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"Lady of the Two Lands"

Nebettawy at the Greater Abu Simbel Temple.

Dynasty 19th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Ramesses II
Titles King's Great Wife
King's Daughter
Lady of the Two Lands
Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt
Father Ramesses II
Mother Isetnofret I (?)
Spouse(s) Ramesses II
Issue Tuya-Nebettawy (?)
Burial QV60

Nebettawy (transliteration: nb.t-tꜢwy, meaning: "Lady of the Two Lands") was an ancient Egyptian Princess and Queen of the Nineteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.


Nebettawy held the titles; "Lady of the Two Lands" (nb.t-tꜢwy), "King's Great Wife" (ḥm.t-nsw-wr.t), "Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt" (ḥnw.t-šmꜤw-mḥw), and "King's Daughter of His Body, His Beloved" (zꜢ.t-nsw-ẖt.f mry.t.f).[1]


Nebettawy was one of the more privileged daughters of Pharaoh Ramesses II, which suggests that her mother wasn't a minor wife. Ramesses II's principal wife Nefertari has been suggested as her mother,[2][3] but her absence from Nefertari's smaller temple at Abu Simbel[4] makes this unlikely. She may have been the daughter of the second queen, Isetnofret I, instead.

On the second southern colossus in front of the Greater Abu Simbel Temple Nebettawy is depicted in the regalia of a queen, with a cap wig, a fairly simple modius and the double plumes. Bentanat (also dressed as a queen) stands by the left leg of the second southern colossus, Nebettawy by the right leg, and princess Isetnofret stands in front of the colossus.[3] Bentanat is known as Queen Isetnofret I's eldest daughter and Princess Isetnofret likely was her daughter too. The fact that Nebettawy is depicted with them, can be seen as further evidence that the three are daughters of Queen Isetnofret I and full-sisters.

A daughter of Ramesses II known from a Louvre ostracon named Tuya-Nebettawy might be hers given the name, but this remains speculative.


Nebettawy appears as the fifth princess in a procession of royal daughters as depicted in the Greater Temple at Abu Simbel. She appears behind Bentanat, Baketmut, Nefertari, and Meritamen. The princesses are shown carrying sistrums.[2]

After Bentanat and Meritamen, she was the third of Ramesses' daughters to become her father's wife (possibly after the death of Meritamen). Nebettawy served as Great Royal Wife while her father entered the diplomatic marriage with Maathorneferure, the daughter of the Hittite king Ḫattušili III, in Year 33. Nebettawy and her sister Bentanat fulfilled the ritual role of that of the queen of Egypt.[3]


Nebettawy was buried at her QV60 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Queens.[2] The tomb was robbed already in antiquity and was later used as a Christian chapel.[3] In one of the scenes in the tomb, Nebettawy wears a rather special headdress: a vulture crown with uraeus, topped by a modius and supporting a number of flowers. This specific headdress is only attested for Queen Nebettawy, Queen Iset (QV51), and Queen Tyti (QV52). It is not known what the precise meaning of this piece of regalia was. An earlier version of this crown was worn by Princess-Queen Sitamun, the daughter-wife of Amenhotep III. Hence it could be a reference to her position as Princess-Queen.[5]

See also[]


  1. Grajetzki 2005.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dodson & Hilton 2004.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Tyldesley 2006.
  4. Kitchen 1996.
  5. Van Sicklen 1974.


  • 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, London.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1996: Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated & Annotated: Translations. Volume II, Blackwell Publishers.
  • Sicklen, C. van, 1974: A Ramesside Ostracon of Queen Isis. Journal of Near Eastern Studies.
  • Tyldesley, J., 2006: Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.