Ancient Egypt


Page by Anneke Bart


Kings and Queens

4th dynasty
Seneferu, Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure, Djedefre, etc.

11th dynasty
Kings named Mentuhotep and Intef

12th dynasty
Amenemhet I - IV,
Senusret I-III

18th dynasty
Amenhotep I-IV,
Tuthmosis I-IV, Akhenaten, Tutankhamen, Aye, Horemheb, etc.

19th dynasty
Sety I-II, Ramesses I-II, Merenptah, Amenmesses, Tawosret.

20th dynasty

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

Amarna Period
Queen Nefertiti
inscriptions Queen Nefertiti.
Queen Kiya

Tombs at Amarna
Houses at Amarna

Valley of the Kings,
Valley of the Queens
Theban Tombs,
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

Mummy Caches
Tomb DB320
Tomb KV35


Tutankhamen (Luxor).
Later usurped by Horemheb.


King of Upper Egpyt and Lower Egypt, Nebkheperure, son of Re, Tutankhamun, given life.


 Nebkheperure Heqa Maat


 Tutankhamun Heqa Iunu Semai 

Family Background

Tutankhamen as a child. Depicted as the god Nefertem

The parents of Tutankhamen are not known. The most accepted theory however is that Tutankhamen was the son of Akhenaten and his secondary wife Kiya.

Tutankhamen was married to Ankhesenamen, who may very well have been his half-sister. Two mummies of prematurely born babies were found in Tutankamen's tomb and both girls are thought to be the daughters of Tutankhamen and his wife Ankhesenamen.

Tutankhamen had no living children that we know of when he died at the age of ca. 19 years old.


Tutankhamen was born as Tutankhuaten in approximately year 9 in Akhetaten during the reign of Akhetaten. He bore the title of King's Son of his body. This title likely implies that Akhenaten was his father. If there was a long co-regency between Akhenaten and his father Amenhotep III, which is assumed by many, then there's a small chance that Amenhotep III was Tutankhamen's father.

Given that Tutankhuaten grew up in Akhetaten, apparently in the North Palace it seems more likely that Akhetaten was his father. The North Palace was the residence of Kiya, a secondary wife of Akhenaten. It is often speculated that Kiya was the mother. The problem is that Kiya is only ever shown with a daughter, not with a son. It should be noted however that it is fairly rare to find depictions of royal sons during this particular time period. The known depictions of royal sons is often with their tutors or in a rare instance with their father, but usually not with their mother. It is entirely possible however that future finds will shed more light on this question.

There is a handle of an astronomical instrument in the Oriental Institute Museum (Chicago), and in the inscription Tutankhamen claims Thutmosis IV as a forefather. The text is sufficiently ambiguous that the words used could mean that Thutmosis IV was Tutankhamen's grandfather (Larsen) or great-grandfather (Reeves) [from Murnane]. The text does seem to point to either Amenhotep III or Akhenaten being the father of Tutankhamen.

Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen at Karnak.
(Photo by Sesen)


The End of an Era

The end of the Amarna period preceding the reign of Tutankhamen is rather murky. There was a succession of co-regents, Kings and Queens and the exact history is still not quite understood. It seems that Akhenaten appointed Nefertiti as his co-regent at some point, and was later followed on the throne by Ankhkheperure Smenkhare and Merytaten and possibly followed by a Queen Ankhetkheperure Neferneferuaten. The order and length of these reigns is a source of much speculation.

 There is much debate about the identity of this last Queen. Some see her as Nefertiti claiming the throne, while others think that Merytaten claimed the throne for herself after the death of her husband Smenkhare. After this seemingly turbulent period Prince Tutankhuaten became Pharaoh with Ankhesenpaaten as his wife.

Scene showing Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen (from the golden throne)

The King.

Tutankhamen came to the throne at a very young age. He must have been 7 or 8 years old. He only reigned for 10 years. After some years on the throne the royal couple changed their names from Tutankhaten and Ankhesenpaaten to Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen. A restoration inscription was found in 1905 in the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak. The large granite stela was issued on the occasion of the King's official repudiation of the Atenist legacy. The text describes the steps undertaken to restore the orthodox cults to their former glory. Lay priests and higher clergy were appointed. It is made clear that these officials are the 'son-of-a-man' whose name was known. In other words all the appointed officials came from the families of high ranking individuals.

Scenes in the statue room of general Horemheb's tomb in Saqqara give hints of a military conflict. There is reference to his lord [the Pharaoh] being on the battlefield smiting Asiatics. Apparently Horemheb, as generalissimo, was responsible for leading a military campaign in order to reassert Egypt's power over the city states of western Asia and the tribes of Nubia. There is a clear indication that Tutankhamen was present on the battlefield, which implies it probably took place towards the end of his reign.

Tutankhamen died at the age of 17 or 18 years old and was buried in the Valley of the Kings in KV62.


His tomb and Mummy

The mummy mask

His tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, who worked for Lord Carnarvon. On November 22 1922 a rock-cut step was discovered below the entrance to the tomb of Ramses VI. After clearing the steps, a door was discovered. Behind this door was a rubble filled corridor. After clearing this corridor a second door was encountered. A resealed hole was evident in the top-left corner of the door, indicating that the tomb had been entered in antiquity. Behind the door Carter would find four rooms filled with treasures.

In the Antechamber were animal-headed couches, chariots and life-sized guardian statues. The Annexe was a store chamber situated off the Antechamber, and intended for the storage of wine jars and food provisions. The decorated burial chamber contained four golden shrines that were nested like Russian dolls. Within the innermost shrine was a quartzite sarcophagus which held three nested coffins. The innermost coffin was made of solid gold. Another room named the Treasure held the canopic equipment.


The mummy was unwrapped and a large quantity of beautiful jewelry was discovered on the body. The body was rather heavily covered with resin, and there are reports that the team used headed knives to pry the mummy mask off the mummy. The mummy seems to have been damaged rather extensively. The arms were broken into several distinct pieces to facilitate the removal of bracelets, and the body was decapitated.

Over the years many theories developed about the death of Tutankhamen. Some  speculated that he may have been killed by a blow to the back of the head. Others wondered if the absence of the front of his ribcage indicated that the king had suffered a major accident. In January 2005, a CT scan was performed. A team of scientists reached the conclusion that there was no evidence of foul play. There was no blow to the back of the head, and even though the front of the ribcage was missing the mummy shows no signs of having suffered a crushed chest. What the team did find was damage to the legs. The left thigh was broken, as was the lower right leg. The team disagreed about the time the injuries were sustained. Some thought the injuries occurred during Tutankhamen's life, and a possible infection may be the cause of death. Others thought it was equally possible for the legs to have suffered the breaks after death, and possibly even at the hands of Carter and his team. The team concluded that the king had been well-fed, healthy and showed no signs of any spinal problems. At this point we still do not know definitively what killed Tutankhamen.

The opening of the mouth scene in Tutankhamen's tomb. Pharaoh Aye is shown performing the ceremony.


The aftermath of Tutankhamen's death or the Dahamunzu affair

Records were found in the Hittite archive outlining a strange string of events that took place after the death of Tutankhamen. After the death of King Tutankhamen, Queen Ankhesenamen wrote to the King of the Hittites and asked him to send her one of his sons. She promises to marry the Prince and make him King of Egypt. She claims to be afraid and declares that she will not marry any of her 'servants'. King Suppiluliuma suspects some trick and sends one of his envoys to investigate. After some time the King decides to send his son, Prince Zannanza, to Egypt. The prince dies and the King expects foul play. The last letters in the exchange show a correspondence between Aye and Suppiluliuma. This shows that all of Ankhesenamen's machinations have come to naught. There is some indication that Ankhesenamen married Aye, but she disappears from history soon after that.


Shrine from the tomb of Tutankhamen.



Important Officials from the reign of Tutankhamen:


Court Officials:

God's Father (It-netjer), Master of the Horse, possibly Vizier. Aye was already a prominent official during the reign of Akhenaten. His wife Tey was the wet-nurse of Nefertiti, and some scholars think that Aye may have been the father of this famous Queen. If this is true, then he would have seen his granddaughter Ankhesenamen become Queen and take the throne alongside Tutankhamen.

Ipay, Royal butler, Served from the time of Tutankhamen to Horemheb. Found by the Universities of Waseda and Tokai expedition in Dashur.

Ipi, royal scribe, fan-bearer on the right of the King(Tutankhamen) and great overseer of the royal household (Stela at the Hermitage Museum)

Maia:  wet-nurse to the King. Her tomb was found in Saqqara by French archeologists, led by Alain Zivie.

Pa-atenemheb was a royal butler. He was buried in Saqqara.

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. He served under Tutankhamen. Pay and his wife Repyt had three sons (Nebre, Mahu and Raia) and three daughters.

Raia, the son of Pay was Master of the Horses and a fan-bearer on the right of the king. Raia would later follow in his father's footsteps as overseer of the royal apartments.

Sennedjem, Prince, Count/Mayor, fan-bearer on the right of the King, God's father, overseers of nurses and Senked, the overseer of tutors (nurses).  A double tomb was found in Akhmin for these two (probably related) men. Both Tutankhamen and Aye feature prominently in the tomb. (Macquary University)


Government Officials

Amenhotep called Huy, Viceroy of Kush under Tutankhamen and buried in TT40.

And his wife Taemwadjsy was Superior of the Harem of Nebkheperure (Tutankamen) residing in 'Who Satisfies the Gods'. Taemwadjsy was also Superior of the Harem of Amen, and as such the successor of Tuya (the mother of Queen Tiye). She first married Amenhotep, called Huy, the King's Son of Kush. Her son Paser later became King's Son of Kush as well. After the death of her first husband she married Khaemwaset, the brother of Paramesse (the later Pharaoh Ramses I). It is likely that Taemwadjsy was related to the family from Akhmin who include Yuya and Tuya. By her second marriage she was also related to the Ramesside Royal family.

Iniuia, started his career as a scribe of the state treasury (under Maya?) but later became overseer of the cattle of Amun and high steward. Iniuia was married to Iuy, a songtress of Amun. They had two sons: Ramose and Penahori (scribes of the treasury of the temple of Aten), and two daughters Merytre and Wiay.

The treasurer Maya shown in his tomb in Saqqara.

Maya: Chancellor, fan-bearer at the right-hand of the King, overseer of the treasury.

The tomb of Maya and his wife (and half-sister) Meryt was found in Saqqara. They had two daughters: Mayamenti and Tjauenmaya. Maya also had two brothers: Nakht, scribe of the treasury of the Lord of the Two Lands, and Parennefer, overseer of the bowmen as well as overseer of the horses. Meryt had a brother (who was then a half-brother of Maya) named Nahuher. Nahuher was Royal scribe and high steward of the Ramesseum.

Meryre , overseer of the treasury, probably dates to the time of Tutankhamen.

Pay, Royal scribe, overseer of the King's private apartments in Memphis / of the Queen / in Gereg-Waset, Overseer of the young females of the Lord of the Two Lands, overseer of all the works of all the monuments of his majesty, overseer of the cattle of Amun-Re.

Pay was married to Repyt, and had three sons and three daughters. Raia followed in his father's footsteps. He probably served under Horemheb. Two other sons were Nebre (scribe of the treasury) and Mahu.

Pentu, Vizier (known from inscription on a wine jar in Tutankhamen's tomb)

Usermontu Vizier, etc., son of Nebmehyt [Griffith Inst.]



Army Officials

General Horemheb shown in his tomb in Saqqara, and some of his officers are shown on the right.

Horemheb: Executive (Iry'pat), Generalissimo. During Tutankhamen's reign Horemheb was most likely married to Amenia, a chantress of Amen. Horemheb's tomb in Saqqara (Memphis) is an important source of information. The tomb was built during the reign of Tutankhamen and Aye. Upon becoming Pharaoh himself, a uraeus was added to the brow of most of his images.

Nakhtmin generalissimo under Tutankhamen. Likely the son of Aye. Nakhtmin contributed five ushabtis to the grave goods of Tutankhamen.

Paramesse: General under Tutankhamen. Would later serve as Vizier under Horemheb, and would ultimately take the throne as Ramesses I.

Penniut, deputy commander of Wawat. From a stela. He's also depicted in Viceroy Huy's tomb.



Meryptah: High Priest of Ptah
Parennefer, also called Wennefer, High Priest of Amun. The tomb of the High Priest of Amun, Parennefer, was discovered north of Dra Abu el-Naga in 1989. The tomb is  TT162. Parennefer also served under Horemheb.

Ptahemhat-Ty, High Priest of Ptah (inscription).



Bibliography / Suggested Reading

1. Breasted, J.H. Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol2, The eighteenth dynasty. Chicago 1906 (reprinted in 2001)

2. Dodson A. and Hilton D. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, London 2004

Malek, J., Magee, D., and Miles, E., Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and PaintingsVolume VIII: Objects of Provenance Not Known: Statues (Published online by the Griffith Institute)

3. Martin, G.T.  The Hidden Tombs of Memphis, London 1991

4. Murnane, W.J. , Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt, Atlanta 1995

5. Porter and Moss, The Theban Necropolis. Part One: The Private Tombs, 2nd ed. Paperback 2004 (originally printed in 1960)

6. Reeves, N., Ancient Egypt, The Great Discoveries, London 2000

7. van den Hout, T.P.J., De zaak Zannanza. Een Egyptisch-Hettitisch brievendossier, Phoenix, Leiden 39 (1993), 159-167.  "The Zannanza affair. An Egyptian-Hittite letter file."

8. The Saqqara Online website maintained by Leiden University (the Netherlands)



Some of the illusttrations courtesy of  Jon Bodsworth

Comments: email