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Amenhotep III & Queen Tiye receive offerings

This limestone stela dates from after the twelfth regnal year of king Akhenaten, and it depicts king Amenhotep III, and his Great Royal Wife Tiye. The couple sit under the rays of the Aten, before a grand display of nourishing offerings, in the form of vegetation, grains as well as a floral display of lotus blossoms. The Royal pair’s posture is very relaxed, and they embrace one another. Despite damage to the piece, you can see Amenhotep III’s hand resting lovingly around his wife. These type of candid style depictions were very common during the revolutionary reign of Akhenaten.

Amenhotep III & Queen Tiye receive offerings
Amenhotep III & Queen Tiye receive offerings. British Museum. EA57399

Noticeably, Amenhotep III is depicted as a larger built man, which fits with later depictions of the king. He wears the blue Khepresh, “Blue Crown of War”. Tiye’s lower facial features can be seen despite damage to the piece. She is depicted in a short blue wig, known to Egyptologists as the “Nubian wig”, which was very ‘in-style’ among the Amarna royal women, specifically the Secondary Wife of Akhenaten, Kiya.
Both Amenhotep and Tiye are wearing pleated red robes.

Amenhotep III & Queen Tiye receive offerings
Amenhotep III & Queen Tiye receive offerings. British Museum. EA57399

Interestingly, Amenhotep, is only referred to by his Pre-Nomen, Neb-Ma’at-Re, which was clearly a purposeful choice by the Atenist cult who had denounced Amun.

The piece measures at, 32.50 cm tall, 29.30cm wide, and 5.30cm depth. It weighs 6kg. It was found in Tel el-Amarna (the location of Akhenaten’s experimental ‘new capital city, “Akhetaten”, and currently resides in the British Museum.

The piece was used as a reference for Egyptologist and artist Winifred Brunton (1880-1959).
The piece was used as a reference for Egyptologist and artist Winifred Brunton (1880-1959).

Summary:

Limestone stela depicting Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye before offering table
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Akhenaten (around 12th year of reign or later), c. 1340-1334 B.C.
From Tel el-Amarna.
British Museum. EA57399

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