Archaeology & History
Did Queen Nefertiti ever rule ancient Egypt ?
By T.K. Randall
January 23, 2018 · 8 comments
How powerful was Nefertiti ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Miguel Hermoso Cuesta
One Egyptologist has put forward the idea that Nefertiti was not quite as powerful as history suggests.
Famed for her beauty, Queen Nefertiti was propelled in to the public spotlight after a limestone and plaster sculpture of her head was discovered in 1912 by German excavator Ludwig Borchardt.
For many years, she was assumed to have held a position of great power in ancient Egypt, but how much influence did she really have over the kingdom and was she ever actually a pharaoh at all ?
Egyptologist Dr. Joyce Tyldesley certainly doesn't think so.
"Though most people and many Egyptologists believe Nefertiti was an unusually powerful royal woman, and possibly even a pharaoh, I believe this was not the case," she said.
"Her husband Akhenaten died around 1336 BC; Tutankhamun - who was possibly Nefertiti's son - became pharaoh in approximately 1336 BC. It has been argued that Nefertiti ruled Egypt, filling in this gap and perhaps influencing the early reign of Tutankhamen."
"But she wasn't born a royal, and for a non-royal woman to become king would have been unprecedented."
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