Akhenaten: Family--Daughters

Figure 1.--This image depicts two of Akhenaten's daughters, but they are unidentified. It is a wall painting in the palace of Tell el-Amarna. We can see that usually the Pharaoh's children were unclothed. Unlike Greek art, this was not an artistic convention. Egyptian art usually involved realistic depictions. We assumed that peasant children did nit have clothing, but appaeently this was also the case of royal children, at least for everday.

Akhenaten and Nefertiti had six daughters, named Merytaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten-tasharit, Neferneferure, and Sotepenre. There are many depictions of Akhenaten and Nefertiti with their daughters. One of the best known is on the previous page. Here we see two of the daughters, but they are not identified (figure 1). These depictions of the royal family are only of Queen Nefertriti and her six daughters None of Akhenaten's other wives are depicted or their children. Neither do we see depictions of Prince Tutankhamun with Akhenaten. Royal princesses were not as became common in Europe durinbgv the Christian era used in international diplomacy to create alliances. Egypt saw itself as the center of the world and that other civilizations were beneath them. Thus Egyptian princesses maried with few excepotions other Egyptians. This becan=me important in dynastic policies as the level of royal blood was a matter of prestige and affecting sucession. Merytaten married her half-brother Prince Smenkhkare, but disaapers from history along with her husband. Meketaten appears to havedied before her mother. The third daughter Ankhesenpaaten is best known. She married her half-brother Tutankhamun and also changed her name to Ankhesenamun. She and her husband had two stillborn children which were found in his tomb. After Tutankhamun's death, she tried to marry a Hittite prince. When that failed she is believed to have married Ay, probably her grandfather. Not all Egytologists accept this marrige. It would, hoever, have legitimize Ay's accesion to pharoah. Given his age, it was a formality. Little is known of the three youngest daughters--Neferneferuaten-tasharit, Neferneferure, and Sotepenre. They are believed to have all died at a young age, prhaps victims of a plague afflicting Egypt at the time.



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Created: 9:43 PM 3/26/2012
Last updated: 9:43 PM 3/26/2012