Boundary stela Q
Head of Queen Nefertiti
Reign of Akhenaten
35.8 X 17.1 X 21.7 CM
Gift of Norman de Garis Davies, 1907
Nefertiti was the principal wife of King Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten. Her parentage is unknown but she undoubtedly came from a high-ranking family; she bore the king six daughters. Nefertiti occupied a position second only to her husband, playing a pivotal role in his religious reforms and may even been elevated by him to the position of co-ruler. If so, she was on of the only five queens regnant in pharoaonic history.
Amenhotep IV promoted the cult of Aten, the visible solar disc and creative force of sunlight, above all gods. He is first depicted as falcon-headed, resembling the creator of god Ra-Horakhty, but later, the solar disc from which rays extended, offering life to the royal family. The iconography of the sculptures from the temples makes it clear that the royal couple were identified with Shu and Tefnut, the offspring of the creator-god Atum. And build a new capital dedicated to Aten, called Akhataten (Horizon of the disc; modern el-Amama), and he changed his name to Akhenaten (Beneficial one of the Aten). The new cult did not survive the death of Akhenaten and Nefertiti and, like tem, it was the target of vilification by later rulers.