the principal queen of Amenhotpe III (r. 1410–1372 BCE), eighth king of the eighteenth dynasty, New Kingdom. She was the mother of at least five of his daughters and of his successor Amenhotpe IV (called Akhenaten). Tiye's nonroyal parents, who were reburied in the Valley of the Kings, Western Thebes, are well documented; her brother Anen was Second Prophet of Amun. Some Egyptologists suspect that the “God's Father” Ay, who became king on the death of Tutankhamun (r. 1355–1346 BCE), was also her brother, but conclusive evidence is lacking. Both royal and nonroyal monuments signal Tiye's importance during the reigns of both her husband and her son. Numerous statues in various sizes and materials depicted her alongside Amenhotpe III, while reliefs showed her assisting him in the cult and participating in his sed-festival, where an associated caption described her as accompanying the king “like the [goddess] Maat in the following of the [sun god] Re.”

A political role for Tiye has been inferred from her mention in the Amarna Letters; one letter was addressed to her by Tushratta, king of the Mitanni, and two others from Tushratta to Akhenaten advised him to consult her. The archaeological record confirms Tiye's presence at Akhenaten's new capital, Akhetaten (Tell el-Amarna), where he commissioned cult installations for her. When Tiye died, she was interred by her son in his own tomb there, yet the presence of objects bearing her name in tomb 55 in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes (in particular, a gilded shrine made at Akhenaten's order) has led to the supposition that her burial was transferred. Texts on two of Tiye's shawabtis call her “King's Mother,” which dated their manufacture to her son's reign. They were found in Amenhotpe III's tomb in the western branch of the Valley of the Kings, suggesting that she ultimately reposed beside her husband. Objects inscribed with Tiye's name that were found among Tutankhamun's “treasure” represent her latest attestation.

Bibliography

  • Kemp, Barry J., ed. Amarna Reports, vol. 6. Egypt Exploration Society Occasional Publication, 10. London, 1995. Pages 459 and 460 provide an update on the buildings at Tell el-Amarna associated with Tiye.
  • Kozloff, Arielle P., and Betsy M. Bryan, with Lawrence M. Berman. Egypt's Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and His World. Cleveland, 1992. Exhibition catalog with extensive bibliography; illustration and discussion of statuary and reliefs depicting Tiye.
  • Reeves, Nicholas. The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure. London, 1990. See pp. 163, 168, and 199 for objects from the tomb inscribed with Tiye's name.
  • Reeves, Nicholas, and Richard H. Wilkinson. The Complete Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs. London, 1996. Includes comments on Tiye's burial in the Royal Tomb at Amarna and on the tombs of Tiye's parents (KV 46) and her husband (WV 22) at Thebes.

Marianne Eaton-Krauss