Nefertiti, additionally referred to as Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti, (flourished fourteenth century bc), queen of Egypt and partner of King Ikhanaton (formerly Amenhotep IV; reigned c. 1353–36 bc), WHO vie a distinguished role within the cult of the sun god referred to as the Aton.
Nefertiti’s parentage is unrecorded, but, as her name interprets as “A stunning lady Has return,” early Egyptologists believed that she should are a patrician from Mitanni (Syria). there’s sturdy evidence, however, to recommend that she was the Egyptian-born girl of the attender Ay, brother of Akhenaton’s mother, Tiy. though nothing is thought of Nefertiti’s parentage, she did have a younger sister, Mutnodjmet. queen bore six daughters at intervals ten years of her wedding, the elder 3 being born at Thebes, the younger 3 at Tell el-Amarna. 2 of her daughters became queens of Egypt.
The earliest pictures of queen return from the Theban tombs of the royal manservant Parennefer and also the functionary ramate, wherever she is shown incidental her husband. within the Theban temple referred to as Hwt-Benben (“Mansion of the Benben Stone”; the benben was a cult object related to star ritual), queen vie a additional distinguished role, usurping kinglike privileges so as to function a priest and supply to the Aton. a gaggle of blocks recovered from Karnak (Luxor) and Hermopolis Magna (Al-Ashmunayn) shows queen collaborating within the ritual smiting of the feminine enemies of Egypt. She wears her own distinctive headdress—a tall, straight-edged, topped blue crown.
By the tip of Akhenaton’s fifth regnal year, the Aton had become Egypt’s dominant national god. The recent state temples were closed and also the court transferred to a purposeful capital town, Akhetaton (Amarna). Here queen continued to play a vital non secular role, worshiping aboard her husband and serving because the feminine part within the divine triad shaped by the god Aton, the king Ikhanaton, and his queen. Her sex, stressed by her hyperbolically female body form and her fine linen clothes, and her fertility, stressed by the constant look of the six princesses, indicate that she was thought-about a living fertility deity. queen and also the house appeared on non-public pious stelae and on the walls of nonroyal tombs, and pictures of queen stood at the four corners of her husband’s coffin.
Some historians, having thought-about her reliefs and statuary, believe that queen could have acted as queen regnant—her husband’s coruler instead of his consort. However, the proof is by no means that conclusive, and there’s no written proof to verify her political standing.
Soon when Akhenaton’s twelfth regnal year, one among the princesses died, 3 disappeared (and are probable to own died), and queen nonexistent. the only logical thinking is that queen additionally died, however there’s no record of her death and no proof that she was ever buried within the Amarna royal place. Early Egyptologists, misunderstanding the matter proof recovered from the Maru-Aten sun temple at Amarna, deduced that queen had separated from Ikhanaton and had retired to measure either within the north palace at Amarna or in Thebes. This theory is currently discredited. Others have urged that she outlived her husband, took the name Smenkhkare, and dominated alone as feminine king before handing the throne to Pharaoh. there’s smart proof for a King Smenkhkare, however the identification within the twentieth century of a frame buried within the natural depression of the Kings as Tutankhamen’s brother makes it unlikely that queen and Smenkhkare were an equivalent person.
Nefertiti’s body has ne’er been discovered. Had she died at Amarna, it looks unthinkable that she wouldn’t are buried within the Amarna royal place. however the burial within the natural depression of the Kings confirms that a minimum of one among the Amarna burials was reinterred at Thebes throughout Tutankhamen’s reign. Egyptologists have thus speculated that queen is also one among the unidentified bodies recovered from the caches of royal mummies within the natural depression of the Kings. within the early twenty first century attention has targeted on the “Younger Lady” found within the place of Amenhotep II, though it’s currently accepted that this body is nearly definitely too young to be queen.
Amarna was abandoned presently when Akhenaton’s death, and queen was forgotten till, in 1912, a German archeologic mission semiconductor diode by Ludwig Borchardt discovered a portrait bust of queen lying within the ruins of the Amarna workshop of the sculptor Thutmose. The bust went on show at the Egyptian depository in Berlin within the Twenties and at once attracted worldwide attention, inflicting queen to become one among the foremost recognizable and, despite a missing left eye, most stunning feminine figures from the traditional world.