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Who is Queen Shanakhdakheto?

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2017-12-20 12:35:06

she ruled from 170 b.c. to 150 b.c.

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(170 BCE - 150 BCE)

Statue from Meroë believed to represent Shanakdakheto and a male

member of her family giving her royal power.

Shanakhdakheto (Sha-nakh-da-ke-to) was probably the first ruling

queen of Kush. Although her family connections are not known, she

is sometimes shown in art next to a smaller man. This man raises

his arm behind her to touch her crown or the streamers of her

crown. Since we sometimes see the god Amun making this same gesture

when he gives royal authority to a king, some scholars think that

the man behind the queen was a crown prince. They think he may have

been either her father or her husband, who died before achieving

the throne. The queen might then have taken the throne in his


Her name is carved in a ruined temple where the earliest

inscriptions in Meroitic hieroglyphic writing are found. Her

pyramid at Meroë is one of the largest ever built for a Kushite

ruler. It has a unique chapel with two rooms and two pylons. The

chapel is among the most elaborately carved of any known. The

scenes in the chapel show military campaigns to the south and the

capture of numerous cattle and prisoners. Images of the queen show

her as very heavy. All Meroitic queens after Shanakdakheto had very

large figures, which was not only considered beautiful but also a

sign of great wealth and power. Historians think she probably

gained power after her father or husband died.

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"The_first_women_to_rule_Kush..............." id=

"The_first_women_to_rule_Kush...............">The first women to

rule Kush...............

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