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She was a daughter of King Seqenenre-Ta'o II and Queen Ahhotep I, and the great royal wife of King Ahmose I.
She was the mother of King Amenhotep I and was worshipped as a a goddess beside her son during later periods.

Her titles include: Hereditary Princess (iryt-p`t), Great of Grace (wrt-im3t), Great of Praises (wrt-hzwt), King’s Mother (mwt-niswt), Great King’s Wife (hmt-niswt-wrt), God’s Wife (hmt-ntr), United with the White Crown (khnmt-nfr-hdjt), King’s Daughter (s3t-niswt), King’s Sister (snt-niswt)

This image on the left is the upper part of a seated state discovered in 1916 in Thebes. The statue depicts a Queen form the late 17th or early 18th dynasty and has been tentatively identified as Queen Ahmose-Nefertari. The statue is now on display in the Metropolitan Museum (acc. nr. 16.10.224). The Queen is depicted with a tripartite wig and the vulture cap associated with queenship.

The Royal Family

Ahmose-Nefertari must have been born during the reigns of one of the 17th dynasty kings named Intef based on her age at her time of death. She must have been a small girl when her grand-father Senakhtenre-Ahmose came to the throne. She would have grown up at the courts of the Theban Kings Senakhtenre-Ahmose, Seqenenre Tao, and Kamose. She would have lived through the conflict with the Hyksos and she would have lost her father during one of the armed confrontations.
Eventually Ahmose-Nefertari married her brother Ahmose I and she became queen at age 20 or so. The royal couple had several children, including Amenhotep I, prince Ahmose-ankh, prince Siamun, and the princesses Ahmose-Meritamun, Sitamun and possibly Mutnofret.
Ahmose-Nefertari was included in decisions by her husband. A stela mentions how King Ahmose discussed the building of a cenotaph in Abydos for their grand-mother Tetisheri with her. The king refers to his sister-wife as his companion. Several quarries record inscriptions including the names of both Ahmose and his wife.

A posthumously-created stela depicting Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Nefertari giving offerings to Osiris,
now residing in the Brooklyn Museum. (photo by Keith Schengili-Roberts)
The line drawing is from From Lepsius Abt III, Band 5, Bl. 4

God's Wife

The donation stela showing Ahmose and Ahmose-Nefertari before the god Amun.
They are accompanied by their son Ahmose-Ankh

Ahmose-Nefertari was given the positions of God's Wife of Amun and Second Priest of Amun during the reign of Ahmose I. The installation of Ahmose-Nefertari in these positions is recorded in the Donation Stela. Parts of the stela were found over a time period of some 20 years during the excavation of the third pylon at Karnak. The donation stela records the gifts of gold, silver, copper, wigs, servants, and land. The donations created the "house of the god's wife" (pr hmt nTr). The position of God's Wife with all that this entailed was separate from her installation as the Second Priest of Amun.


Mummy of Ahmose-Nefertari

Queen Ahmose-Nefertari died during the reign of Tuthmosis I and was probably initially buried in the royal necropolis in Dra Abu el-Naga. A mortuary temple dedicated to her stood nearby, but was later almost completely destroyed. Her mummy was later reburied in the royal cache in Deir el-Bahari (DB320). Her body supposedly smelled so bad that Emile Brugsch had her body reburied on the museum grounds in Cairo. Later her body was examined and showed that this Queen lived to be in her seventies, which is quite an advanced age for that time period.

Worship during later time periods

Ahmose-Nefertari and her son Amenhotep I as depicted in a tomb in Qurna.
Ahmose Nefertari is shown here with the title God's Wife (hmt nTr).
On the right she bears both titles as God's Wife and as Great Royal Wife (Hmt nTr wrt)
See Lepsius  Abt III, Band 7, Bl. 99

Ahmose-Nefertari - Statue now in the Louvre (N 470)
From the 19th dynasty, reign of Ramesses II. The statue was dedicated by a worker named Djehutyhermaketef

Scene from the tomb of Khabeknet from Thebes. Ahmose-Nefertari is depicted behind her son Djeserkare (= Amenhotep I)
Part of a much larger scene as shown in Lepsius, Abt 3, Band  5, Bl. 2

  • Louise Bradbury, Nefer's Inscription: On the Death Date of Queen Ahmose-Nefertary and the Deed Found Pleasing to the King, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 22 (1985), pp. 73-95
  • Betsy Bryan, Property and the God’s Wives of Amun, Center for Hellenic Studies, 2003
  • Dodson, Aidan and Hilton, Dyan. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2004. ISBN 0-500-05128-3
  • Grajetzki, Ancient Egyptian Queens: A Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Golden House Publications, London, 2005, ISBN 978-0954721893
  • Tyldesley, Joyce. Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2006. ISBN 0-500-05145-3