Statuette of Tiye
Wood and Faience, Carnelian, Glass and Gold Beads
Tiye (also known as Tiy, 1398-1338 BCE) was a queen of Egypt of the 18th dynasty, wife of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, mother of Akhenaten, and grandmother of both Tutankhamun and Ankhsenamun. She exerted an enormous influence at the courts of both her husband and son and is known to have communicated directly with rulers of foreign nations. The Amarna letters also show that she was highly regarded by these rulers, especially during the reign of her son. Although she believed in the traditional polytheistic religion of Egypt, she supported Akhenaten’s monotheistic reforms, most likely because she recognized them as important political stratagems to increase the power of the throne at the expense of the priesthood of Amun. She died in her early sixties and was buried in the Valley of the Kings. Her mummy has positively been identified as that known as the ‘Elder Lady’, and a lock of her hair, possibly a keepsake of the young king’s, was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.