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"Daughter of Anat"

Statue of Bentanat at Karnak.

Dynasty 19th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Seti IMerneptah
Titles King's Great Wife
Great of Praises
Great One of the Hetes-Sceptre
Lady of the Two Lands
Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt
Hereditary Princess
King's Daughter
King's Sister
Priestess of Hathor
Father Ramesses II
Mother Isetnofret I
Spouse(s) Ramesses II
Issue Meritre (?)
Burial QV71
For other pages by this name, see Bentanat.

Bentanat or Bintanat (transliteration: bn.t-ꜥntỉ, meaning: "Daughter of Anat") was an ancient Egyptian princess and queen of the Nineteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom. She was the firstborn daughter and a queen consort of Pharaoh Ramesses II.[1] Her name is Semitic and refers to Anath, a Canaanite goddess.


During her time as queen Bentanat held many titles including; Hereditary Princess (ỉrt-pꜥt), the great first one (ỉrt-pꜥt-tpỉt-wrt), Lady of the Two Lands (nbt-tꜣwỉ), King's Great Wife (ḥmt-nỉswt-wrt), Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt (ḥnwt-shmꜥw-mḥw), King's Daughter (zꜣt-nỉswt), and eventually King's Sister (snt-nỉswt).[2] Her sarcophagus attests the additional titles; Great of Praises (ḥzwt-wrt), Great One of the Hetes-Sceptre (ḥts-wrt) and Priestess of Hathor (ḥmt-nṯr ḥwt-ḥrw).[3]


Bentanat was likely born when her father Ramesses II was still Crown Prince during the reign of her grandfather Seti I. Her mother was Queen Isetnofret I, one of the two most prominent wives of Ramesses II. She had at least three brothers, Ramesses, Khaemwaset and Merneptah and a probable sister who was named Isetnofret after their mother.[1]

Bentanat had a daughter who appears on the paintings in her QV71 tomb in the Valley of the Queens. She is unnamed there but might have been Meritre, a princess found with Bentanat on a statue of Ramesses II at Tanis. However, according to Joyce Tyldesley it is possible that her daughter's name was also Bentanat and that she married the next pharaoh, Merneptah. According to Tyldesley, a statue of Merneptah in Luxor mentions "the Great Royal Wife, Bintanath", who is, possibly, this daughter, since it is unlikely that the older Bentanat married Merneptah when both of them were well over sixty. However, it is entirely possible that Bentanat never married Merneptah and kept using the "Great Royal Wife" title only because she was entitled to it due to her first marriage.[4]


Bentanat is depicted in a scene on a pylon in Luxor dated to year 3 of Ramesses II. She is said to be the King's Daughter of his body, and is the first in a procession of princesses. She is followed by Meritamen in this procession. Bentanat appears twice as a princess in Abu Simbel. Together with Nebettawy she flanks the southernmost colossus on the facade of the great temple. On one of the pillars inside the temple she is shown offering flowers to the goddess Anoukis.[5]

Bentanat became Great Royal Wife around the 25th year of her father's reign.[1] As such, Bentanat appears on several statues of Pharaoh Ramesses II. She is depicted on a statue from the Sinai (BM 697), on two sandstone colossi found in Tanis, but probably originally from Pi-Ramesses, and on a statue from the south gate of the Ptah precinct in Memphis. A usurped Middle Kingdom statue from Heracleopolis Magna depicts both Bentanat and her sister Meritamen, and a statue from Hermopolis depicts Bentanat and Henutmire (both as great royal wives). Bentanat is depicted on statues of her father at least three times in Karnak and Luxor, and she appears in statues in Wadi es-Sebua.[5]


Aswan family stela; Upper Register: Ramesses II, Isetnofret and Prince Khaemwaset before Khnum. Lower register: Princes Ramesses, Merneptah and Princess Queen Bentanat.

Two family stelae show Bentanat with her immediate family. The Aswan rock stela shows Ramesses II, Isetnofret and Khaemwaset before the god Khnum, while in another register Bentanat appears with her brothers Ramesses and Merneptah. Another stela from West Silsila depicts Bentanat standing behind her mother Isetnofret and her father Ramesses II as the king offers Maat to the gods Ptah and Nefertem. Prince Khaemwaset stands in front of the king, while her brothers Ramesses and Merneptah are shown in a lower register.[5]


Despite her being Ramesses' first daughter, Bentanat was actually one of the few children who outlived their long-lived father. She died during the reign of her brother Merneptah and was buried in her QV71 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Queens.[1] Queen Bentanat is depicted in her tomb with her daughter, who is not named. Bentanat's sarcophagus was later usurped by a man.[5]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 170.
  2. Grajetzki 2005.
  3. Grajetzki & Müller-Hazenbos 2021.
  4. Tyldesley 2001.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Kitchen 1996.


  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Grajetzki, W., 2005: Ancient Egyptian Queens: a hieroglyphic dictionary. Golden House Publications.
  • Grajetzki, W./Müller-Hazenbos, C., 2021: The sarcophagus of Hunefer and other new kingdom private sarcophagi. Kitab – Egyptology in Focus, Material Culture of Ancient Egypt and Nubia, Vol. 3. Nicanor Books.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1996: Ramesside Inscriptions. Translated & Annotated, Translations, Volume II, Blackwell Publishers.
  • Tyldesley, J., 2001: Ramesses: Egypt's Greatest Pharaoh. Penguin.