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Q. Ahhotep

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:51 am    Post subject: Q. Ahhotep Reply with quote

Q. Ahhotep was the last Queen of the 17th Dynasty centered in Thebes. She was the daughter of the King of Thebes, Setnakhtenre Tao I and his consort Tetisheri. She married her full brother Seqenere Tao II. Ahhotep and her husband/brother lived during the time of the Hyksos domination of the Delta. Seqenere Tao II led the Upper Egyptians against the Hyksos and died in battle against them. His mummified remains show the terrible death wounds he suffered. His and Ahhotep's oldest son Kamose took on the fight against the Hyksos, during his short rule of 3 years. He like his father died in battle and his younger full brother Ahmose succeeded him. Ahmose became Egypt's Liberating Pharaoh when he succeeded in driving the Hyksos out of Egypt, and reuniting the Delta, Lower Egypt with Upper Egypt. He became the first Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, and was married to his full sister Ahmose(Ahmes)-Nefertari.

On a stela commissioned by Ahmose, in the Amun temple at Ipet-Isut (Karnak) he praises his mother Ahhotep's, heroism. Writing that "She has accomplished the rites and cared for Kemet, she has looked after Kemet's troops and guarded them; she has brough back fugatives and collected deserters; she has pacified Upper Kemet and expelled its rebels."

It is believed that she even took direct hand in ruling Egypt following her husband and eldest son's death. Ahmose goes so far on the stela, as to call her "Mistress of the Land".

While she lived on into the reign of her grandson Amenhotep I, her tomb in not known. Archaeologists believe it was at Dra Abu el Naga, where in 1859 the interment of a Great Royal Wife Ahhotep was discovered merely buried in the sand, a few feet below the surface. This consisted of a gilded rishi-style coffin with a mummy (which was regrettably lost or destroyed), and a quantity of funerary equipment including various items of inlaid-gold jewelry, several ornate ceremonial weapons inscribed for King Ahmose, and most peculiarly, a necklace of large golden flies-the traditional royal award for valor in actual combat against the Hyksos forces.

Does this mean Ahhotep actually went onto the field of battle and did so as a warrior? Really we can only wonder. Her son certainly credited her with actions no other woman in Egyptian history was credited with.
Certainly she lived at a privotal time in Egypt's history and was a member of the family that gave rebirth of the Two Lands. She knew great joy, as well as great grief. It is at least certain she didn't just sit back and let her men do the hard work of reunification. She was an active member of her family, her son Ahmose states that in his stela honoring her.

Source of information:KMT A modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, Volume 14, Number 3, Fall 2003 from the article titled "Women of the House of Tao, Ancestresses of the New Kingdom", by Dennis Forbes"pgs 57-65.
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