Nefertiti should not only have been a very beautiful woman, but also proud and calculating. Pracucci, cc-by-license
"My husband is dead, and I have no son. But they tell me that you have many sons. If you send me one of my sons, he will be my husband. I will never take one of my servants as a spouse ... I am afraid. "These lines wrote - if the archaeologists correctly interpret the sources - in the 14th century BC Nefertiti, the beautiful queen of Egypt. For years, her husband Akhenaten had ruled the kingdom, now he was dead. She had given birth to six daughters during this time - but a male heir to the throne was missing. Nefertiti saw her power dwindling. With the almost desperate letter to Schuppiluliuma I, the mighty king of the Hittites, the queen tried to secure her position - and much more than that: The Hittites had advanced at that time from their ancestral land Anatolia to far south, to the present day Syria and over to Mesopotamia. A marriage with one of Schuppilulima's sons would have given Nefertiti influence on a kingdom that extended from the Black Sea down to Nubia. A superpower would have emerged in which Nefertiti would have been more than just the beautiful king's wife.

For how important her dominance was, she had already demonstrated at the side of her husband Akhenaten, as the science magazine "Bild der Wissenschaft" reported in his May issue. Mural paintings and reliefs show the "Great Royal Wife" - one of her titles - always on the side of the king. Even in rituals she was present, which was unusual for the then state concept.

Nefertiti probably pulled the strings in Akhenaten's reform attempts. He tried to abolish the diversity of the gods in the Egyptian religion and instead introduce a monotheistic religion in which only the sun god Aton was worshiped. "Nefertiti was one of the architects of the Aton cult, " says British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves.

It is also clear to the not undisputed researcher that Nefertiti had officially taken over power during Akhenaten's lifetime: for example, a shadowy co-regent of Akhenaten's name, Anchcheprure-Nefernefruaton, appears in the depictions. This was none other than Nefertiti, Reeves explains in "Bild der Wissenschaft". And, of course, after the death of Akhenaten, Nofrete himself became queen. display

But governing in the then economically shattered country was dangerous, and with the attempt to establish a monotheistic religion, the royal couple had made many enemies, especially in the powerful priesthood. Danger also threatened the Hittites, who continued to extend their sphere of influence from the north to the south. In this situation, the tactical liberation of Nefertiti was as smart as
daring: marriage to a Hittite prince would have made her the most powerful woman in the world at one go.

This role of Nefertiti as the leading actress in a game of power and intrigue brought archeologists after years of puzzle work
Daylight: The letter of Nefertiti is preserved only in a Hittite copy, in which, however, the name of the Queen is not mentioned. It is only mentioned by a royal wife. However, this could also have meant the rather insignificant widow of Tutankhamun.

Clarity brought now the Canadian Hittiter expert Jared Miller, as "picture of the science" reports. The researcher, who has been teaching at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich since 2008, came across six fragments of clay tablets in the translation of Hittite cuneiform fragments, which could be connected to two known rubble. The text that emerged outlines the quarrels of the Hittites with the Egyptians. From this chronology it can be concluded that the clay tablets come from the time of the Hittite king Murshili II, the son of Schuppiluliumas, who had received the ominous letter from Nefertiti. And in turn, Miller concludes that Nefertiti is the author of the letter.

Also, the further course of the story is known: Schuppiluliuma I. was initially suspicious, scented a trap. He sent an emissary to the Nile - to the annoyance of Nefertiti: "Why are you talking about deception?" She wrote to the king. "I did not write to another country. ... give me one of your sons. For me as a spouse, for Egypt as a king ".

After all, the Hittite king could not resist the temptation and sent his son Zananza to Egypt - where he never arrived. Even before he reached the Egyptian border with his escort, he was murdered. In Egypt, the conservative forces of the priesthood and military regained the upper hand. The innovations introduced by Akhenaten were abolished again.

What happened after the attempted Techtelindchtel with the mortal enemy from the north with Nefertiti, is uncertain. In official representations, she no longer appears after that, and her mummy is lost. The Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves comments succinctly: "We may assume that natural causes played a minor role in their death".

Recommended Editor'S Choice