Queen Ahmose Nefertari

Ahmose Nefertari
Ahmose Nefertari

Ahmose Nefertari is thought to be the daughter of Queen Ahhotep, sister and wife of King Ahmose, mother of king Amenhotep I, and the grandmother of Tuthmosis I. She was influential during the reign of her husband and ruled as co-regent with her son Amenhotep I and her grandson Thuthmosis. Tuthmosis I placed her statue in the temple at Karnak to honour her, and her mortuary cult was observed long after her death.

She is almost always depicted with very dark skin. Some comentators have suggested that this is a sign of her Nubian ancestry, but it is equally likely that it was a symbol of her fertility and a reference to her position as the mother of Egypt (also known as Kemet, "the black land") as the colour black was associated with rebirth, fertility, death and Egypt itself and the god Amun was also depicted with black skin. She generally wears the vulture headdress of Nekhbet.

She was the first queen to hold the important office of "God's Wife of Amun", a position of great power given the primacy of the cult of Amun. She was honoured for many centuries as "royal daughter, royal sister, great royal wife, royal mother, great ruler, mistress of both lands".

copyright J Hill 2010
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Ancient Egypt Online

Predynastic period Early Dynastic Old Kingdom First Intermediate Middle Kingdom Second Intermediate New Kingdom Third Intermediate Graeco-Roman period Late period