ones, though regular Egyptian men seemed to stick with just one wife at a time…)

Anyhoo…now people believed that Akhenaten probably died and that Nefertiti changed her name to Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten and then to Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare  (no one is sure why…)  and ruled on her own, while getting her daughter and her daughters husband Tutankhamun (yep, that King Tut) ready to become the Pharaoh.  And as it turns out, Tut was her stepson too – apparently the ancient Egyptians didn’t have a problem with princesses and princes marrying close family members…

Well, even with her being the stepmother of King Tut, possibly the most famous mummy in Egyptian history, no one knows for sure what happened to Nefertiti – some scientists think they have identified a mummy found in tomb known as KV35 (in the Valley of the Kinfgs) as Nefertiti.  Others aren’t so sure – claiming that mummy is really a man.   It doesn’t look like this mystery will be solved any time soon, as there isn’t enough DNA from a mummy of say a known daughter of Neferititi with any of these unknown mummies – thereby proving that one of them could indeed be the Queen…Did you know they could do DNA testing on mummies – pretty cool if you ask me….

So that’s what happened to Nefertiti – sort of – in other words, we might never know for sure all the little details about Nefertiti, but I think we can pretty much conclude from what we do know that she was one powerful lady.  So next time you’re looking for a girl power hero, you can go back, way back in time.

Stay tuned for some more fun posts about Sphinx’s Princess…

GirlMogul Rose
GirlMogul Rose

Posted by GirlMogul Rose

Nefertiti Unraveled

nefertitiandAkhenatenSo GirlMoguls, now that you’re making your way through Sphinx’s Princess, you’re probably wondering just who was Nefertiti? We know she was a real person, since there are statues, pictures and hieroglyphics that refer to her. We know she was the wife of a Pharaoh, but beyond that not much is known. Why? Because at some point, someone went through the historical record and tried to erase all evidence that she even existed. Of course the Nefertiti we know wouldn’t let that happen to her easily…so here’s what Egyptologists (scientists and researchers who specialize in the study of Ancient Egypt) think they know about our Princess…

Nefertiti lived around 1370 BC- 1330 BC) was the Great Royal Wide of Pharaoh Akhenaten (also known as Amenhotep IV…but never Thutmose). She and Akhenaten were famous for changing the Egypt’s religion from a polytheistic (where they worshiped many gods) to a more monotheistic one, where they focused on one god, Aten, the sun god (we see hints of this in Nefertiti’s conversations with Nava (or Berett).

Scholars aren’t totally sure about who her parents were, but they are pretty sure her father was Ay (who later became Pharaoh through some nefarious scheming – which totally doesn’t sound like the way her dad is in the book) and that her sister was Mutnedjmet who also married someone important (which ensured that her name was written down somewhere and thus preserved forever in memory).

NefertitidaughterNefertiti and her husband had 6 daughters (wow!), one of whom became the Queen of the Famous Boy King, Pharaoh Tut! About four years into their marriage, Nefertiti and her husband started great changes in Egypt – I mean for a 1000 years, the Egyptians are going happily along their business, worshipping all their different gods, and then poof – their king and queen say nope – wrongo – there is only this one god Aten. They also started to build a new capitol city in Amarna – moving the palace away from Thebes…

These two shook up the whole country and well they could do that because they were absolute rulers – no one could really argue with them. And it’s clear that Nefertiti played a big role in this and was a pretty powerful lady. In fact she’s shown in a temple relief (stone sculpture carved into a wall – like a 3-D mural) smiting a foreign enemy with a mace (a big club). Usually only the male Pharaoh got a picture like that, but nope, our lady Nefertiti is one warrior babe!

And then…Nefertiti just vanishes from the historical record and there is no word of her after that date…Yikes! What happened – check in tomorrow for the answer.

Posted by GirlMogul Rose