Ancient Egypt Wiki
Dynasty 18th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) AkhenatenTutankhamun (?)
Titles King's Great Wife
Father Akhenaten (?)
Mother Nefertiti (?)
Spouse(s) Akhenaten, Smenkhkare or Tutankhamun
Zannanza (engaged)
Burial Unknown

Dahamunzu (ancient Egyptian: tꜣ ḥmt nswt, "King's Great Wife") was an ancient Egyptian Queen of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.


Her actual name remains unknown; in The Deeds of Šuppiluliuma and the Amarna letters she is called Dahamunzu in cuneiform which is a reference to the ancient Egyptian title "King's Great Wife" itself (tꜣ ḥmt nswt).[1]

The Dahamunzu and Zannanza Affair[]

Main article: Dahamunzu and Zannanza Affair.

Dahamunzu is only known from the Dahamunzu and Zannanza Affair, which is an event recorded in the Hittite annals called The Deeds of Šuppiluliuma. These were composed by the Hittite king Muršili II, who is the son of king Šuppiluliuma I.

The annals recount the message the Egyptian widow queen wrote to Šuppiluliuma:

My husband died. A son I have not. But to thee, they say, the sons are many. If thou wouldst give me one son of thine, he would become my husband. Never shall I pick out a servant of mine and make him my husband. I am afraid.[2]

Such an offer to marry a female member of the Egyptian royal family is unprecedented, leaving Šuppiluliuma surprised and suspicious.[3] Ultimately, after much negotiation, Šuppiluliuma agreed and selected his son Zannanza to enter a diplomatic marriage in Egypt and become Pharaoh. It is the only instance in ancient Egyptian history where a foreign prince was sent into diplomatic marriage with the Egyptian queen. However, Zannanza is killed, possibly before reaching Egypt's borders.[3] The further circumstances of his death remain unknown. As the annals make clear, the Hittites accuse the Egyptians for this murder:

"The people of Egypt killed Zannanza and brought word: 'Zannanza died!' And when [Šuppiluliuma] heard of the slaying of Zannanza, he began to lament for Zannanza and to the gods he spoke thus: 'Oh gods! I did no evil, yet the people of Egypt did this to me, and they also attacked the frontier of my country".[4]

It remains unknown what happened to Dahamunzu after her plan to marry a Hittite prince had evidently failed.


The identity of Dahamunzu is completely dependent on that of her deceased husband. If Akhenaten was the deceased pharaoh, Nefertiti must be Dahamunzu. In the case of Smenkhkare, Dahamunzu must be identified with Meritaten. While in the case of Tutankhamun, she must have been Ankhesenamun.

See also[]


  1. Federn 1960, p. 33.
  2. Güterbock 1956, p. 94.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Reeves 2001, p. 175-176.
  4. Güterbock 1956, p. 108.


  • Federn, W., 1960: Dahamunzu (KBo V 6 iii 8). Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Vol. 14.
  • Güterbock, H.G., 1956: The Deeds of Suppiluliuma as told by his son, Mursilli II. Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Vol. 10.
  • Reeves, C.N., 2001: Akhenaten, Egypt's False Prophet. Thames & Hudson, London.