Ancient Egypt Wiki

The formerly iconic statuette of Tetisheri at the British Museum, London. Now regarded as probable forgery.

Dynasty 17th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Ahmose IAhmose II
Titles King's Great Wife
King's Mother
Father Tjenna
Mother Neferu
Spouse(s) Ahmose I
Issue Tao II
Ahhotep I
Burial KV41 (original?),
TT320 (reburial?)

Tetisheri (ancient Egyptian: ttỉ-šrỉ) was an ancient Egyptian noblewoman and Queen of the Seventeenth Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. She was the matriarch of the Egyptian royal family of the late Seventeenth and early Eighteenth Dynasty.


Tetisheri is known to have held the titles King's Great Wife (ḥmt-nsw-wrt) and King's Mother (mwt-nsw).


Tetisheri was the daughter of Tjenna and Neferu. The names of Tetisheri's parents are known from mummy bandages found in TT320.[1] She was selected by Pharaoh Ahmose I, despite her non-royal birth, to be not only his wife but his King's Great Wife (i.e. queen).[1] Tetisheri was the mother of Tao II, Ahhotep I, Ahmose-Inhapi and Sitdjehuty. She was also the grandmother of the pharaohs Kamose and Ahmose II.



Stela of Ahmose II honouring Tetisheri at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Found in the ruins of Tetisheri's pyramid in the complex of Ahmose's own pyramid at Abydos.

Ahmose II had a memorial structure or cenotaph at Abydos erected in honour of his grandmother Tetisheri, in the midst of his own extensive mortuary complex at that site. This mudbrick structure was discovered in 1902 by the Egypt Exploration Fund, and was found to contain a monumental stela detailing the dedication by Ahmose II and his sister-wife Ahmose-Nefertari of a pyramid and enclosure (or shrine) to Tetisheri.[2]

A statuette long in the collections of the British Museum bearing an inscription naming Tetisheri was identified as a forgery by W. V. Davies, based on the slavish imitation of its inscription from a fragmentary lower portion of a similar statue of the queen (now lost). However, some scholars question this attribution, and have been raising questions as to the potential authenticity of the statuette itself, if not the inscription.


Tetisheri was likely buried in Thebes and she may have been reinterred in the KV41 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Kings.


Main article: Unknown Woman B

Unknown Woman B Head

Mummyhead of Unknown Woman B (Smith 1912).

A mummy known as "Unknown Woman B" found in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari might belong to Tetisheri.[1][3] Evidence in favor of this identification is the late Seventeenth / early Eighteenth Dynasty style of mummification. More persuasive evidence was proposed by Daressy and Murray who both noted that bandages, which were associated in some fashion with this mummy, had been inscribed with the name of Tetisheri.[4] Unknown Woman B was the body of an elderly, balding lady with white hair. Her natural hair had been interwoven together with hair from a wig.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dodson & Hilton 2004.
  2. Porter & Moss, 2004, p. 91-92.
  3. Partridge 1994, p. 28.
  4. Daressy 1909, p. 26.
  5. Smith 1912.


  • Daressy, G., 1909: Cercueils des cachettes royales. Cairo.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Partridge, R., 1994: Faces of Pharaohs. The Rubicon Press.
  • Porter, B./Moss, M., 2004: Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings. Volume V. Upper Egypt: Sites. (1st ed.).
  • Smith, G.E., 1912: The Royal Mummies. Cairo.