Page by Anneke Bart
Kings and Queens
Seneferu, Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure, Djedefre, etc.
Kings named Mentuhotep and Intef
Amenemhet I - IV,
Tuthmosis I-IV, Akhenaten, Tutankhamen, Aye, Horemheb, etc.
Sety I-II, Ramesses I-II, Merenptah, Amenmesses, Tawosret.
Sethnakht, Ramesses III
Ramesses IV - XI
Cleopatra VII Philopator
Queens (D1-6)- Old Kingdom
Queens (D11-13) Middle Kingd.
Queens (D16-20)- New Kingdom
Queens (D21-29)- Late Period
Officials, Priesthood etc.
Viziers (New Kingdom)
High Priests of Amun
God's Wives of Amun
High Priests of Ptah
Viceroys of Nubia
Who's who of New Kingdom
inscriptions Queen Nefertiti.
Tombs at Amarna
Houses at Amarna
Valley of the Kings,
Valley of the Queens
Tombs at Abydos
Tombs at El Kab
Tombs in Aswan
Early dynastic Saqqara
New Kingdom Saqqara
The Unis Cemetary
Mastabas at the Giza Plateau
Giza Mastabas 1000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 2000 cemetary
Giza Mataba 2300 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 4000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 5000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 6000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 7000 cemetary
AYE (KHEPERKHEPERURE) 1333 - 1328 BC
We do not know who the parents of Aye were. It has often been speculated that Aye was a son of Yuya and Tuya. This would have made him the brother of Queen Tiye, the royal brother-in-law of King Amenhhotep III, and the brother of the Second Prophet of Amen named Anen. Aye is never mentioned as a relative of any of the above mentioned people, but some of his titles seem to mirror those of Yuya.
There is no confusion about the identity of Aye's wife. She is the wet-nurse and tutor to Queen Nefertiti, named Tiy. We see depictions of Tiy in Aye's tomb in Amarna, as well as in his tomb in the King's Valley.
Ankhesenamen, the widow of Tutankhamen, may have married Aye. There is a ring which joins her cartouche with that of Aye (now in Berlin). This is really the only evidence of Ankhesenamen's marriage to Aye. She does not appear on his monuments, and she is not depicted in Aye's tomb in the King's Valley.
Aye may have had a son named Nakhtmin. Nakhtmin was a Generalissimo during the reign of Tutankhamen and he may have held the title of Executive (Iry'pat).
A beautiful statue of Nakhtmin and his (unnamed wife) was found. Nakhtmin was identified as King's son of [É]. This title could be completed as King's Son of his Body which would make him the son of Aye, or it could be completed as King's Son of Kush. There is no Viceroy of Kush by the name of Nakhtmin, and it seems that Paser was Viceroy during that time period. This has led to the identification of Nakhtmin as Aye's son. The statue suffered extensive damage. Only two pieces remain, the head and shoulders of Nakhtmin and the upper part of the body and head of his wife. Both statues look as though the eyes, nose and mouth have been deliberately damaged. This should be interpreted as some form of persecution even after death.
Aye is thought by some to be the father of Queen Nefertiti. This is based on his title of It Netjer. This title which is often translated as God's Father is thought to mean 'father-in-law' to the King. This is based on the fact that Yuya held this same title, and the fact that he was indeed the father-in-law of Amenhotep III. Aye's wife Tiy is never named as the mother of Nefertiti, and the theory is that Nefertiti is the daughter of Aye and an unnamed first wife. The baby was given in the care of the wet-nurse Tiy, and Aye then married his daughter's wet-nurse.
Another possible daughter for Aye is a lady named Mutnodjemet. The sister of Nefertiti, named either Mutnodjemet or Mutbenret (the reading is ambiguous) is shown in the tombs of Aye, Panehesy, Parennefer, Tutu, and May in Amarna. If Nefertiti is a daughter of Aye, then necessarily Mutnodjemet is also a daughter of Aye and Tey. It is possible that Mutnodjemet, the sister of Nefertiti, later married Horemheb and came to the throne as Queen Mutnodjemet.
Aye was God's Father (It-netjer), Master of the Horse, possibly Vizier. He was an important official during the reign of Akhenaten. Due to the similarity in titles and names some speculate that Aye was a son of Yuya and Tuya. If this is true, then Aye would be the brother of Queen Tiye (Great Wife of Amenhotep III) and Anen, the Second Prophet of Amen. It is a fact that his wife Tey was the nurse, and later tutor, of the legendary Queen Nefertiti. In scenes from a tomb Aye is shown receiving gold collars of honor from Akhenaten and Nefertiti. His wife Tey is the only woman to have received the same honor. She is shown receiving a gold collar as well.
The title God's Father has lead to speculation that Aye was the father of Queen Nefertiti, and by extension of Mutnodjemet. It is peculiar that Yuya and Tuya were named as the parents of Queen Tiye, but Aye and Tey are never explicitly mentioned as the parents of Nefertiti. Soe speculate that because Tey is named as the nurse of Nefertiti, theat she was not her real mother. The theory is that Nefertiti is a daughter of Aye by a previous (unnamed) wife. Aye was an important official under Akhenaten and under Tutankhamen. Aye had a tomb prepared for himself and his wife Tey in Akhetaten (modern Amarna). The nobles under Tutankhamen changed locations of their tomb-chapels. For instance Horemheb and Maya (colleagues of Aye during the reign of Tutankhamen) had tomb-chapels built in Saqqara, the necropolis near Memphis. Aye's commoner tomb from this period has not been discovered. He would later be buried in the King's Valley.
Reward Scene in Aye's tomb in Amarna
After the death of Tutankhamen, Aye came to
the throne and reigned for some 4 years. Possibly one of his first
duties as King was to bury Tutankhamen. Aye is shown in Tutankhamen's
tomb performing the
Opening of the Mouth ceremony for Osiris Nebkheperre Tuthankamen.
Amarna period head of an aged man sometimes thought to depict Aye, Cairo museum #JE37930
There are not many monuments that date to the reign of Aye. There is a donation stela from Giza in which Aye gives land to one of his officials.
Statue of Aye from Medinet Habu, now in the Agyptisches Museum in Berlin (nr 1479)
There is a faience ring in the Museum in Berlin that shows the cartouches of Aye and Ankhesenamen side by side. Some see this as a sign that Aye married Ankhesenamen to legitimize his assumption of the throne. It is interesting however that on all known monuments and in his tomb, Aye is only ever accompanied by his Great Wife Tey.
Horemheb would have been an important court official of Aye, and in his tomb in Saqqara (Memphis) there are some inscriptions in the First Courtyard that probably date to the reign of Aye. On the south wall there is a scene showing a group of foreigners. It is possible that this is a delegation of foreign dignitaries visiting Aye on his accession of the throne or some other important event. The meaning of the scene is not quite clear. It is also possible that the people were captives, and are lead before the king after a war took place. King Aye was not young when he came to the throne, and died after some four to five years of reign.
The four sons of Horus as depicted in Aye's Tomb
Aye was buried in KV23 in the King's Valley,
sometimes referred to as WV23, because it is located in the West
Valley. The tomb shows evidence of being used, and shows evidence of
persecution of the
Aye hunting in the marsh
The tomb contained the sarcophagus, of which
the box was damaged and the lid was intact. There were fragments of
wooden statues and other fragmentary objects. The names and figures of
Aye and his wife Tey were chiseled from the wall decorations. The
damage is more extensive then what we would have expected from mere
tomb robbers. Almost every name and figure of Aye was purposefully
attacked. It seems that parts of Aye's funerary goods were spread to
the furthest ends of the Western Valley.
Sarcophagus of Aye
Important Egyptians from the time of Aye:
A pharaoh does not rule the country by himself, and some of the individuals involved in government are known to us. The priesthood also played an important role in Ancient Egypt. Aye only ruled some four years, and not too many officials from this period are known, but here is a short overview:
Isut , Overseer of the King's Private Quarters. This would have placed Isut very close to the Pharaoh on a daily basis. Isut and his wife Mutnodjemet are mentioned in a donation stela from Giza. They are rewarded certain fields. [Murnane]
Ipay, Royal butler, Dated to the time from Tutankhamen to Horemheb. The tomb was found by the Universities of Waseda and Tokai expedition in Dashur.
Pay and his son Raia must have been at court. Pay was overseer of the royal apartments of the King's private apartments in the Harem of Memphis and overseer of the Cattle of Amun during the time of Tutankhamen. His son Raia was an overseer of the Horses, a fan-bearer on the right of the King, and later in his career an overseer of the royal apartments of the King's private apartments in the Harem of Memphis, etc. Raia was still present at court from the time of Horemheb to possibly the time Seti I. The tomb of this family was found in Saqqara in 1994. Pay's wife was named Repyt. Pay and Repyt had three sons: Nebre, Mahu and of course Raia. They also had three unnamed daughters.
Horemheb was executive (Iry'pat), and an army general. Horemheb went on to become the next pharaoh.
Maya was the overseer of
the treasury. Maya was treasurer under Tutankhamen, and was alive
during the reign of Aye. It seems likely that Maya and his wife Meryt
were active at court during the reign of Aye as well.
Paser wasViceroy of Kush during the reigns of Aye and Horemheb. Son of the previous Viceroy of Kush Amenhotep called Huy and his wife Taemwadjsy. We know that his mother Taemwadjsy remarried after the death of her first husband. She married a man by the name of Khaemwaset.
Khaemwaset was head of the archers, and he was the brother of Paramessu, who would later reign as Ramses I.
Ramose was King's Scribe and Overseer of the Double Granary. Mentioned on the Donation stela from Giza. [Breasted, Murnane]
Ramose, T is Ramose was troop-commander and deputy of the army. He lived during the times from Tutankhamen to Horemheb. His wife was called Wina. His tomb was discovered in Saqqara.
Aye / Yii was the Second Prophet of Amen, high Priest of Mut, and Steward of either Queen Tiye (wife of Amenhotep), or more likely, Steward of Queen Tey.Probably a nephew of Pharaoh Aye. He was the son of Nakhtmin and Mutemnub, who is likely the sister of Tey. His name is written identical to that of Aye, but is sometimes transliterated as Yii to avoid confusion between these two individuals.
Minnakht/Nakhtmin was High Priest of Min at Akhmin. [from a stela at the Louvre]
Neferhotep was chief scribe of Amun (TT49) He is dated to the reign of Aye.
His wife Merytre is shown in a garden receiving rewards from the Queen in the royal harem.
Bibliography / Suggested Reading
Breasted, J.H. Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol2, The eighteenth dynasty. Chicago 1906 (reprinted in 2001)
Dodson, A. Two Who Might Have Been King, Amarna Letters, Vol. 1, page 26-30
Dodson A. and Hilton D. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, London 2004
Martin, G.T. The Hidden Tombs of Memphis, London 1991
Murnane, W.J. , Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt, Atlanta 1995
Reeves, N., Ancient Egypt, The Great Discoveries, London 2000
Schaden, O.J. Paintings in the Tomb of King
Ay (WV23) & the Western Valley of the Kings Project, Amarna
Letters, Vol. 4, page 89 - 111
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