Born in Nubia, Queen Tiye was the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III, mother of Amenhotep IV (later known as Akenhaton), and mother-in-law of Nefertiti. Highly prestigious during the reign of both her husband and son, she exerted her influence as queen consort and queen mother of Egypt over a fifty-year period. In addition, she shaped Egyptian fashion and altered the prevailing view regarding royal women.
Married at an early age, her husband fiercely admired her and displayed his love lavishly by building temples and massive statues where she sits by him as an equal, a feat unparalleled in that time; dedicated a number of shrines to her; and even created a monumental artificial lake for her. She was glorified by her husband as "... The most praised, the lady of grace, sweet in her love, who fills the palace with her beauty, the Regent of the North and South, the Great Wife of the King, the lady of both lands..."
Wielding her power and taking charge at this juncture in the nation's history, she used her political influence and astute decisions to maintain Egypt's authority. She averted key national crises by becoming Secretary of State when her husband's physical and mental powers deteriorated with age; and redirected political decisions to her attention when her son Akenhaton neglected his political duties while preoccupied with his religious innovation (named the Heretic King, Akenhaton was the first ruler in recorded history to believe in monotheism).
The mummy known as "Elder Woman" is often thought to be Queen Tiye. This is supported by the fact that a hair sample from the mummy matched a lock of hair found in Tutankhamen's (her reputed son/grandson) tomb. However, these findings are disputed primarily on the grounds that the mummy was much "younger" than Queen Tiye would have been when she died.
Akhenaten: King of Egypt, Cyril Aldred, Thames and Hudson, 1988.
Akhenaten: The Heretic King, Donald B. Redford, Princeton University Press, 1984.
Black Women in Antiquity, Ivan Van Sertima (ed.). Transaction Books, 1990.
Egypt Revisited, Ivan Van Sertima (ed.), Transaction Books, 1989.
A General History of Africa, Vol. II: Ancient Civilizations of Africa, UNESCO, 1992.
Nile Valley Civilizations, Ivan Van Sertima (ed.), Transaction Books, 1989.
World's Greatest Men of Color, Vol. I, J.A. Rogers, Collier Books, 1972.
Search for 'Tiye' on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.
Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharoanic Egypt: Dynasties XXVIII to XX
Queen Tiye and the Co-Regency
Women's Legal Rights in Ancient Egypt
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