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Mother of the 6th Dynasty?

 
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Mother of the 6th Dynasty? Reply with quote

Article: Mummy thought to be Queen Seshestet found in Egypt

This all-too-brief article states that Seshestet is believed to be the mother of Teti, first king of Dyn. VI.

I'm not sure I've heard of her before (now I've got to try to look her up in Dodson's Complete Royal Families...) I wonder if it will yield any clue to the transition between Dyns. V and VI?
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Wenembau
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mon tuhotep88. I was reading the BBC article on the same story. They have a piece saying that some historians believe she was a female Pharaoh ruling for 11 years! She may have done so between the death of Unas and the acession to the throne by Teti. But I know nothing about her or have not seen any evidence to support this.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grajetzki doesn't mention her in his book about Ancient Egyptian Queens.

Tyldesley doesn't mention her either.

According to Dodson/Hilton the King's Mother Shesh is mentioned in the Ebers medical Papyrus. She is said to have devised an anti-baldness remedy! In the papyrus she is said to be the mother of the Dual King Teti.

Dodson/Hilton mention that Sesh may be identical to the King's Mother Sesheshet (A) whose estates are mentioned in the tomb of Mehu. She is probably the mother of Teti.

There is no mention of any relation of Sesh(eshet) to the previous dynasty. There is no mention of any other title than that of King's Mother.

Unas had a daughter named Sesheshet (B) named Idut whose tomb was found in Saqqara. But I don't think Unas' daughter is ever linked or identified with Teti's mother.

It seems that the identification of the new pyramid as belonging to Queen Sesh(eshet) should be regarded as speculative at best? The sarcophagus has no inscriptions and there is no mention of inscriptions identifying the Queen at all.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some links courtesy of carter:

"A despoiled mummy of what appears to be the mother of the old kingdom ruler Teti has recently been found within the burial chamber of her ruined pyramid." the story from Tim's excellent Egyptians site. (tim-theegyptians.)
Links to story -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7818735.stm
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090108/sc_nm/us_egypt_mummy
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to write about this...I was reading the BBC article and the headline clearly says 'female pharaoh', and I've not heard of any female pharaoh named Seshestet.
Maybe she ruled as a queen with a king? Usually the BBC is good with Egyptian discoveries but I'm a little shocked at how they've labelled her as a female pharaoh...is this shoddy reporting? The Yahoo article says no such thing.

It is interesting though, especially that the mummy was intact for so long and still had some gold on her, usually such things are robbed.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:49 pm    Post subject: Sesheshet: Interregnum Regent, not Pharaoh Reply with quote

isisinacrisis wrote:
I was going to write about this...I was reading the BBC article and the headline clearly says 'female pharaoh', and I've not heard of any female pharaoh named Seshestet.
Maybe she ruled as a queen with a king? Usually the BBC is good with Egyptian discoveries but I'm a little shocked at how they've labelled her as a female pharaoh...is this shoddy reporting?


Most definitely.

I think it would be a wonderful thing if the gosh-darned media could understand the concept of an interregnum regent, in regards to an Egyptian king's mother.

Interregnum regents are not "pharaohs" (which is how Sesheshet is being labeled), but females who ruled until their minor sons became of age to assume the throne. In ancient Egypt, the tradition was established during Dynasty One during the reign of Merneith, who acted as interregnum regent for her son, Den, who later ruled as Pharaoh.

There is a distinct difference to this type of ruler, as opposed to a full-blown pharaoh.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But what evidence is there to label Queen Sesh as even an interregnum queen? (Or regent) Is there any evidence at all that points to Teti as coming to the throne at such an early age?

Teti reigned (according to Dodson/Hilton) for 12 years. That would indicate that if he was a child king, he would have died in his early twenties?

Or is the idea that Teti was a child king when he came to the throne, that he may have been assassinated at a relatively young age, and then after a shadowy reign of a king named Userkare, was followed on the throne by his young son Pepi (I)?
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neseret
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
But what evidence is there to label Queen Sesh as even an interregnum queen? (Or regent) Is there any evidence at all that points to Teti as coming to the throne at such an early age?

Teti reigned (according to Dodson/Hilton) for 12 years. That would indicate that if he was a child king, he would have died in his early twenties?

Assuming that at the earliest Teti assumed the throne at 12 years (a known age of majority in ancient Egypt), he could have so died in his mid-20's. While we think of this as "young", in ancient Egyptian terms, the age would have represented about mid-life for the king.

My point is not that Sesheshet was an interregnum queen (most publications do not hold that Sesheshet was a queen in a royal harem and her titles may be after the fact, given to her by her royal son (Troy 1986, Dodson and Hilton 2004)), but that was Sesheshet never a pharaoh.

Sesheshet's only know title (at the moment: more may come from this find) is /mwt nsw n Hm n nsw bit/, "royal mother of the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt," (Troy 1986: 155, 6.1) which as Dodson and Hilton note (2004: 70) means that likely Sesheshet was not a queen in her own right, and Teti was not the son of a king. As mentioned above, it is likely the title was given by the son to the mother, after his accession to the throne.

As we do not know the name of Teti's father, it's very possible that the 6th Dynasty was an offshoot of Unas' family line (a'la the way Thutmose I was possibly from a parallel family line of the Ahmosids in the 18th Dynasty), or a totally new ruling family.

However, all I am saying is that - at best- Sesheshet might have been an interregnum regent, if the royal son was young, but there is no evidence of any royal titulary or trappings of pharaonic leadership assigned to this queen.

anneke wrote:
Or is the idea that Teti was a child king when he came to the throne, that he may have been assassinated at a relatively young age, and then after a shadowy reign of a king named Userkare, was followed on the throne by his young son Pepi (I)?


This idea follows the Manethian tradition which states that Teti was assassinated, followed briefly by Userkare, and the later by a youthful Pepi I, son of Teti, who ruled for 50 years (Clayton 1994: 64-65).

Reference:

Clayton, P. 1994. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames and Hudson.

Dodson, A. and D. Hilton. 2004. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames and Hudson.

Troy, L. 1986. Patterns of Queenship: in ancient Egyptian myth and history. BOREAS 14. Uppsala: ACTA Universitatis Upsaliensis.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
Assuming that at the earliest Teti assumed the throne at 12 years (a known age of majority in ancient Egypt), ...


That surprised me a bit. I had gathered from sources such as the autobiography of Bakenkhons that 16 might have been the age of majority for men/boys.

I might have believed it for women though.


neseret wrote:

My point is not that Sesheshet was an interregnum queen (most publications do not hold that Sesheshet was a queen in a royal harem and her titles may be after the fact, given to her by her royal son (Troy 1986, Dodson and Hilton 2004)), but that was Sesheshet never a pharaoh.

Ah good Smile that's how I understood the situation.
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kylejustin
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the thing i want to know is, if there are no inscriptions, how do the know that it's the queen's pyramid and mummy? how do they know it's not an intrusive burial?

what's th 'evidence' his quoted as having? :idea:
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