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Ankhesenamun - Queen of Tutankhamun and Daughter of Akhenaten
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Ankhesenamun - Queen of Tutankhamun and Daughter of Akhenaten

Ankhesenamun, was the third of six known daughters of the Pharaoh Akhenaten by his wife Nefertiti. Her birth name was Ankhesenpaaten.

After her father's death and a short marriage to Smenkhkare, she became the queen of Tutankhaten.

Following their marriage, the couple honored the gods of the restored religion by changing their names to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun.

Portrait by 
Winifred Brunton

Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun are thought to have had two children, both of whom died. When Tutankhamun died, Ankhesenamun was married to Ay to ligitimize his reign as pharaoh and died during or shortly after his reign.

A document was found in the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa which dates to the Amarna period. It was addressed to the Hittite king, Suppiluliumas I and reads, "My husband has died and I have no son. They say about you that you have many sons, You might give me one of your sons to become my husband. I would not wish to take one of my subjects as a husband."

This document is extraordinary, for never before had anything like this occurred. In fact, Egyptians traditionally considered foreigners to be inferior. Suppiluliumas was understandably wary and had an envoy investigate, but by so doing, he missed his chance to bring Egypt into his empire. He did eventually send one of his sons, Zennanza, but the prince was murdered en route.

Debate rages over which queen authored the amazing message. Possible candidates are Nefertiti and Ankhesenamun. Ankhesenamun seems perhaps more likely since there were no candidates for the throne on the death of her husband, Tutankhamun, whereas Akhenaten had at least two legitimate successors when he died.

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