Ancient Egypt Wiki
"One who sees Horus,
the invisible splendor of Re"

Maathorneferure on a statue from Tanis.

Dynasty 19th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Ramesses II
Titles King's Great Wife
Daughter of the Great Ruler of Hatti
Lady of the Two Lands
Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt
Father Ḫattušili III
Mother Pudu-Ḫepa
Spouse(s) Ramesses II
Issue Neferure
Burial QV58 (?)

Maathorneferure (ancient Egyptian: mꜣꜥt-ḥr.w-nfr.w-rꜥ, "One who sees Horus, the invisible splendor of Re") was a Hittite Princess from Hatti and Queen of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the New Kingdom.[1]


Maathorneferure was a daughter of the Hittite king Ḫattušili III of Hatti and his queen consort Pudu-Ḫepa. Her mother's name possibly suggests that she was of Hurrian descent. Maathorneferure was the sister of the later Hittite king Tudḫaliya IV.

Maathorneferure was married to the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 34th year of his reign, becoming his Queen.[2] Upon this marriage she changed her name to Maathorneferure, her original Hittite name is unknown. She had at least one daughter named Neferure.


Egypt and the Hittite empire had been increasingly at odds since the demise of the kingdom of the Mitanni, and Maathorneferure's marriage to the Egyptian Pharaoh was the conclusion of the peace process which had begun with the signing of a peace treaty thirteen years earlier.

On the Marriage Stela it is claimed that "The daughter of the great chief of Kheta marched in [front] of the army [...]"[3]

For Ramesses, the marriage was valuable more for the large dowry he acquired rather than his new bride, who was despatched to his harem palace at Merwer (the current site of Medinet el-Ghurob).[4] According to another account, however, Maathorneferure is said to have given Ramesses a baby (a girl called Neferure, according to the Abydos procession) and died shortly thereafter.[5]

Maathorneferure is mentioned on a papyrus found at Merwer. The partial text on the papyrus states: "[...] small bag, the king's wife Maathorneferure (may she live) (the daughter of) the great ruler of Khatti, [...] Dayt garment of 28 cubits, 4 palms, breadth 4 cubits, [bag?] of 14 cubits, 2 palms, breath 4 cubits - 2 items [...] palms, breath 4 cubits".[6]

At Tanis, there is a broken statue of Ramesses that shows her (mostly destroyed) figure touching his leg, together with her cartouche.


  1. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 140.
  2. The Marriage Stela and KUB III 37 + KBo I 17 + KUB III 57 record that king Ḫattušili III of Hatti sent his daughter with a great dowry to Egypt and that she arrived in 1245 BC.
  3. Breasted 1906, § 415ff.
  4. Gurob, papyrus 32795.
  5. Tyldesley 2001.
  6. Gurob, papyrus 32795.


  • Breasted, J.H., 1906: Marriage Stela. In: Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. III, Nineteenth Dynasty. University of Chicago Press.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Tyldesley, J., 2001: Egypt's Golden Empire: The Age of the New Kingdom. Headline Book Publishing.