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ỉꜥḥ-ms nfr-try
"Born of the Moon, Beautiful Companion"

The deified queen Ahmose-Nefertari depicted in tomb TT359 of Inherkhau. Currently in Neues Museum, Berlin (ÄM 2060).©

Dynasty 17th and 18th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Tao IIThutmose I
Titles King's Great Wife
God's Wife
God's Wife of Amun
Divine Adoratrice of Amun
United with the Beautiful White Crown
King's Mother
Hereditary Princess
Great of Praises
King's Daughter
King's Sister
Father Tao II
Mother Ahhotep I
Spouse(s) Ahmose II
Issue Ahmose-Ankh, Amenhotep I,
Ahmose-Meritamen, Siamun,
Ahmose (?), Mutnofret (?),
Burial ANB (initial?), TT320 (reburial?)
For other pages by this name, see Ahmose or Nefertari.

Ahmose-Nefertari (Ancient Egyptian: ỉꜥḥ-ms nfr-try, "Born of the Moon, Beautiful Companion") was an ancient Egyptian deified Queen of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.


Ahmose-Nefertari is known to have held many titles, including: Hereditary Princess (rt-pꜥt), Great of Grace (wrt-ỉmꜣt), Great of Praises (wrt-ḥswt), King's Great Wife (ḥmt-nswt-wrt), God's Wife (ḥmt-nṯr), God's Wife of Amun (ḥm.t nṯr n ỉmn), United with the White Crown (ẖnmt-nfr-ḥḏt), King's Daughter (sꜣt-nswt), King's Sister (snt-nswt), and King's Mother (mwt-nswt).[1]


Ahmose-Nefertari was a daughter of Pharaoh Tao II and Queen Ahhotep I and the granddaughter of Pharaoh Ahmose I and Queen Tetisheri.[2] Her brothers include Pharaoh Kamose (who succeeded their father), Pharaoh Ahmose II (her husband who succeeded his older brother), and possibly Prince Ahmose-Sipair. Her many sisters include Ahmose-Henutemopet, Ahmose-Meritamen, Ahmose-Nebetta, Ahmose-Tumerisy, Ahmose-Henuttamehu, and Ahmose.[2]

Ahmose-Nefertari became sister-wife and principal wife of Pharaoh Ahmose I, with whom she had at least three sons; Amenhotep I (who would eventually succeed his father to the throne), Ahmose-Ankh and Siamun. She is depicted on a stela from Karnak with her son Ahmose-ankh and Siamun ended up reburied in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari. Ahmose-Nefertari was also the mother of two daughters who became royal wives, Ahmose-Meritamen and Ahmose-Sitamun. A prince named Ramose is considered to be another son of Ahmose-Nefertari,[2] though his mother was more likely Mutnofret. The latter may have been another daughter of Ahmose-Nefertari.


Ahmose-Nefertari was born in Thebes during the latter part of the 17th Dynasty, likely during the reign of her grandfather Ahmose I. Her father Pharaoh Tao II fought active military campaigns against the Hyksos and appears to have lost his life during a battle. He was succeeded by Kamose.[2]

After the death of Kamose the throne went to Ahmose I. Pharaoh Ahmose was very young and queen-mother Ahhotep I served as regent during the early years of his reign. Ahhotep would have taken precedence at court over her daughter Ahmose-Nefertari, who was the great royal wife. Ahmose I became the first king of the 18th Dynasty, and a pharaoh ruling over a reunited country.[3]

A donation stela from Karnak records how Pharaoh Ahmose II purchased the office of Second Prophet of Amun and endowed the position with land, goods and administrators. The endowment was given to Ahmose-Nefertari and her descendants, though she renounced the title in either Year 18 or 22 of Ahmose II and became the first God's Wife of Amun. Separately the position of Divine Adoratrice of Amun was also given to Ahmose-Nefertari.[4]

Amenhotep I came to power while he was still young. As his mother, Ahmose-Nefertari may have served as regent for him until he reached maturity.[4][5] Her name appears on many monuments from Saï to Tura. She is depicted in Nubia next to the Viceroy of Kush Ahmose-Turo in the company of the newly crowned Pharaoh Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose. A vase fragment found in KV20 was inscribed with the double cartouche of king Thutmose I and Ahmose-Nefertari and the epithet indicates the queen was alive. A large statue of queen Ahmose-Nefertari from Karnak may be one of the last statues created in her honor before she died.[6]

Death & Burial[]

Ahmose-Nefertari likely died in approximately regnal Year 5 or 6 of Thutmose I. Her death is recorded on the stela of a Wab Priest called Nefer. The text mentions that "the divine consort Ahmose-Nefertari, justified with the great god lord of the West, flew to heaven". Helck proposed that the annual cult holiday (II Shemu 14) dedicated to Ahmose-Nefertari at Deir el-Medina may have commemorated the day of her death. The father of Nefer, who was likely Overseer of the Royal Works Ineni, oversaw her burial.[6]

Ahmose-Nefertari was likely buried in the ANB tomb at Dra' Abu el-Naga' and had a mortuary temple there. Her mummy is assumed to have been retrieved from her tomb at the end of the New Kingdom and moved to the royal cache. Her presumed body, with no identification marks, was discovered in the 19th century.



The presumed mummy of Ahmose-Nefertari (Smith 1912).

Ahmose-Nefertari's presumed mummy was unwrapped in 1885 by Émile Brugsch. The mummy emitted such a bad odor that Brugsch had it reburied on museum grounds in Cairo until the offensive smell abated. Ahmose-Nefertari died in her 70s. Her hair had been thinning and plaits of false hair had been woven in with her own to cover this up. Her body had been damaged in antiquity and was missing her right hand.[4]

In April 2021 her mummy was moved to National Museum of Egyptian Civilization along with those of 3 other queens and 18 kings in an event termed the Pharaohs' Golden Parade.[7]


After her death, Ahmose-Nefertari was deified as "Goddess of Resurrection" and was arguably the most venerated woman in Egyptian history.[8] She was also known as "Mistress of the Sky" and "Lady of the West".[4] As part of her deification, she began being depicted in various symbolic skin colors after death. She is shown with a pink, golden, blue, dark red, but most prominently black skin color.[9] The earliest known example of this being the TT161 tomb of a noble named Nakhte which dates circa 150 years after her death.[9] Blue and black were especially popular colors to symbolize fertility and re-birth.[4][2] During her lifetime, Ahmose-Nefertari was depicted with the same traditional skintone as other female individuals.[9] She was the longest and last queen to be worshipped in a Theban funerary cult until the time of the High Priest of Amun, Herihor, at the beginning of the 21st Dynasty.


  1. Grajetzki 2005.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Dodson & Hilton 2004.
  3. Forbes 1998.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Tyldesley 2006.
  5. Shaw 2000.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bradbury 1985, p. 73-95.
  7. Parisse, Emmanuel (5 April 2021): "22 Ancient Pharaohs Have Been Carried Across Cairo in an Epic Golden Parade". ScienceAlert.
  8. Singer 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Gitton 1981.


  • Bradbury, L., 1985: Nefer's Inscription: On the Death Date of Queen Ahmose-Nefertary and the Deed Found Pleasing to the King. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 22.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Forbes, D.C., 1998: Imperial Lives: Illustrated Biographies of Significant New Kingdom Egyptians. KMT Communications, Inc.
  • Gitton, M., 1981: L'épouse du dieu, Ahmes Néfertary : documents sur sa vie et son culte posthume (2 ed.). Besançon: Université de Franche-Comté.
  • Grajetzki, W., 2005: Ancient Egyptian Queens: A Hieroglyphic Dictionary. Golden House Publications, London.
  • Shaw, I., 2000: The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press.
  • Singer, G.G., 2011: Ahmose-Nefertari, The Woman in Black. Terrae Antiqvae.
  • Smith, G.E., 1912: The Royal Mummies: Catalogue Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée de Caire. Duckworth (Reprinted year 2000 version).
  • Tyldesley, J., 2006: Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.