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Ankhesenpaaten

nkhesenpaaten was the third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. She is seen with her parents in Akhetaten, worshipping Aten, and also playing with her other sisters. It is around Year 15 of his reign when her father, following the "disappearance" of Nefertiti, takes Ankhesenpaaten for his chief wife. The next year, Ankhesenpaaten, herself around the age of twelve, bore a daughter to her father, Ankhesenpaaten-ta-sherit.

After the death of Akhenaten, Ankhesenpaaten married Smenkhkare, whose own wife, Meritaten, had perhaps died. But this marriage only lasted a short time, and we next find Ankhesenpaaten married to Tutankhaten.

The couple were married for the nine years of his reign, and the scenes that we have of the young couple show them happy and in love. Although they tried to have children, their efforts did not produce a living heir. In the tomb of Tutankhaten (Tutankhamun), two stillborn children were found buried with their father. It was at this time that Tutankhaten and Ankhesenpaaten changed their names to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun, to honor the old gods that they had restored.

Tutankhamun died rather suddenly, and there was no heir to take his place. Scholars believe that Ankhesenamun wrote a letter to Suppiluliumas, the Hittite king. She begged him to send one of his sons to marry her, as she did not want to take one of her own people as husband. But time was short for Ankhesenamun, and when the Hittite king finally sent a son (who was murdered on the way), she was already married to Ay, who had declared himself pharaoh. This is the last that we hear from her. It is assumed that she was murdered when Horemheb took over the throne.

Lamentation over Tutankhamun's Body
I am thy wife, O great one--do not leave me!
Is it thy good pleasure, O my brother, that I should go far from thee?
How can it be that I go away alone?
I say: "I accompany thee, O thou who didst like to converse with me,"
But thou remainest silent and speakest not!


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