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Takhat
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tꜣḫꜥt
Dynasty 19th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Ramesses IISeti II
Titles King's Great Wife
King's Daughter
King's Mother
Father Ramesses II (?)
Spouse(s) Merenptah (?)
Issue Amenmesses
Burial Unknown
For other pages by this name, see Takhat.

Takhat (ancient Egyptian: tꜣḫꜥt) was an ancient Egyptian Princess and King's Wife of the Nineteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.

Titles[]

Takhat held the titles of King's Wife, King's Daughter and King's Mother. However, the latter title was intentially erased and/or replaced during the latter part of Seti II's reign. Takhat was also attested once as King's Great Wife by Amenmesses, but it remains unknown whether she actually held this title during the reign of her husband.

Family[]

Takhat was the mother of the usurper Pharaoh Amenmesses.[1] She is probably identical with Takhat, the daughter of Ramesses II, who appears in a list of princesses on an ostracon dated to his Year 53 (Louvre 666).[2] If so, she was the aunt of Seti II, but since she was among the youngest children of Ramesses, it is very likely that she was the same age or even younger than Seti II who was the grandson of Ramesses.[3] If she is not identical to the daughter of Ramesses II with the same name, she could be a daughter of Merenptah. It is also possible that she was a grandchild of Ramesses; there are several examples of granddaughters bearing the title "King's Daughter", although it was not very common.

The identity of the king Takhat married (Amenmesses' father) is a matter of interpretation complicated by inscriptions being revised by Seti II and Amenmesses. A monument from Karnak, carved while Amenmesses was in control of the area, includes the relief of his mother Takhat titled "King's Daughter" and "King's Mother". The monument was reinscribed from 'Mother' to 'Wife', suggesting that Amenmesses' father was a pharaoh. According to Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton, the title was recarved when Seti, the rightful heir regained the throne from Amenmesses and usurped the statue. Another statue of Seti II (Cairo CG1198) bears Seti's name surcharged over someone else's while the names of Takhat were left alone. Especially the recarving to the title "King's Wife" by Seti II has been interpretated as evidence that Takhat was married to Seti II as well as mother to Amenmesses.[4] However, since it was recarved to an original title that may predate Seti's reign it may just as well refer to Merenptah instead. If Takhat really was Seti II's wife, it would imply that Amenmesses usurped the throne from his own father, which is unprecedented – given ancient Egyptian theology regarding kingship – and should be deemed unlikely. Others such as Frank Yurco believe Takhat was wife to Merenptah making the rivals Seti II and Amenmesses half-brothers.[5] Alternatively, Takhat could even have been a (daughter-)wife of Ramesses II as well.

One of six quartzite statues originally placed along the axis of the hypostyle hall in the Amun Temple at Karnak, with the inscription, "the King's Great Wife Takhat" might suggest that Amenmesses gave his mother the title of queen (similar to the cases of Thutmose IV's mother Tiaa and Amenhotep III's mother Mutemwia). If she was Merenptah's wife however, perhaps Takhat succeeded Isetnofret II as the queen consort hence receiving the title from her husband the traditional way.

Death and burial[]

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

Takhat was once thought to have been buried in Amenmesses' KV10 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Kings along with Queen Baketwerenro, who was thus thought to have been the principal wife of Amenmesses. However, it has been proven since then that their decorations replaced those of Amenmesses in the tomb, so they must have lived later.[6] Furthermore, in Seti II's erasure and usurpation of Amenmesses, he would not have spared the latter's mother and queen whose titles refered to Amenmesses as king and god.[7] The evidence thus suggests an "extremely odd situation" of a king whose mother had the same name as a later usurper of his tomb.[8] The other Takhat and Baketwerenro are now known to have belonged to the Twentieth Dynasty and were the mother and queen of Ramesses IX respectively.

See also[]

References[]

  1. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 179, 183.
  2. Dodson 2010, p. 42.
  3. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 175, 180.
  4. Dodson 2010, p. 40-42
  5. Dodson 2010, n. 38, n. 40.
  6. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 283.
  7. Dodson 1987, p. 225.
  8. Dodson 1987, p. 226.

Bibliography[]

  • Dodson, A., 1987: The Takhats and Some Other Royal Ladies of the Ramesside Period. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 73.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
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