Friday, January 27, 2006

Queen Tiy

A short article on the Al Ahram website, reproduced in full here, offering a couple of new details: "A beautiful black granite statue of Queen Tiye, mother of the monotheistic king Akhnaten, was unearthed last Monday in Luxor, reports Nevine El-Aref. At Karnak's Mut Temple, a John Hopkins University archaeological mission stumbled upon the statue while brushing sand off the temple's second hall. 'The statue is mostly intact,' said Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), who added that although the 160cm tall statue has a broken arm and a missing leg, it was still considered very well preserved. It features a standing Queen Tiye wearing a wig and a cobra-decorated crown. Initial examinations revealed that the back of the statue is engraved with two columns of hieroglyphic text bearing different titles of king Amenhotep III, who ruled for 38 years during the 18th Dynasty. According to Sabri Abdel-Aziz, head of the SCA's Ancient Egypt Department, the inscriptions written on the statue also include a cartouche of a 21st Dynasty queen called Henutaw, which reveals that the same statue was used in a subsequent era."
A longer article on the Discovery Channel website, putting Tiy into her historical context: "Tiy was the daughter of Yuaa, a priest of an Egyptian fertility god, Min. He likely was a "foreigner" from Syria. Less is known about her mother, Tuaa, but it is believed that Tuaa was of royal descent, probably from the royal family of Mittani, which was a kingdom in northern Syria. Tiy married Pharaoh Amenhotep III when she was 12 years old. Her husband, who consulted her regarding state affairs and official policies, acknowledged her intelligence and ambition. The pharaoh supposedly showered Tiy with gifts during her lifetime. Their son, Akhenaten, began his reign as Amenhotep IV, but later changed his name when he rejected polytheism and chose to worship only one god, Aten, that represented the sun."
See the full story on the above page.

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