Nefertiti Was A Powerful Queen But Never A Pharaoh – Researcher Says

Last Updated on - Nefertiti was one of the most mysterious historical people of ancient Egypt.

There is still much we don’t know about her and her sudden disappearance after being elevated to near-equal status by King Akhenaten.

Queen Nefertiti

Queen Nefertiti

As previously mentioned on Ancient Pages, Queen Nefertiti was of the eighteenth dynasty, fourteenth century BC. Some think she was the daughter of Ay, brother to Queen Tiye, wife of Amunhotep III. However, DNA evidence from the mummy believed now to be Nefertiti says otherwise. It also shows she was not the sister or cousin of Akhenaten. Some think she may have been a foreign princess, perhaps Tadukhipa of Mitanni.

Was Princess Tadukhipa Of The Mitanni Kingdom Queen Nefertiti?

It has been suggested Nefertiti was also a pharaoh, but renowned Egyptologist Dr. Joyce Tyldesley from the University of Manchester argues she never reached that status. Queen Nefertiti was just one of a series of powerful queens who played an influential role in Egyptian history.

In 1912, German excavator Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust of the Queen in an ancient workshop.It was, argues Dr. Tyldesley, the beauty of her famous limestone and plaster sculpture—reportedly Hitler's favorite piece of ancient art—which propelled her into the public spotlight after it was put on public display in 1923.

It was then that Egyptologists began – wrongly says Dr. Tyldesley—to argue that she was unusually powerful, and maybe even that she ruled Egypt.

“Though most people and many Egyptologists believe Nefertiti was an unusually powerful royal woman, and possibly even a pharaoh, I believe this was not the case.

He husband Akhenaten died around 1336 BC; Tutankhamun—who was possibly Nefertiti's son—became pharaoh in approximately 1336 BC. It has been argued that Nefertiti ruled Egypt, filling in this gap and perhaps influencing the early reign of Tutankhamen.

But she wasn't born a royal, and for a non-royal woman to become king would have been unprecedented. Her daughter Meritaten, however, was indeed born a royal – and so is a more likely candidate for pharaoh, if anyone is, “Dr. Tyldesley said.

She added: "It's quite easy to explain why the bust is so appealing and why it has made Nefertiti so famous today: it's a beautiful work of art which seems to cast its spell on anyone who looks at it.

See also:

What Happened To The Mysterious And Beautiful Queen Nefertiti?

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"Some have claimed it's a fake but they are completely wrong. I have no doubt the object on display in Germany is the real thing; it's truly remarkable.

The sculpture's admirers tend to see their own cultures and interests reflected in her image; Hitler, for example, presumably saw her as Aryan.

Soon after it went on display in 1923, replica busts were made and circulated, in a sophisticated PR operation that has been going on ever since, helping to establish today's cult.

But just because she is Egypt's most famous and powerful queen in our world does not mean she was Egypt's famous and powerful queen in her world.”

Dr. Tyldesley presents this theory in her upcoming book Nefertiti's Face: the Creation of an Icon.

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