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Encyclopedia > Ankhesenamen
Tutankhamen receives flowers from Ankhesenamun

Ankhesenamun (b. Ankhesenpaaten, ca. 1348 – after 1325 BC), which means She who lives through Amun, was the third of six known daughters of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti. She was probably born in year 4 of Akhenaten's reign and by year 12 she was joined by her three younger sisters. Image File history File links Anuk. ... Image File history File links Anuk. ... Pharaoh is a title used to refer to any ruler, usually male, of the Egyptian kingdom in the pre-Christian, pre-Islamic period. ... Neferkheperre-waenre Beautiful are the forms of Re, the one of Re Nomen Akhenaten He who is beneficial to the Aten (after Year 4 of his reign) Amenhotep Horus name Meryaten Nebty name Wernesytemakhetaten Golden Horus Wetjesrenenaten[1] Consort(s) Nefertiti, Kiya Meritaten, Ankhesenpaaten Issues Smenkhkare? Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten... Great Royal Wife (or ḥmt nswt wrt) is the term used to refer to the chief wife of an Egyptian pharaoh on the day of his coronation. ... Bust of Nefertiti from Berlins Altes Museum. ...


Early life

Ankhesenpaaten was born in a time when Egypt was in transition (ca. 1348 BC). Her father had abandoned the old gods of Egypt in favor of the Aten, a minor facet of the sun-god Re who was represented by the physical Sun Disk. She is believed to have been born in Waset (present-day Thebes), but probably grew up in her father's new capital city of Akhetaten (present-day Tell el-Amarna). The three eldest girls – Meritaten, Meketaten, and Ankhesenpaaten – became the "Senior Princesses". Ankhesenamun is most frequently shown on private household stelas found in the ruins of Amarna houses sitting on her mother's lap playing with the rest of her sisters. Ankhesenamun was born probably during year 4 or 5 of Akhenaten's reign.

Later life

Few documents have survived from the Amarna period that can give definitive answers to the questions raised about the royal family during this time. The chaos associated with this period, the movement of the capital and the upheaval of the religious heirarchy, and the subsequent deliberate destruction of evidence of this heresy, makes it difficult to give definitive statements about royal lineage and the circumstances surrounding the succession. This has lead to a number of modern conjectures (some fanciful) about the royal family, including the suggestion that Ankesenpaaten may have been married first to her own father, by whom she may have been the mother of the princess Ankhesenpaaten Tasherit. After her father's death, she became the wife of Tutankhaten, who may have been her half-brother. Following the succession of Tutankhamun to the throne, and the restoration of the gods of the restored religion, the couple changed their regal names to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun. Ankhesenamun is featured on artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun, including a small chair featuring pictures of the royal couple under their original names at an early stage in their relationship. Ankhesenpaaten Tasherit (or Ankhesenpaaten-te-sherit) was the daughter of Ankhesenpaaten and (probably) the Pharaoh Akhenaten, Ankhesenpaatens own father. ... Tutankhamun (alternate transcription Tutankhamen), named Tutankhaten early in his life, was Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt (1334 BC/1333 BC - 1323 BC), during the period known as the New Kingdom. ... Amun (also spelled Amon, Amoun, Amen, and rarely Imen, and spelt in Greek as Ammon, and Hammon) was the name of a deity, in Egyptian mythology, who gradually rose to become one of the most important deities, before fading into obscurity. ...

From foetal remains found in miniature coffins in the tomb of Tutankhamun, it is probable that the couple only had two stillborn daughters, both born prematurely. The first at about eight months gestation showed evidence of spina bifida, a neural tube defect that may have been associated with environmental factors such as a deficiency in folic acid, or more likely due to genetic factors because of the close familial relationship of her parents.

Some time in the ninth year of his reign, Tutankhamun died suddenly, possibly from complications arising from a severe leg injury, leaving Ankhesenamun alone without an heir. Ankhesenamun subsequently married Tuntankhamun's senior official Ay and then ceases to be mentioned. On the walls of Ay's tomb it is Tiye, not Ankhesenamun, who appears as queen. She possibly died shortly after (some conject that Ay had murdered her) and as of yet no burial has been found for her, though evidence of an inscription with the -paaten suffix has been found in the burial cache KV63 discovered near the tomb of Tutankhamun. If the putative "tomb" KV64 is ever investigated, it may provide answers. Kheperkheprure–Irimaat Everlasting are the Manifestations of Re, who does what is right Nomen Itinetjer Ay Gods father, Ay Horus name Kanakht Tekhenkhau The strong bull, the one of glittering crowns Nebty name Sekhempehti dersetet Who is mighty of strength, who subdues the Asiatics Golden Horus Heqamaat sekhepertawy The... KV63 is the most recently discovered chamber in Egypts Valley of the Kings pharaonic necropolis. ...

The Hittite letters

A document was found in the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa which dates to the Amarna period. It was addressed to the Hittite king, Suppiluliuma I, and reads, "My husband has died and I have no son. They say about you that you have many sons. You might give me one of your sons to become my husband. I would not wish to take one of my subjects as a husband... I am afraid." Relief of Suppiluliuma II, last known king of the Hittite Empire The Hittites were an ancient people who spoke an Indo-European language, and established a kingdom centered at Hattusa (Hittite URU) in north-central Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite empire was... The Lion Gate in the south-west Hattusa (also known as Hattusas or Khattushash) was the capital of the Hittite Empire. ... Amarna The site of Amarna (commonly known as el-Amarna or incorrectly as Tel el-Amarna; see below) (Arabic: العمارنة al-‘amārnä) is located on the east bank of the Nile River in the modern Egyptian province of al-Minya, some 58 km (38 miles) south of the city of... Suppiluliuma I (Shuppiluliuma) was king of the Hittites (ca. ...

This document is extraordinary, for never before had anything like this occurred. In fact, Egyptians traditionally considered foreigners to be inferior. Suppiluliuma was understandably wary and had an envoy investigate, but by so doing, he missed his chance to bring Egypt into his empire. He did eventually send one of his sons, Zannanza, but the prince was murdered en route.

Debate rages over which queen authored the amazing message. Possible candidates are Nefertiti and Ankhesenamun. Ankhesenamun seems more likely since there were no candidates for the throne on the death of her husband, Tutankhamun, whereas Akhenaten had at least two legitimate successors. Nebkheperure Lord of the forms of Re Nomen Tutankhaten Living Image of the Aten Tutankhamun Hekaiunushema Living Image of Amun, ruler of Upper Heliopolis Horus name Kanakht Tutmesut The strong bull, pleasing of birth Nebty name Neferhepusegerehtawy One of perfect laws, who pacifies the two lands[1] Wer-Ah-Amun... Neferkheperre-waenre Beautiful are the forms of Re, the one of Re Nomen Akhenaten He who is beneficial to the Aten (after Year 4 of his reign) Amenhotep Horus name Meryaten Nebty name Wernesytemakhetaten Golden Horus Wetjesrenenaten[1] Consort(s) Nefertiti, Kiya Meritaten, Ankhesenpaaten Issues Smenkhkare? Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten...


Further reading

  • Akhenaten, King of Egypt, by Cyril Aldred, 1988, Thames & Hudson.

  Results from FactBites:
Was King Tut Murdered? (Part 2) (437 words)
Ankhesenamen offers her husband flowers; Tutankhamen pours perfume into his wife's hands.
She also said that she "refused to marry a servant." Brier believes that the servant she referred to was Aye, who wanted to marry her in order to establish his own claim to the throne.
The Hittite king did send one of his sons to marry Ankhesenamen, but the young prince was murdered on the way at the order of Egypt's highest general, Horemheb.
  More results at FactBites »



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