Egyptian Society during the Ramesside period, Dynasties XIX and XX

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Oral Presentation by Analise

2.4 roles and status of women: royal and non-royal

Royal Women


Queen Nefertari

    • Wall relief from Nefertari's tomb in the Valley of the Queens, Thebes.
    • Nefertari's tomb (QV66) was discovered in 1904 by Italian archaeologist, Schiaparelli.
    • The relief remains in tomb QV66 today.
    • This source is useful evidence, as it shows the significance of Nefertari in the Nineteenth Dynasty, especially during Ramesses II's reign, and her influence over Ramesses. It reflects her status as chief consort until year 24. *
Nefertari and Thoth

  • Wall painting depicting Nefertari before the god Thoth (in his ibis-headed human form).*

Colossal Nefertari

    • Colossal Statue of Nefertari, outside the Small Temple dedicated to Hathor and Nefertari at Abu Simbel.
    • The temple remains intact today, at Abu Simbel, near the Great Temple of Ramesses II.
    • The source is useful as evidence to show the importance of Nefertari to Ramesses II and Egypt in the Nineteenth Dynasty as well as its significance of being only the second temple dedicated to a Queen (the first being the Temple of Nefertiti dedicated by Akhenaten in the Eighteenth Dynasty). The temple also reflects her role as chief consort.*

Tomb of Tausert

    • Tausert's Tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV14), Thebes.
    • The tomb has been known and open since antiquity.
    • Studied and examined by Hartwig Altenmiller (1983 - 1987), William Flinders Petrie (1896) and The American Research Center in Egypt (2004 - present)
    • The source is useful as evidence as the Tomb reflects the importance of Tausert, as a Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty.*

Queen Tausert

    • Wall relief of Queen Tausert holding an offering, with cartouche from her tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
    • The relief remains in tomb KV14 today.
    • Reflects Tausert's significance as wife of Seti II, regent, and finally Pharaoh in her own right.*

Queen Tuya

· Stopper for one of Queen Tuya's canopic jars, carved in the form of her head.
· Currently resides in Luxor Museum, Thebes.
· The source is useful as evidence for firstly her existence, and her status, indicated by the use of alabaster and detail of the stopper. *

Queen (Mut-)Tuya
Head of Queen (Mut-)Tuya

  • Statue of Queen (Mut-)Tuya (Mut meaning mother) from unknown site.
  • On display in the Vatican Museum, Vatican City.
  • This source is useful as evidence as it provides an image for Tuya and signifies her importance, as both the Queen for Seti I and mother of Ramesses II.
Queen Tuya

  • Wall relief of Tuya from the temple in the Ramesseum (Thebes), where it remains today.
Tuya Facade

  • Relief depicting Queen (Mut-)Tuya.
  • Located on the facade of the Great Temple in Abu Simbel.

Non-Royal Women

Girl Fanning Fire

  • Ostracon made of fired clay depicting slave girl fanning fire in an oven.
  • Dates back to the Twentieth Dynasty.
  • Currently in the Egyptian Museum at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
  • The source is useful as evidence as it shows one aspect of daily life for female slaves, and in the case of lower class families, wives.

Female Acrobat

  • Painting of a dancer or acrobat doing a backwards somersault on ostracon.
  • Made by an anonymous artist, found in Thebes from the Nineteenth Dynasty.
  • Located in Museo Egizio, Turin.
  • This source is useful as evidence of the role of women in entertainment and social pleasure.

Erotic Scene

  • Erotic scenes from the 'Turin Papyrus'.
  • Found at Deir el-Medinah, dating from the Ramesside Period.
  • Located in Museo Egizio, Turin.
  • This source is useful as evidence as it suggests the existence of brothels and sexual celebratory actions. This scene is supposedly a record of the celebrations held by tomb workers in honour of the founder of the village (Deir el-Medinah) and patron king Amenhotep I.

  • Robins, G. 1993, ‘Women In Ancient Egypt’, Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, Great Britain
  • Schulz, Regine and Seidel, Matthias (ED); 1998; 'Egypt: The World Of The Pharaohs'; Konemann Publishing; Oldenburg, Germany
  • Hagen, R-M., Hagen, R. 2005, ‘Egypt: People, Gods, Pharaohs’, Taschen, South Korea

Web Pages

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