Facts about Nefertiti, the wife of pharaoh Akhenaten

Nefertiti is a most recognised figure from ancient Egypt thanks to the 1912 discovery of her remarkable bust.

  • She was the wife of pharaoh Akhenaten and was possibly a first cousin of the king.
  • During her period as Akhenaten's wife, she was depicted smiting Egypt's enemies, something unique to her.
  • Nefertiti survived her husband as a fully-fledged female pharaoh.

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Your guide to Egypt’s sun queen Nefertiti

historyextra.com

  • Sobekneferu, the daughter of King Amenemhet III, became the first female pharaoh of the 12th Egyptian Dynasty as he did not have any sons.
  • In the 18th Dynasty, a woman called Hatshepsut was the regent for the young King Thutmose III. Seven years into his reign, she promoted herself to female pharaoh and ruled alongside him.
  • Some centuries after Nefertiti, a lady called Tausret carries on ruling as a female pharaoh when the young king suddenly dies.

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There is a theory that Nefertiti was Tutankhamun's mother and that they ruled together, but she was a female pharaoh on her own before Tutankhamun came into his own.

If Nefertiti was the Younger Lady found in tomb KV35, then she died a horrible death. It appears she received a heavy blow to the face, smashing many bones that possibly resulted in a massive loss of blood. Death would have occurred quickly.

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