Ancient Egypt Wiki
"Mut is in the Divine Barque"
Dynasty 18th Dynasty
Titles King's Great Wife
King's Mother
God's Mother
Lady of the Two Lands
Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt
Great of Praises
Hereditary Princess
Spouse(s) Thutmose IV
Issue Amenhotep III
Burial Unknown

Mutemwia (ancient Egyptian: mwt-m-wỉꜣ, "Mut is in the Divine Barque") was a King's Wife of Pharaoh Thutmose IV in the 18th Dynasty during the New Kingdom.[1]


Mutemwia held many titles including God's Wife (ḥmt-nṯr), Lady of the Two Lands (nb.t-tꜣwy), King's Great Wife, his beloved (ḥmt-nsw-wrt mryt.f), Noblewoman (šps.t), Hereditary Princess (r.t-pꜥ.t), Great of Praises (wrt-ḥzwt), Sweet of Love (bnrt-mrwt), Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt (ḥnw.t šmꜥw mḥw), King's Mother (mwt-nsw), and God's Mother (mwt-nṯr).[2] The titles of King's Mother and God's Mother both referring to Pharaoh Amenhotep III.[3] All of these titles, including that of Great Royal Wife, were used only after her husband's death, during her son's reign. At the time of Amenhotep III's accession to the throne she gained prominence as the new pharaoh's mother.[4]


Mutemwia was a secondary wife of Pharaoh Thutmose IV and the mother of his successor, Amenhotep III. Mutemwia's origin is unknown. But due to the absence of the titles King's Daughter, she might have been a commoner. Alternatively, Mutemwia is sometimes thought to be the unnamed daughter of King Artatama I of Mitanni, who was sent to enter a diplomatic marriage with Thutmose IV.[5] Another posssible suggestion by Cyril Aldred is that Mutemwia might have been a sister of Yuya.[6] He argues that since Mutemwia was present during the early years of her son's reign, she might have engineered the marriage between Tiye and the young king to connect her family with royalty. Thus far, all theories regarding Mutemwia's background remain speculative.


Mutemwia is not attested during the reign of her husband Thutmose IV. She would have been overshadowed at court by the chief queens Nefertari, and later Iaret. Mutemwia only starts to appear on the monuments of her son Amenhotep III.[7]

Mutemwia is shown in the Luxor temple, in scenes depicting the divine birth of her son Amenhotep III. The scenes resemble (and in some cases copy) scenes of the divine birth of Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari. Hatshepsut had used the birth story to reinforce her claims to the throne. Amenhotep III was the son of a ruling pharaoh and it seems that the birth scene is used to stress the semi-divine nature of Amenhotep. In a key scene Mutemwia is shown seated on a bed receiving the god Amun who had taken the form of her husband Thutmose IV. They are in the presence of the goddesses Serket and Neith. The scenes show Amenhotep III to be the result of the union of his mother with the god Amun himself.[8][4] A pregnant queen Mutemwia as later shown being led to the birthing room by Isis and Khnum.[6]

A partial granite statue representing Mutemwia was found in Karnak and it now is in the collection of the British Museum. The statue takes the form of a rebus showing the goddess Mut seated in a barque, thereby forming her name. Mutemwia is named in the inscription on the side of the barque.[4][9]

Along with her daughter-in-law, Tiye, she also is shown on the Colossi of Memnon erected by Amenhotep III in front of his mortuary temple.[7][8]


The date of Mutemwia's death is unknown, but she is believed to have survived long into her son's reign. The evidence for that is her presence among the sculptures of the Colossi of Memnon, which was built well into his reign, as well as a mention of her estate on a wine-jar label found in Amenhotep III's Malkata royal palace on the west-bank of Thebes.[8] The whereabouts of Mutemwia's burial and mummy remain unknown.


  1. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 140.
  2. Grajetzki 2005.
  3. Bryan 1991, p. 113-118.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Tyldesley 2006, p. 114.
  5. EA 29 composed decades after the event by King Tušratta of Mitanni states to Akhenaten: "When [Menkheperure], the father of Nimmureya (i.e., Amenhotep III) wrote to Artatama, my grandfather, he asked for the daughter of my grandfather, the sister of my father. He wrote 5, 6 times, but he did not give her. When he wrote my grandfather 7 times, then only under such pressure, did he give her".
  6. 6.0 6.1 Aldred 1991.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dodson & Hilton 2001, p. 132-141.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 O'Connor & Cline 2001.
  9. Quirke & Spencer 1992, p. 78.


  • Aldred, C., 1991: Akhenaten: King of Egypt. Thames and Hudson, London.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Bryan, B., 1991: The Reign of Thutmose IV. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Grajetzki, W., 2005: Ancient Egyptian Queens: A Hieroglyphic Dictionary. Golden House Publications, London.
  • O'Connor, D./Cline, E.H., 2001: Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign. University of Michigan Press.
  • Quirke, S./Spencer, J., 1992: The British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt. Thames and Hudson, London.
  • Tyldesley, J., 2006: Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.