Queen Tetisheri


Tetisheri was the wife of Pharaoh Sanakhtenre Tao I of the Seventeenth Dynasty in Thebes. She is often credited as the "mother of the New Kingdom" because of her powerful influence on her son Seqenenre Tao II and her grandsons, Kamose and Ahmose I who fought to expel the Hyksos from Egypt and lead the country into a new age of wealth and prosperity. She is also thought to have been the mother of Queen Ahhotep, the wife of Sequenenre Tao II.

Tetisheri was not of royal blood, but her husband went against tradition and made her his "Great Wife". In addition to the many titles and privileges given to her by her husband, she became the first queen to wear the vulture headdress of Nekhbet. This crown became an icon which soon became closely linked to the power of the "Great Wife" as a complement to the power of the Pharaoh.

When her son Seqenenre Tao II rebelled against the Hyksos rulers of Avaris, she spearheaded the recruitment of troops. When her son was killed in action, she supported both Kamose and Ahmose as they continued to fight. She was apparently a valued advisor and confidant for all three kings.

Tetisheri copyright Paul James Cowie

She lived to the grand old age of seventy. During her lifetime, numerous decrees proclaiming her services to the Egyptian people. On her death, Ahmose I granted her a great estate and pyramid and mortuary temple with priests and servants to conduct rituals in her honor. He also had a cenotaph constructed for her at Abydos.

copyright J Hill 2010
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Predynastic period Early Dynastic Old Kingdom First Intermediate Middle Kingdom Second Intermediate New Kingdom Third Intermediate Graeco-Roman period Late period