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Mut-Tuy, Wife Sety I




Titles:
Hereditary Princess (iryt-p`t), Great one of the hetes-sceptre (wrt-hetes),Great one of the harem of Amen (wrt-khnrt-n-imnw), King’s Mother (mwt-niswt) or Mother of the King of S&N Egypt, Great King’s Wife, his beloved (hmt-niswt-wrt meryt.f), Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt (hnwt-Shm’w -mhw), The God's Wife (hmt-ntr), Queen Mother who bore the Strong Bull


Remark: Without explicit inscriptions it is very hard to reconstruct what the life of a Queen like (Mut-)Tuya would have been like. We have no inscriptions showing her in her youth, no description of her marriage to Sety, no birth announcements of her kids, etc. All we can do is look at the circumstantial evidence and create a plausible scenario. In what is written below one of the main assumptions is that Ramesses was old enough to marry and have children during the reign of Sety I. This seems like a  reasonable assumption given the fact that Amenhirwenemef and Khaemwaset were present in Nubia as little boys at the tribute scene in Wadi es Sebua. With the assumption that Ramesses was ca 16 in year 8 or 10 of Sety's reign, his birth would have ocurred during ca year 8 of Horemheb, assuming Horemheb reigned for 15 years.
If Tuya and Sety had a child in ca. year 8 of Horemheb, then she must have been at least in her late teens. Some girls were married at a very young age, but we will assume ca 16-18 years for marriage. It is possible that Tia, the daughter of Sety and Tuya was older than her brother. These assumptions would then put Tuya's own birth in ca year 5 of Tutankhamen.

 Pharaoh/date  Event Tuya's age
 Year 5 Tutankhamen
 Tuya born
 0 years old
Year 12 Tutankhamen
 Aye becomes King
 7 years old
 Year 4 Aye
 Horemheb becomes King
 11 years old
 Year 4 Horemheb
 Tuya and Sety marry
 15 years old
 Year 8 Horemheb
 Ramesses born
 19 years old
 Year 15 Horemheb
 Ramesses I becomes King
 26 years old
 Year 2 Ramesses I
 Sety I becomes King, Tuya becomes Queen
 28 years old
 Year 12 Sety I
 Sety I dies, Tuya is a widow and becomes King's Mother
 40 years old
 Year 5 Ramesses II
 Battle of Kadesh
 45 years old
 Year 22 Ramesses II
 Tuya dies
 62 years old

It's clear that a lot of assumptions go into this outline of Tuya's life. By explicitely stating some of the assumptions readers can adjust the model accordingly if they wish to use other assumptions.


The Life of Queen Tuya

Early Life

Tuy(a) was the daughter of the military commander Raia and his wife Ruia. We do not know exactly when Tuya was born. It is possible she was born during the reign of Tutankhamen.

It is interesting that Tuya's daughter Tia was buried in Saqqara with her husband of the same name. There is a military commander named Raia who was buried at Saqqara as well. This Raia was a stable master, bow carrier of his Majesty, Overseer of the horse, Fanbearer on the right side of the King, and later Overseer of the King's private apartments in Memphis. This man is though to have lived at least into the reign of Sety I. There is no way to know if this individual is identical to the father of Tuya. Sadly the name of the wife of Raia is not known from his tomb in Saqqara. Hence all we can do at this point is ask if this courtier named Raia could be the father of Tuya.

Tuya likely married Sety, son of Ramesses and Sitre, during the reign of Horemheb. Tuya and Sety eventually had at least two children: Ramesses and Tia. It is usually believed that her son Ramesses was born during the reign of Horemheb. Princess Tia may have been even older than her brother.

It seems plausible that Sety and Tuya were married and having children as early as year 5 of Horemheb. This means that they had a well established family by the time Horemheb died in ca the 15th year of his reign. At that point Sety and Tuy may have been about 25 - 30 years of age.
After the death of Horemheb the throne would pass to Sety's father Paramessu, who took the throne as Menpehtire Ramesses, better known as Ramesses I today. Ramesses may have already been somewhat older and he died about 2 years after taking the throne.

King's Wife

When ascending the throne Sety may have been in his early thirties and Tuya in her late twenties. It is thought that their son Ramesses was a boy (maybe 7 or 8?) and Princess Tia was slightly older. Sety went on a Syrian campaign in his very first year as King, and we assume Tuya stayed at home, likely in Thebes, but possibly in Memphis.

Sety reigned for ca 12 years and during that time there would be a handful of military campaigns. Ramesses mentions that at some point during the reign of his father Sety I, he was given wives. It seems that Sety and Tuya arranged for Ramesses to marry Nefertari and Isetnofret. We do not know if there were more wives at this early stage. Quickly Ramesses would be presenting Sety and Tuya with their first grand children.

From the Globalegyptian museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum 5091): Relief depicting Ramesses II with his mother. They are both bearing offerings to Osiris who is seated on a throne on the left. Only one arm and both legs of the god have been preserved. Ramesses is wearing the blue crown, a short kilt with bead pendants and a long garment reaching his ankles. In his hands, held up in a gesture of adoration, Ramesses is holding an incense burner and a washing basin. Between him and Osiris is an offering stand with a wash basin and a large lotus flower on it. Tuya is wearing the vulture head-dress and a long flowing garment. In her hands she is holding a hes-vase and a sistrum.

It is interesting that Tuya is not all that prominent during this time period. There are no known depictions, or statues mentioning her name from this time period. The only possible statue from this time perod would be the statue from Abydos mentioned below. On this statue the title King's Mother is not present for as far as we know. In the temple at Abydos from the reign of Sety I, the Queen depicted is the King's Mother Sitre.

Sety did not have a very long reign however and died in his 12th year as Pharaoh. At that point Ramesses takes the throne as Ramesses II and Tuya is now King's Mother.

Mother of the King

During the reign of her son Ramesses II, Tuya (also called Mut-Tuya) is now depicted on statuary from Pi-Ramesse, the Ramesseum in Thebes, on the facade of the temple in Abu Simbel.
In the Ramesseum a seperate chapel is dedicated to Mut-Tuya. There is a scene depicting the divine conception and birth of Ramesses. See below for more detail on these scenes.

Tuya would have seen her son go to war in year 5 against the Hittites at Kadesh, and again against the north in year 10. If the inscriptions on the temple walls are correct then the sons of Ramesses also went on campaign. This would have meant that at least part of the royal household had to be packed up to go on this trip to the battle field. it is not known if the Queens stayed home or would have been part of the royal retinue. It is possible that Queen Mother Tuya stayed in Thebes or Memphis with the principal Queens Nefertari and Isetnofret.

Queen Tuya lived long enough to see part of the building program of her son take place. She died in ca year 22 of Ramesses' reign. Before her death she would have seen her son take over the reign of Egypt, construct a new city at Pi-Ramesses, go to was with the Hittites, etc. She would also have seen may grand-children being born to her son and his wives. She would ahve seen the eldest children grow up.

Death and Burial

Queen Tuya was buried in the Valley of the Queens in what is now called QV 80. Excavations yielded receptacles and wine jars. One of the jars was inscribed and the text dated to year 22. This inscription would suggest Tuya died in about year 22 of her son's reign. The tomb included a granite sarcophagus with a lid depicting the Queen. One of the lids of a canonic jar was discovered. The lid was made to show the head of Queen Tuya. She is depicted with a tripartite wig, the vulture headdress of a queen and a uraeus. Approximately 80 ushabtis were recovered recovered from the tomb. 
The tomb was later reused in the Third Intermediate period, and possibly again in Roman and Coptic times. The tomb has suffered much damage, and the sarcophagus for instance has been shattered into pieces.



Inscriptions and Objects Mentioning Queen Tuya

All the quotes below are taken directly from:
Kitchen, K.A., Rammeside Inscriptions, Translated & Annotated, Translations, Volume II, Blackwell Publishers, 1996
Sometimes part of the text was omitted and for any further information one should of course consult above mentioned publication.




1. Statue, Vatican Museum no. 28 with figure of Hentmire.

On pillar: Mother of the King of S&N Egypt, Queen Mother of the King of S&N Egypt (even of) the Horus-Falcon, Strong Bull, Lord of Both Lands, Usermaatre Setepenre, Lord of Crowns, Ramesses II, given life like Re; The God's Wife and Great Royal Wife, Lady of Both Lands, Tuya, may she live.
On the crown: Tuya
On the left side (Princess wearing a ureaus) King's Daughter, King's Wife, Henutmire, may she live.

2. Statue and base block, Tanis from Pi-Ramesse.

A. Middle part of statue: Queen Mother who bore the Strong Bull, Usermaatre Setepenre, son of Re
i. Dorsal piller center: Hereditary Princess, Rich [in favours,...], Queen Mother, Lady of [...], God's Wife and Great Royal Wife [,...].
ii. Dorsal pillar side-lines: Great Royal wife, his beloved [...], God's Wife and Great Royal Wife, [...]
iii, Throne, left side: Hereditary Princess, Chief of the Harim, greatly favoured, God's Wife and Queen Mother [,...],Great Royal Wife, his beloved [...]

B. Base blocks. Cartouches of Ramesses II, then: Tuya, may she live.

3. Abydos

A. Fragments of Limestone statue
i. At foot: [..] Great [Royal Wife], his beloved, Tuya
ii. Fragment: Ramesses II
iii. Dorsal Pillar: [...] wielding the sistrum, [...] propitiating Amun with [every good] thing, [...], Great Royal Wife, [...]

B. In text at Ramesses II's temple: Room III, S & N walls.
King as Son of Tuya: Words spoken by King Usermaatre Setepenre, given Life, Son of Re, Ramesses II, the Horus-Falcon, <strong> bull, beloved of Maat, born of the Queen-Mother Tuya, may she live,...

4. The Ramesseum:



A. Titles on broken colossus: [...] Great [Royal Wife], his beloved, Tuya, may she live. [...], Lady of Both Lands, [Tuya,...]. [... Tu]ya, wife (?), may she live.

B. Scene in Temple; Main (central) doorway into the Great hypostyle Hall, S. Side, Inner (W) Face: Royal Mother, Great Royal Wife, Mut-Tuya, who plays sistra for her father, that she may attain Ôgiven life' forever.

5. Statue, Medinet Habu from the Ramesseum.

i. Dorsal Pillar, Right Half: Hereditary Princess, greatly favoured, Queen Mother of the King of S&N Egypt, Usermaatre Setepenre, Son of Re, Ramesses II, Mistress of South and North, possessing grace, [sweet of] love, [...],Queen-Mother Tuya, may she live, [Queen-Mother] of Horus, the one who bore her son for Re, [...] God's Wife and Queen-Mother Tuya, may she be healthy.
ii. Dorsal Pillar, Right Half: Hereditary Princess, Chief of the Harim, Queen Mother of the King of S&N Egypt, [Usermaatre Setepenre], Son of [Re, Ram]esses II, Mistress of all lands of/for [...],God's Wife and Queen-Mother Tuya, may she be stable, [... all lost except...] for the God's Wife and Queen-Mother Tuya, forever.
iii. Throne, left side: Hereditary Princess, Chief of the Harim, Mistress of [all] wo[men,...], Chief of the Harim of Amun, Sistrum-player [of Mut, ...] of Nebt-hetepet, [...], Rattle player of Hathor, [who adores] Re-Horakhti and propitiates Atum, God's Wife and Queen-Mother Tuya, may she live [...].
iv. Throne, right side [ ...3 lines lost ...] [...] She who sees Seth, [...],God's Wife and Queen-Mother Tuya, [...].

The inscription wasa recorded by Lepsius page 148

6. Deir el-Medina, Sandstone Lintel

"Fragment with cartouches of Ramesses II and " Tuya

7. Jar-Docket: Tomb Valley of the Queens.

Year 22: Wine, [...] of the Great Vineyard of A[... of the ] King of S&N Egypt, Usermaatre Setepenre, L.P.H., in the Estate of Amun, [...]


8. Jamb (Vienna Inv. 5091)

Ramesses followed by Tuya, making Offering to Osiris.
i. Osiris:
Osiris, Lord of Ro-Setjau, great god, Lord of heaven
ii. Sun Disc: The Behdedite
iii. King: Lord of Both Lands, Usermaatre Setepenre, Lord of Crowns, Ramesses II Meriamun, God, Ruler of Heliopolis.
iv. Queen: Lady of Both Lands, Tuya.
Link to Global Egyptian Museum page. Quote:
Relief depicting Ramesses II with his mother. They are both bearing offerings to Osiris who is seated on a throne on the left. Only one arm and both legs of the god have been preserved. Ramesses is wearing the blue crown, a short kilt with bead pendants and a long garment reaching his ankles. In his hands, held up in a gesture of adoration, Ramesses is holding an incense burner and a washing basin. Between him and Osiris is an offering stand with a wash basin and a large lotus flower on it. Tuya is wearing the vulture head-dress and a long flowing garment. In her hands she is holding a hes-vase and a sistrum.

9. Minor Objects

i. Paint Grinder (BM 5547) Tuya
ii. Plaque (BM 24195) The God's Mother Tuya
iii. Scarab (UCL) Tuya

 

10. Ramesseum, Fragments at Medinet Habu, Etc;

A. Fragments of N. Side-Chapel of Queen Mother Tuya
i. Doorjamb Dedication:
[... Ramesses II etc]. He [has made] this monument for his mother, The God's Wife, Royal Mother, Tuya, justified.
ii. Ceiling Dedication: Horus-Falcon, Strong Bull, beloved of Maat; [Nebty-Ruler and Golden Horus names]; King of S&N Egypt, Usermaatre Setepenre, Son of Re, Ramesses II. He has made his monument for his mother, the Royal Mother, Tuya, the making for her of a temple [...]
iii. Hathor Capital: Tuya;  Ramesses II
iv. Block with Queen-Mother Tuya's Parents:
a. First Woman: T[...]
b. Over Man: Father of the Queen Mother, Raia, Lieutenant of Chariotry.
c. 2nd woman: Mother of the Queen-Mother, Ruia.
d. Doorway: Usermaatre Setepenre, the Good god, Lord of Both Lands, Usermaatre Setepenre.

B. Scenes of the Divine Birth of the Pharaoh
1. Amun and the Theban Conclave of Gods
 [Amun with Nut, Osiris and  Isis Ð rest lost]
2. Amun and Queen Tuya sit together:
i. Marginal Lines at Left: [...] the God's Mother, Mut-<Tu>ya. [...] the Queen-Mother Tuya.
ii. Amun's Speech ... How joyful is the dew, the scent of God's Land, the odor of Punt, See (I) establish my Son as King, etc....
3. Fragment of Text: [...Amen]-Re Ka[mephis? ...]; Lady of Both Lands, Mut-<Tu>ya, [...], amy she live, be young and be healthy [...]lie Re forever.
4. Squatting figure and Marginal text: [...] Ramesses II, the Queen-Mother Mut-[<Tu>ya]....
5. Theban Conclave seated: Nut, Osiris, Isis, the Ombite, Nephtys, [rest lost]
6. Speech by Seshat  <text omitted>
7. Fragment: Queen with Hathor
i. Hathor: Words spoken by the Lady of Dendera [...] rattle and sistrum.
ii. Queen: Great Royal Wife, Mut-[<Tu>ya]
8. Two scenes: Amun King and Hathor, and another Deity. <text omitted>
9. Amun and the Theban Triad
 <text omitted>
10 Goddess in Lower-Egyptian Crown.
<text omitted>

 

11. Great Temple Facade in Abu Simbel


King's Mother (mut-nesu), God's Wife (hmt-netjer) Mut-Tuya (Mut-Tui)
A. South of Doorway, Fallen Colossus: Depicts Hereditary Prince, Royal Scribe, general, King's Son, Prince Amenhorkhopshef, and Queen-Mother and God's Wife, Mut-Tuya.
Inscription identifying Mut-Tuy, described by Lepsius

B. Northernmost Colossus:

Depicts Bodily King's Daughter, his beloved, Merytamun, Bodily King's Daughter, Nefertari, and Queen-Mother and God's Wife, Mut-Tuya,.
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