Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Amarna Period

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,382
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Up to your old tricks. I have good reason to pursue my investigations in the manner I have been trained. You are welcome to pursue things the way you do. You are really insecure. You are not to be questioned and respond emotionally if your beloved guesses are doubted in any way. And you can keep your childish put downs. You are unlikely to change. But that’s for you to deal with, or ignore. Good luck with that.

This kind of ad hominem is not acceptable here. Address the facts, not the person.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,268
Bendigo
Not a problem. Hopefully you have assessed her arrogant and dismissive commentaries throughout the Carter Box thread. And some here. One I started and which she joined late and began to throw her negative commentaries to others. But I will not address the woman anymore. I have no respect for her behaviour. But I will obey your instruction henceforth.
 
Last edited:

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,251
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I would go back to the object of this thread: Nefertiti and her environment.

Now, at court there was a man called Ay who has been [as we have briefly mentioned] indicated as possible father[1] of the Great Royal Wife. More than him ["companion" of Akhenaten and with a career in the ranks of the Royal charioteers], I tend to consider important his wife [I even doubt if getting married with her allowed him to climb the social pyramid ...]: Tey.

In Ay's tomb we can read how he presented her.

Tey.JPG

Now, if Ay was the father of Nefertiti ... who was the mother? It's not that easy to sustains that Tey was her mother: why not to say this on the wall of Ay's tomb? Why to hide such a prestigious status?
Personally I tend to dismiss this possibility. The only clue about this is that Tey was Royal Adorner, a title carried, as for I have understood, not rarely by the most woman in the Harim ...
An occasional pregnancy? And then Amenhotep III managed to allow the natural mother to stay with her Royal Daughter? But in this case Ay wouldn't be Nefertiti's father, the father would be Amenhotep III.
In fact, if Ay and Tey were the natural parents of Nefertiti there was nothing to hide at all.

In any case, Tey makes me add a further hypothesis about the origin of Nefertiti:
a natural daughter of Amenhotep III and Tey.

Note:
[1] we have seen that Ay carried the title "it-neter" and this has suggested to someone that he was the father-in-law of Akhenaten, that is to say Nefertiti's father.
We have anyway seen that such a title was present, probably as an office, in the clergy.
 
Apr 2019
199
UK
Thank you. This does fit the scenario well that Nefertiti was a royal child. Put simply, people always put their highest status in any inscriptions - therefore Tey really was just Nefertiti's wetnurse and a lady of the court. End of discussion. Compare to Thuya who stated clearly that she was the mother of Tiye. You are right, if Ay and Tey were Nefertiti's parents they absolutely would say so.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,268
Bendigo
The fact that Ay and Tey were her intimates and mentors indicates she was important and from a family wealthy enough to have a wetnurse. She did not appear out of nowhere to become the great wife of a Pharoah. In no way can I see this indicate anything but very high birth for her. Ay and Tey, presumably, were lower in the social hierarchy to ‘get the job’ of mentoring her as a baby.

The it-neter, we know from earlier searches and conversations, was a person high in Royal circles. Not just Yuya and Ay held it. Qenamon comes instantly to mind. There were others I can’t recall off hand. So: Yuya, of course. And Ay....of course. Did Ay get to be it-neter through direct association with Nefertiti, or through direct association with Yuya, inheriting it for the son from the man who also held it for the father, or both?
 
Last edited:

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,251
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Among other things, this doesn't exclude in a definitive way the FPT [Foreign Princess Theory], but it makes it at least odd; in fact to put together the hypothesis that Nefertiti was a foreign Princess and the fact [recorded in Ay's tomb] that Tey was her nurse and tutoress we need to think that the foreign Princess [from Mitanni] was a little girl [still requiring a nurse]. It wasn't impossible that a noble little girl had sent [like a gift] to an other country to get married with a Monarch, but sure it wasn't so common.
 
Apr 2019
199
UK
I can't see any king marrying a princess young enough to require a wetnurse - it just doesn't make sense - kings had no idea how long they would live for. I can see how a child in modern terms would be married but not one that required a wetnurse unless that person was so close that they went to Egypt as part of the retinue. In Tey's case though, we have no reason to believe that she wasn't Egyptian, so this seems unlikely. There are many named foreign women in the historical record, or those like Kiya that seem to have pet names so may be of a foreign origin. Nefertiti's name has been used as part of the foreign princess argument but just as likely it refers to her being born / coming into existence. We have depictions of up to 8 royal daughters in the Amenhotep III Year 30 Heb Sed rituals, no reason why she couldn't be one of those if she were not one of the named ones under a new identity as queen.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,251
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Yes, the alternative explanation of the FPT is that Tey came to Egypt with Nefertiti as a very little girl, being her wetnurse since the beginning and so being a foreigner herself. This, even if still possible, makes things more and more complicated.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,268
Bendigo
What would seem fairly clear is that Nefertiti was of very high status at birth. While the foreign Princess idea is not something I would personally dismiss out of hand - frankly, because we don’t know - but I think a girl from the highest circles of the Egyptian society would seem best to explain her having a wetnurse who was partner of a man who surely was of fairly high status himself in Ay.

Edit: while not a lot to go on, the similarity of names, and an apparent connection to Akhmin for me suggests a familial connection between Yuya and Thuya and Ay and Tey. Exactly who was related to who, by blood, and how, is hard to decide. The familial connection, via bloodline, between Yuya and Amenophis III, would be interesting to discuss....if we could, lol.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2019
262
Peterborough, Ontario Canada
I’m joining in this thread rather late but have just recuperated from surgery.

If the most recently discovered inscription regarding Nefertiti at Deir el-Bersha has her as GRW as late as year 16 (Year 16 III Akhet day 15), is it possible that her co-regency with Akhenaten occurred when she was made Ankheperure Nefernefruaten and that at this juncture Akhenaten became Ankheperure Smenkaare Djeserkheperu?

In which case he effectively ended his reign as Akhenaten in year 17 but the two of them co-reigned for 3-4 years with Ankheperure Nefernefruaten being ‘effective for her husband’ (either because he was incapacitated from the pain from his hip issues, and/or because he was more pre-occupied with religious matters than matters of state) until the young Tut came of age and/or Akhenaten/Smenkaare died?

Harris, Samson and Reeves have equated Smenkaare with Nefertiti but what if s/he were instead Akhenaten in his manifestation as co-regent with Nefertiti?

The twinning of Nefertiti’s image with Akhenaten’s super-imposed on top in Meryre II’s tomb and the twinning of their names (Ankheperure) makes sense to me, especially with the earlier imagery of them as twins Shu and Tefnut.

Smenkaare was Meritaten’s husband and we know so too was Akhenaten. Scholars have spilled ink trying to explain why she’d be married to Smenkaare when Akhenaten was still alive but if they were the same man...

The wine dockets showing years 19, 20 and 21 and the confusion of the scratched out regnal year 17 with 1, that were found in Amarna (and discussed
on the beloved Carter’s Box thread) might make sense if they were referring to the end of Akhenaten’s sole reign and beginning of a co-regency with Nefertiti.

Afterall, Akhenaten changed his name from AIV to Akhenaten to possibly reflect his sole rule—could it be that he then changed his name again to reflect co-rule with Nefertiti?!

I know that’s all a bit ‘out there’ but I’d value any input any of you may have.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tammuz