Meryetamun, Daughter of Ramesses II

Meryetamun, Priestess of Het-Hert

Meryetamun, daughter of Ramesses II and Queen Nefertari.

Meryetamun was the fourth daughter of Ramesses II, and the eldest daughter of Queen Nefertari. In the fine limestone statue above, she is holding the counterpoise and beads of the menat, the sacred symbol of HetHert. Her broad collar has rows of beads in the shape of the hieroglyphic sign nefer, meaning "beauty." She wears a double band over her wig which bears the two royal serpents wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. She held the titles Hmt-nTr Hwt-Hr (Priestess of Het-Hert), Player of the Sistrum of Mut and the Menat of Het-Hert, Songstress of Atum, and Ritual Dancer for Het-Hert, in addition to being "the One Who Fills the wAxy-forecourt with the Scent of Her Fragrance." 

Meryetamun at Akhmin

Colossal statue of Meryetamun from Akhmin

The inscription engraved on the back of her colossal statue discovered at Akhmin in 1981 (shown above) names some of her other titles: "Superior of the Harem of Amun-Ra, the eldest daughter of the King and Nefertari, with the splendid face, magnificent in the palace, the beloved of the Lord of the Two lands, she who stands by her master like Sothis is beside Orion, one is satisfied with what is said when she opens her mouth to sothe the Lord of the Two Lands."

At the dedication of Abu Simbel around Year 24 of Ramesses II's reign, she accompanied her parents, Ramesses II and Nefertari. The Viceroy of Nubia, Heqanakht, left a rock stela commemorating this occasion, showing Ramesses II and Princess Meryetamun worshiping Amun-Ra, and Ramesses Himself.  Below this scene, Heqanakht paid homage to the enthroned Queen Nefertari with offerings.  A small statue of Meryetamen appears at Abu Simbel in the facades of both the large temple of Ramesses II dedicated to Ra-Heru-Akhety and the smaller temple of Nefertari dedicated to Het-Hert.

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Meryetamun standing near the colossal statue of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel

  Following the death of Nefertari and Ramesses' second wife Istnofret, Meryetamun became Queen along with her older half-sister Bint-Anath.  However, she vanishes from view before the end of her father's reign. She was equipped with a beautiful tomb in the Valley of the Queens, listed as QV 68. 

 

References for Images

  Statue of Meryetamun, 19th Dynasty, painted limestone, from a sanctuary northwest of the Ramesseum in Thebes, now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, in Sergio Donadoni's Egyptian Museum Cairo, p. 137 (Cairo Museum no. 31413)
Colossal statue of Meryetamun, Akhmin, in Zahi Hawass' Silent Images: Women in Pharaonic Egypt, p. 189
Statue of Meryetamun in facade of Abu Simbel Temple to Ra-Heru-Akhety of Ramesses II, in Henry La Farge's Museums of Egypt, p. 159.

Bibliography

Kitchen, K.A., Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II, Aris & Phillips Ltd., c. 1982.
Noblecourt, Christiane Desroches, The Great Pharaoh Ramses II and His Time, c. 1985,  pl 28.
Sabbahy, Lisa K., Rameses II: The Pharaoh and His Time Exhibition Catalog, Brigham Young University, c. 1985.
Troy, Lana, Patterns of Queenship in Ancient Egyptian Myth and History, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 1986.

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