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NEFERU, whose burial place is beneath the lower terrace of the neighbouring temple of Hatshepsut. With this queen may be identified the pedestal of a wooden statuette in the collection of M. Dattari, at Cairo. The pedestal has an inscription in which Neferu is described as a “Divine Wife,” the earliest instance yet known of the use of this title.
TUMEM,is the name of a queen also connected by some writers with Mentuhetep III., although by others she is called an unclassed queen.
Her tomb was found near that of Queen Neferu. To this group of unkown royal princesses, the wives and mothers of the Mentu-hetep line, must be assigned the following names :
SHERTSAT, known from an inscription of her son, Prince Heru-nefer, who calls himself the “son of King Mentu"hetep, and the Great Royal Wife Shertsat."
SENT, whose name and titles of “ Heiress, Royal Wife "and Royal Mother," exist at Khataaneh in the Delta."
MENTU-HETEP, a queen known only from her coffin inscription and a toilet box. She was "The Great Royal “Wife Mentu-hetep, begotten of the vizier, the keeper of “the palace, Send-hena-ef, and born of the heiress Sebek"hetep."
The evidence regarding the Mentu-hetep kings, shows that they do not all belong to the same dynasty, but were scattered; the first three having lived in the XIth, while others of the name have been assigned to some period after the XIIth.
· Pub. by P. E. NEWBERRY in P.S.B.A., 1901.
P.S.B.A., xiv, 41 ; 2.A., XXX, 46 ; xxxi, 23.
QUEENS OF THE XIITH DYNASTY.
Theban. About 2700 (?) B.C.
The monarchy founded by Mena, and developed by the Pharaohs of the IVth dynasty, lived thereafter through a thousand years of history with varying fortunes, which slowly tended more and more towards ruin, until, with the Xth dynasty, the ancient empire passed away in confusion.
It sprang to renewed life in the XIth, which opened that period now known as the “ Middle Empire," and the name of Amen-em-hat I., of the XIIth dynasty, ushered in a great Egyptian renaissance. The large number of monuments of this time, and the magnificence of its art, prove the astonishing quickening into renewed life which animated the pulse of the empire, and found expression in every line into which man's activity can be directed.
The monarchs of this dynasty, the great Amenemhats and Usertsens, came of a splendid race, if they resembled those faces which now gaze from the monuments of their time. One is strangely impressed by the vigorous personality of these statues, which seem to set at defiance the three thousand years that have elapsed since the empire, built by the kings whom they represent, crumbled into dust.
The first princess to appear in the history of the new era is a wife or daughter of Amenemhat II., third king of the dynasty: NEB-KAU-RA, “Royal Daughter, joined to the Beautiful White Crown."
The name and titles occur on a cylinder-seal of blue glazed steatite, and appear to prove her the heiress of Upper Egypt.' Amenemhat was succeeded by Usertsen II., whose queen was Nefert, $ a name signifying the good, or beautiful. A fine portrait statue of this queen, in black granite, was found at Tanis among the temple ruins. The work has both distinction and charm, in spite of its mutilated state. The inlaid eyes and eyebrows are gone, the nose is broken, and the arms are almost entirely lacking. The large wig is parted in the middle, and hangs in two heavy tresses over the shoulders. On the breast, which is but slightly indicated, is an engraved pectoral containing the name of Usertsen II. The queen is seated on a throne bearing the titles, “The Hereditary Princess, the greatly "praised, the Great Favourite, the beloved Consort of the “King, the Ruler of all women, the King's Daughter of his “body, Nefert."
A second portrait statue of Queen Nefert was found at Tanis; both of these memorials are now in the Cairo Museum. The name of her father is not given, but as she was the “King's Daughter” she may have been the heiress of Amenemhat II.
Among her titles Queen Nefert is not styled “Royal Mother”; it is therefore doubtful if she was the mother of those princesses who were probably daughters of Usertsen II., and whose names are recorded as Atmu-nefereu, Sat-hathor, and Sent-es-senb, or of his son, Usertsen III.
NEFERT-HENT was a queen of Usertsen II. or III. She was interred, with other members of the family, in a tomb where her name is inscribed on a sandstone sarcophagus. There she figures as Queen-Consort, but not as Royal Mother. The young queen had died at the age of twentyfour or twenty-five, as indicated by her mummy.
| Timmins Col. Pub. by NEWBERRY, P.S.B.A., 1905. ? Nos. 200 and 201, Room H.
MERSEKER is another princess in some way connected with Usertsen III. On'a rock inscription at Semneho there is a representation of Thotmes III. adoring the deified king, Usertsen, and a “Great Royal Wife” who is there named Merseker; no trace of her is found in contemporary records. The burial places of the Amenemhats and Usertsens were in the plains of Dashur and the Fayûm. Amid the ruins which cover the now desert tracks, the pyramids of at least two of these Pharaohs and the tombs of their families have been identified. The North brick pyramid of Dashur seems to have been the tomb of Usertsen III. It is of a singular and original construction, unlike other pyramids. Upon its northern face, and opposite the north-east and north-west corners, there are wells descending to a long subterranean gallery. This passage, which connects the two shafts, has several openings into chambers, containing sarcophagi. When M. de Morgan entered the vault in 1894, the coffins were still occupied by their royal tenants, the princesses of the families of Usertsen and of Amenemhat III.
The names were of the Queen Nefert-hent and of the king's sisters and wives, Sat-hathor, Sent-es-senb, Ment, and Merit. In one of the passages a number of splendid ornaments were found. The wooden coffins had mouldered, the mummies crumbled when touched, the jewels only remained. One of the princesses had worn a coronet of gold leaves and forget-me-nots, set with precious stones. There were also many other articles in gold and enamel, including necklaces, daggers, pendants, coronets, charms, and bracelets, all of exquisite workmanship. These jewels, which had formed the burial outfit of the XIIth dynasty princesses, were rescued from the dust of mortality in which they lay, and are now in the Cairo Museum, forming a
· DE MORGAN, Fouilles à Dahchour.
collection of unsurpassed beauty.? The pieces are too delicate ever to have been in actual use, and are supposed to have been constructed solely for burial ornaments. Possibly the frail crowns, necklaces, and bracelets were made in imitation of jewels worn by the princesses in life.
Much of this jewellery belonged to the princess Sathathor. One piece bears the name of Usertsen II., and another that of Usertsen III., thus indicating the princess' place in the royal family. One of her ornaments, a pectoral or breast-plate of gold richly inlaid with carnelian and blue paste, is designed like the one engraved on the breast of Queen Nefert's great statute.
Near the burial place of these princesses, M. de Morgan found the tombs of King Hor, and of the Queen NUBHETEP-TAKRUDIT, “Royal Daughter ; Great Royal Wife who is united to the Beautiful White Crown."
The coffin represents her as wearing the uræus and vulture crown, the insignia of Egyptian queens. She was probably the daughter of Amenemhat III., and the wife of King Hor, who is said to have been Amenemhat's heir and co-regent. Hor must have died young, as he did not succeed to an independent reign. When the queen's tomb was opened," it was found to be undisturbed, its contents still remaining as they had been placed more than 4,000 years before. The sarcophagus held a gilded wooden coffin, in which lay the mummy of the queen, a woman of about forty-five. The jewels of the dead princess were beautifully wrought in gold and sparkled with Egyptian emeralds, carnelian and lapis-lazuli. There were diadems, necklaces, bracelets, sceptres, daggers and amulets, besides various articles for the toilet. In a case of alabaster vases, each vase was marked with the name of the perfume which had filled it. The outfit contained also a mirror of blue enamelled
Cairo M., Jewel Room. The jewellery is fully described, and illustrated by de MORGAN, in Fouilles à Dahchour. ? de MORGAN, Fouilles à Dahchour.