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Sitamun
Sitamen
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imn
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zꜣ.t-imn
"Daughter of Amun"
Sitamun

A relief of Sitamun from Amenhotep III's mortuary temple, on display at the Petrie Museum, London (UC 14373).©

Dynasty 18th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Amenhotep III
Titles King's Great Wife
King's Eldest Daughter
Hereditary Princess
Father Amenhotep III
Mother Tiye
Spouse(s) Amenhotep III
Burial KV22 (?)

Sitamun (ancient Egyptian: zꜣ.t-imn, "Daughter of Amun") was a Princess and Queen of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.

Titles[]

Sitamun's known titles include: "Singer of the Lord of the Two Lands", "King's Wife" (ḥmt-nswt), "King's Great Wife" (ḥmt-nswt-wrt), "King's Daughter His Beloved" (zꜣt-nswt mry.t-f), "King's Eldest Daughter" (zꜣt-nswt-tpỉ), "Hereditary Princess" (ỉrt-pꜥt), and "King's Great Daughter His Beloved" (zꜣt-nswt-wrt mry.y-f).

Family[]

Sitamun was the firstborn daughter of Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his Queen Tiye. Her younger sisters include; Iset, Henuttaneb, Nebetah and/or Baketaten. Her brothers were Thutmose, Amenhotep IV, and probably Smenkhkare. Sitamun was the aunt of Tutankhamun.

Sitamun married her father, Amenhotep III, and acquired queenship around Year 30 of his reign. The evidence for this marriage consists of a blue-faience kohl-tube with the cartouches of Amenhotep III and Sitamun, an alabaster bowl found at Amarna with the same cartouches and jar-label inscriptions uncovered from the royal palace at Malkata.[1] It is not known whether their marriage produced any offspring.

Life[]

Sitamun is very well attested, most notably in the KV46 tomb of Yuya and Tjuyu, her maternal grandparents.[2] where three finely made chairs were discovered. As these chairs were used, and are of progressively larger size, it is assumed they belonged to Sitamun as she was growing up. They were then placed in her grandparents' tomb in the tradition of placing objects which had meaning in the deceased person's life. She is also depicted on the stele of her nurse Nebetkabeny.[3]

As her father's Great Wife, Sitamun maintained her own rooms in the Malkata palace complex, and Amenhotep-Sihapu was appointed as the steward of her properties here. She is attested on a Karnak statue of Amenhotep Sihapu (now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo) where she is mentioned as the King's Great Wife. She also appears on a relief from Amenhotep III's mortuary temple, found by William Matthew Flinders Petrie (now in the Petrie Museum).[4] Sitamun is among a handful of figures that appear near the end of the reign of Amenhotep III. This was an era of Egyptian history in which women assumed far more prominent and powerful roles with Sitamun's mother, Queen Tiye, being a particular example. Prior to Tiye's reign, "no previous queen ever figured so prominently in her husband's lifetime".[5]

Death and Burial[]

As the eldest daughter of a powerful queen, Sitamun would have been groomed for a political role but never fulfilled this potential after her father's lifetime, since she - like her sisters Iset and Henuttaneb - dissapeared from the historical record at the end of Amenhotep III's reign and is not mentioned again during Akhenaten's reign. Presumably she had died or went into seclusion after her brother Akhenaten became king.

A separate chamber was carved for Sitamun in Amenhotep III's KV22 tomb in the Valley of the Kings, but there is no evidence that she was ever buried there.

References[]

  1. O'Connor & Cline 1998, p. 7.
  2. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 146.
  3. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 157.
  4. Flinders Petrie 1897, pl. VI.8.
  5. O'Connor & Cline 1998, p. 6.

Bibliography[]

  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Flinders Petrie, W.M., 1897: Six Temples at Thebes 1896. London.
  • O'Connor, D./Cline, E., 1998: Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign. University of Michigan Press.
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