Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut

last update: 22.12.2011



A daughter came from the union Of Hatshepsut with Thutmosis II, the "Great King's Daughter" Neferu-Ra. Neferu-Ra is portrayed on numerous relief as well as on numerous statues, particularly with her tutor Senenmut.
As all preceding "God's Wife(s) of Amun" who had transferred this office to their presumed daughters, Hatshepsut also transfers this office during her lifetime to her own daughter Neferu-Ra. At the same time Neferu-Ra was intended to become in future the "Royal Wife" of Thutmosis III. Whether this wedding ever took place we do not know - but up to now it is not testified that she held the title of "hemet nisut weret (Hmt nswt wrt)", "Great Royal Wife". At Djeser djeseru, where she is depicted as "God's Wife" (hemet netjer = Hmt nTr) offering at the third position behind Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III she is called - in relation to Thutmosis III - as a "King's Sister" (senet nisut = snt nswt).

This block (2nd register, no. 37) from the interior of the Red Chapel shows as a "God's Wife of Amun" ritually "burning the enemies of Egypt" (the enemies are depicted on the fans as tied up prisoners).
The name of the princess Neferu-Ra is not given, but the title of a "God's Wife" is mentioned here 4x (e.g. on the right in each case in front of the lower leg, on the left near her head) - since, on the other hand, it is not a representation of Hatshepsut, the "God's Wife of Amun" depicted here may be most likely Neferu-Ra.

  Drawing of the stela of Neferu-Ra from Serabit el-Khadim, Sinai, dating into year 11 (Cairo JdE 38546; Sinai No. 179; from: Dorman, P. F., The Career of Senenmut. in: Roehrig, C.H., Hatshepsut - From Queen to Pharao. MMA, New York 2005; S. 108 s. a. Černý, J., The Inscriptions of Sinai by Alan H. Gardiner and T. Eric PeetLondon 1955).

The God's Wife of Amen, Neferu-Ra is shown offering to the goddess Hathor, "Lady of the Turquoise".

The text accompanying Neferu-Ra reads:
"Year 11 under the majesty of the god's wife of Amun, Neferu-Ra, given life, stability, and dominion, forever, like Ra".

The text in front of Hathor reads:
"Beloved of Hathor, Lady of the Turquoise".

Behind her Senenmut is depicted holding a fan, the text above him reads:
"[Her] steward, Senenmut".

The stela shows no traces of deliberate damage. The figure of Hathor is slightly damaged as the text below the scene, but this appears due to weathering (Schulman, JARCE VIII, 1969-1970).

The "year 11 under the majesty of the God's Wife, Neferu-Ra" is testified on a stela in the turquoise mines on the Sinai (see above), but in the second tomb of Senenmut (TT353), whose building started at the latest in regnal year 16 of Hatshepsut/Thutmosis III, Neferu-Ra was not mentioned any longer. Therefore, it is assumed that she died sometime between the years 11 to 16 (see also: Dating of TT353).
Dorman (1988) as well as Roehrig (1990) contradict this supposition and  refer to several recarved inscriptions which allow the conclusion that Neferu-Ra has lived into the time of the sole rule of Thutmosis III as his principle wife and was possibly the mother of his oldest son prince Amenemhat in year 23.

Among other Dorman mentions here the Cairo stela CG 34013 (JdE 34642) from the temple of Ptah in Karnak. The stela was erected to commemorate the king´s rebuilding and rededication of the temple in his year 23 or 24.

Lunette of the stela Cairo CG34013 (modified, from Brandt, .J., The Monuments of Sethi I. Leiden-Boston-Köln 2000)

The stela shows the typical structure of royal stelae of the New Kingdom (Klug, A., Königliche Stelen in der Zeit von Ahmose bis Amenhotep III. Turnhout 2002). In the top of the lunette a winged sun disk arches over the scene and inscriptions below. The scene is laid out symmetrically and shows on both sides mirror-image of Thutmosis III offering before the statue of Ptah. In both scenes Thutmosis is accompanied by the "God's wife" Sitiah. The two statues of Ptah are represented to back-to-back, between them is a column of the restoration text of Sethi I.
Legrain, who discovered the stela, believed that the name of the queen behind Thutmosis III was not originally "Sitiah". He was sure to  decipher a Ra and a Nfr in the cartouche. Vandersleyen confirmed this reading and was sure that he could detect multiple Nfr signs. Hence, he suggested to restore the original name to Nfr.w-Ra. Because the stele describes the events of the campaign against Megiddo in the year 22-23, one can assume that Neferu-Ra has survived her mother by about 2 years.
Piccione (2003) examined this stele again and reported on his results. He recognized thet the stela had been altered three times, the 1st changes took place during the reign of Thutmosis III, the 2nd changes had been done during the Amarna period, and, finally, the  Amarna destruction were restored under Sethi I. During the Amarna period the lunette had been erased nearly completely. However, the winged sun-disk, much of the bodies of the queenly figures, and the two area behind them were left intact.
The drawings above (from: Piccione, 2003) show details of two sides of the lunette. Piccione identified in this area changes on the representation of the queen as well as on her cartouche. During the restoration of both queenly figures under Sethi I the vulture head-dress had been incompletely restored and also the modius of the left queen had been forgotten.
More important are the changes which are detectable inside the cartouches. The text which accompanies both queenly figures reads: Hm.t nTr [%A.t-iaH] anx.ti - the God's Wife [Satiah], may she live. It must be noted that on no further monument Satiah is mentioned with the title "Hm.t nTr", what leads to the conclusion that this title refers to the original queen!
Both cartouches show two versions of the name %A.t-iaH, the 1st version shows the usurpation of the stela which under Thutmosis III. which was deleted later under Akhnaton, the 2nd version shows what was repaired under Sethi I. These changes are clearly recognizable on the basis the original moon-sign [ iaH] .
Furthermore, both cartouches reveal remainders of several nfr-() and one Ra-()-signs. Thus, it appears clear according to the epigraphical traces in the cartouches together with  the title "God's Wife" that the original name in the cartouche was that of the "God's wife" Neferu-Ra:  .
In the text below the lunette Thutmosis III mentions his return from the first victorious campaign against Palestine in his regnal year 23. The victorious return is the cause for the offerings to Amun-Ra, Ptah, and Hathor, which are mentioned on the stele - the stele cannot have been set up before this year.
Therefore, it must be assumed that Neferu-Ra was still alive in year 23.

The Cairo stela CG 34105, a fragment from the funerary temple of Thutmosis III, shows the king offering to Amun accompanied from a queen who is called "Great Royal Wife, whom he loves, Mistress of Upper- and Lower Egypt, Isis" (obviously his mother). These titles are unattested elsewhere for Isis and her name is obviously secondary in the cartouche.
According to Dorman Weigall, in his initial publication of the stela, was able to read a Ra as the first part of the name in the cartouche. Therefore, it was also suggested that the original name had been that of Neferu-Ra.
However, according to Piccione (2003) the original name on this stela was that of the Great Royal Wife Meryt-Ra which was replaced with the name of Isis.


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Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)