History Embalmed


Short Biography of the life of Ankhesenpaaten, the wife of the pharaoh Tutankhamun
The history, facts and information about Ankhesenpaaten, the wife of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamun of Ancient Egypt. The following biography information provides basic facts about the life Ankhesenpaaten:

  • Ankhesenpaaten meant "She Lives Through the Aten"
  • Alternative names: Ankhesenamun and Ankhesenamen
  • Egyptian Period / Kingdom: New Kingdom
  • Dynasty: Ankhesenpaaten was queen in the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty
  • Name of Pharaoh husband: Tutankhamun r1334 BC -1325 BC
  • Year of Birth: c1340 BC
  • Period as the Chief wife, Queen Ankhesenpaaten to Tutankhamun: r1334 BC -1325 BC
  • Tutankhamun was succeeded by: Ay (Kheperkheprure Ay) 1325 BC -1321 BC
  • Family
    • Father: Ankhesenpaaten was the daughter of the pharaoh Akhenaten
    • Mother: The name of her mother was Nefertiti
    • Tia was the nurse of the Princess Ankhesenpaaten
    • Chief Wife: She was the chief wife and consort of Tutankhamun. After his death she was forced to marry the Pharaoh Ay, who was also her grandfather (Ay was the father of Nefertiti)

  • Year of Death: Unknown but she probably died sometime during the brief rule of Ay, between 1325 BC  and 1321 BC
  • Why Ankhesenpaaten was famous: Ankhesenpaaten was famous as the Chief Wife of Tutankhamun
  • Biography and accomplishments: Ankhesenpaaten was the chief wife and consort of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. Her father was Amenhotep who would become known as Akhenaten, the Heretic Pharaoh and her mother was Nefertiti. The parents of Ankhesenpaaten initiated a religious revolution which changed Ancient Egypt from a polytheistic religion, with many gods, to monotheism (the worship of one god). Her father had more than one wife and Kiya gave birth to Tutankhamun.
  • Tut was therefore the half-brother of Ankhesenpaaten. After a reign of 17 years her father, Akhenaten, was forced to abdicate. He was followed by a pharaoh called referred to as Smenkhkare Ankhetkheperure - there is speculation that this pharaoh was in fact Nefertiti, but this has never been proved. The rule of Smenkhkare only lasted two years, when King Tut was made Pharaoh. Nefertiti had only produced daughters but she arranged for her daughter Ankhesenpaaten to marry Tutankhamun ensuring that she would have considerable influence with the new Pharaoh.
  • Tutankhamun married Ankhesenpaaten in 1334BC. The young married couple lived in Amarna, the name of the city dedicated to the God Aten by Akhenaten. Three years later in 1331BC Tutankhamun changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun and Queen Ankhesenpaaten changed her name to Ankhesenamun, probably due to pressure from traditionalists, reflecting the growing acceptance of the old god Amun and decline in support of the god Aten.
  • A year later King Tut, Ankhesenpaaten and the royal court, moved from Amarna back to the old capital at Thebes, the center of worship of the Ancient Egyptian god Amun and the power base of the Amun priests.
  • The marriage of King Tut and Queen Ankhesenpaaten appeared to be happy but the happiness was marred because none of their children survived infancy. The mummies of two daughters of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenpaaten were buried with him in his tomb. King Tut died a mysterious and untimely death in 1325BC. Ankhesenamun (Ankhesenpaaten) was just 21 years old.
  • Following the death of Tutankhamun Ankhesenamun (Ankhesenpaaten) was  told that she was expected to marry her grandfather, Ay. It was a political move to strengthen the claim of Ay to the throne. Ankhesenpaaten was apparently totally opposed to the marriage. She was the daughter of a Pharaoh and had been the wife of a pharaoh - she was to put up a fight against the marriage. She took the unprecedented action of writing to the neighbouring King of the Hittites. An extreme action as the Hittites were long-standing enemies of the Egyptians

  • A document has been discovered which is believed to be the plea from Ankhesenamun (Ankhesenpaaten) sent to the King of the Hittites stating the following:

     "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... I am afraid."

  • The Hittite King sent one of his sons, Zannanza, as requested but he was murdered during the journey... The desperate plan of Ankhesenamun (Ankhesenpaaten) had failed. She was forced to marry Ay. The marriage must have been a terrible time for Ankhesenamun (Ankhesenpaaten). The name of Tey, the first wife of Ay, appears as the Queen and Chief Wife in Ay's tomb there is no mention of Ankhesenamen. 

  • The Year of Death of Ankhesenamun (Ankhesenpaaten) is unknown but she probably died sometime during the brief rule of Ay, between 1325 BC  and 1321 BC. Did she die from natural causes? Was it  Murder? Was it Suicide? No tomb or mummy has ever been found for Ankhesenamun (Ankhesenpaaten). Like her husband, Tutankhamun her death remains a mystery...

Each section of this Ankhesenpaaten website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about the Golden Age of Pharaohs and of Egypt. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Pharaoh Ankhesenpaaten - Tutankhamun!

Life of King Tut

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