Ok let me post on the last person in my current line of postings on Egyptology before I head out to home on holidays. I wrote about The boy-king Tutankhamun, his (probable) father Akhenaten and now its the turn of his step-mother Nefertiti.
This is a very famous bust of a woman stated to be the most beautiful woman in the world! Courtesy Wikipedia.
Isn't she pretty?! Yeah I know there is an other name buzzing in back of your mind.. Cleopatra.. well she too was a pharoh and a queen. Nefertiti and Cleopatra are the two most famous ancient egyptian female celebrities.
Nefertiti became famous because she was associated with a pharoh who was somewhat obsessed with introducing monotheism in ancient Egypt, he was Akhenaten. Interestingly, although she was the great royal wife of the pharoh, she was depicted alongside pharoh as being equal to his status! This was considered a blasphemy. She was also depicted as a very beautiful person in reliefs and busts whereas 'unusually' the pharoh Akhenaten is shown with an elongated face, protruding belly and wide hips. No one is sure whether portraying ugliness was part of religion or he had some physical abnormality.
Nefertiti had to face some troubling times after her husbands death. Both of them had actively espoused the cause of new religion - Atenism. After his death, she had to control the affairs and that included pleasing the all powerful clergy who had turned against the couple for abandoning the old gods. In her time, the new religion was gradually sidelined and old deities made a come back. Her step-son married her daughter Ankhesenpaaten to continue the royal lineage. Tutankhaten (suffix -aten) changed his name to Tutankhamun (suffix -amun) to show complete transformation of Egypt from the new religion.
Nefertiti died in probably the third year of Tutankhamun reign.
Check My Other Posts on Egyptology
- The First Monotheist - Akhenaten
- King Tut
- Hatshepsu - Woman Pharoh with A Beard!
- Cleopatra - The Last Pharoh
- Your Name in Egyptian Hieroglyphs