WHO WAS NEFERTITI?
by: Daan Akkerman
For over fifteen years Nefertiti was the most influential woman of Egypt. She was worshiped as a goddess by her people and reigned together with Amenophis IV, a 18th dynasty ruler of the New Empire, who adopted for himself the name 'Achnaton' when he ascended the throne around 1353 AD.
Still, little know is about this queen. From around 1336 BC there are no traces of her in history, at the time she must have been about 30 years old.
Nefertiti married pharaoh Achnaton, son of Amenophis III, in the fourth year of his reign. At that time, she must have been about 15 years old; Achnaton was at least 14.
Because of this marriage, this stunningly beautiful young woman became one of the most powerful female rulers ever in Egypt. She was deeply loved; she was worshiped by her people.
During all the important events she was at her king's end, almost equal in status. However, there the trail ends. So far nobody has been able to find any indication which might shed light on Nefertiti's mysterious disappearance ... or is there a macabre explanation after all?
WAS NEFERTITI ACHNATON'S HEIR(ESS) TO THE THRONE?
Because Smenchkare and Nefertiti used the same title - Neferneferuaton - some experts believe that Nefertiti rose to the throne after pharaoh Achnaton's death in 1336 A.D., which explains the mysterious disappearance of Nefertiti after the death of Achnaton.
After the death of Achnaton, Nefertiti was able to take on her/his authentic name again namely: Smenchkare. Even though Achnaton or his concubine Kia had a son- namely Tutankhamun - strangely enough he appointed Smenchkare as his heir to the throne.
It is still not officially known who this regent really was. It is likely that it was Nefertiti, who thereby was able to legitimately rule as pharaoh Smenchkare.
However, according to some Egyptologists, Smenchkare was another son of Amenophis III, but others believe that Smenchkare was a half brother of Achnaton, or another member of the royal family, or was Smenchkare a pseudonym for Nefertiti?
Where did Nefertiti or Smenchkare come from? According to one theory, Nefertiti/Smenchkare was the daughter/son of Tiye (or Tiy) and Ay (also called Aya ).
In that case, her/his father would have been a prominent official at the court of Amenophis III and a confidant of Achnaton. According to this theory, which is quite prevalent among Egyptologist these days, Nefertiti/ Smenchkare would have been part of the highest circles of Egyptian society.
An explanation for the mysterious disappearance of Nefertiti might be: Nefertiti was a boy/man, who had a relation and marriage of convenience with Achnaton from the age of fourteen.
Homosexual relations were quite common in the times of Achnaton, definitely for the elite such as priests and pharaohs, which would explain why Nefertiti behaved as a pharaoh and had the same status as Achnaton.