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date: 22 August 2019


  • C. A. Keller


(flc. 1270 bc). Egyptian queen of the 19th Dynasty. Nefertari was the Great Royal Wife of Ramesses II (regc. 1279–c. 1213 bc) during at least the first half of his reign. By far the most prominent of the royal spouses of this king, she is well attested in both Egyptian and cuneiform texts and is represented on numerous royal monuments throughout Egypt and Nubia. At Abu Simbel, her slim figure, clad in flowing linen garments and crowned with tall plumes flanked by graceful bovine horns, is ubiquitous in both the Great Temple and the Small Temple—which was dedicated to her in association with the Goddess Hathor of Ibshek (Abu Simbel). She was only the second royal spouse to be so honoured. Her predecessor in this respect, Queen Tiye, was a Great Wife of Amenophis III (regc. 1390–c. 1353 bc), whom Ramesses II often emulated in other contexts. The bovine horns, in the sculptures of Nefertari at Abu Simbel, are probably associated with the Goddess Isis-Sothis. Nefertari is depicted with an almost identical crown in her tomb at ...

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