My MA in Egyptology studies have begun again at the University of Manchester. My last year of studies, completed as a distant student.
Yesterday I spent over four hours with my Egyptology books after my day job and had no time to write. But I am working on Nephilim Quest 4 / The Book of the Dead and Space Witches 3 / The Mirror Witches is at editing & proofreading stage now.
I am preparing two essays and my dissertation. I am planning on writing about Ahmes-Nefertary, one of the legendary queens of ancient Egypt. Researching her life is so interesting - I can see a novel forming...
The very strong role of the women at the beginning of the 18th dynasty (1550 - 1295 BC) of Egypt is fascinating. (The same dynasty gave birth to some of the most famous names of ancient Egypt you probably have heard of, among them Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Tutankhamun).
These Theban Great Royal Wives defended the country after their husbands died in war. Egypt was threatened from both north and south - by the Hyksos and Kushites (or Nubians) respectively. These iron ladies kept the reins of power tightly in their hands when their sons were still too young to ascend the throne.
When the sons became old enough to handle matters of the state, as kings they respected their mothers and wives to a degree unprecedented in the ancient world. They arranged highest religious titles and roles for these women, commemorated them in temples and stelae. They listened to their advice in matters of state and gave these royal ladies lavish burials (very important for the Egyptians who believed in the afterlife) and rewarded them in many ways for their bravery.
As a result of the respect felt for these royal women there even was a female king, Hatshepsut, who ruled the land for twenty years, and ruled it well. There was no such word in ancient Egypt as "queen" in the sense we call a female ruler. In ancient Egypt the ruler was per-aA, the same title for both men and women. The title translates as "Great House", much like we have the "White House".
Ahmes-Nefertary and her son Amenhotep I established the village (these days knows as Deir el-Medina) whose workers built the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The royal mother and son were worshiped as deities in later centuries and were especially popular among the populace of Deir el-Medina.