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Katimala, Kadimalo
Dynasty 21st Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Siamun (?) – Psusennes II
Titles Viceroy of Kush (?)
King's Great Wife
King's Daughter
Father Osorkon (?)[1]
Spouse(s) Siamun (?)[1]
Burial Unknown

Karimala, Katimala or Kadimalu (transliteration: kꜣry-mꜣlw or kꜣty-mꜣlw) was a local Nubian Queen[2] or an ancient Egyptian Queen and Viceroy of Kush of the Twenty-first Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period.[1]


An inscription at the temple of Semna in Nubia mentions Karimala's titles as "King's Daughter" (transliteration: sꜣ.t-nsw.t) and "King's Great Wife" (transliteration: ḥm.t-nsw.t-wr.t). If her titles allude to the Egyptian royal family of the 21st Dynasty, her political and military status in Nubia would suggest that she succeeded Neskhonsu in office as Viceroy of Kush.


Karimala is merely known from a relief found at the temple of Semna in Nubia, which provided her aforementioned titles. The relief depicts her standing before Isis. Karimala is shown with double feather crown, scourge and long robe. The inscription accompanying the scene seems to allude to a conflict between a certain Makarasha and an unnamed king.[3]

Origins and Family[]

Chris Bennett has suggested in 1999 that Pharaoh Osorkon could be the father of Karimala, accounting for her "King's Daughter" title.[1] Her foreign name thus perhaps being of Libyan origin. Given the Year 14 date of the inscription, she might have been the queen of either Siamun or Psusennes II. Bennett prefers a marriage to Siamun, because in that case she could have taken over the position of Viceroy of Kush from Neskhonsu, as a religious figurehead in Nubia after the death of the latter in Year 5 of Siamun. Furthermore, Siamun as the son-in-law of Osorkon would also serve as an explanation for their succession. Given the documented complaint of a ruler to Karimala, the king in power can hardly be her husband Siamun and was thus likely his successor Psusennes II.

Another perspective on Karimala's origins is provided by John Coleman Darnell,[2] who argues that Karimala's name is of Nubian origin; with kꜣry or kꜣty being a term for "woman" and mꜣlw probably meaning "good" in Meroitic.[4] Darnell points out that:

"Although all elements of the iconography and language of Katimala's tableau [at Semna] are Egyptian, nothing in the tableau supports an identification of Katimala as a daughter of any Egyptian ruler".[5]

Karimala appears as a political and military leader who held control of at least Lower Nubia in the wake of failed military activities on the part of a male predecessor.[2] This may allude to her duties as a Viceroy of Kush attempting to maintain Egyptian control over the surviving viceregal holdings south of Aswan. However, she may instead have been an early precursor of what would later become the 25th Dynasty.


The whereabouts of Karimala's tomb and mummy remain unknown.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bennett 1999, p. 7-8.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Darnell 2006.
  3. Markot 2010.
  4. Darnell 2006, p. 13-14.
  5. Darnell 2006, p. 55.


  • Bennett, C., 1999: Queen Karimala, Daughter of Osochor? Göttinger Miszellen, Vol. 173.
  • Darnell, J.C., 2006: The Inscription of Queen Katimala at Semna: Textual Evidence for the Origins of the Napatan State. Yale Egyptological Seminar, New Haven.
  • Morkot, R., 2010: The A to Z of Ancient Egyptian Warfare. Rowman & Littlefield.