Chapels of Divine Adoratrices

Chapels of Divine Adoratrices

Picture 362001

The Saite chapels of the Divine Adoratrices of Amun

These shrines were built for the 'God's Wives of Amun', or 'Divine Adoratrices', king's daughters of the Third Intermediate Period who were Amun's living consorts and lived unmarried in ceremonial splendour. They were representatives of royal power, visible symbols of Theban loyalty to the king who lived in the north. The chapels belonged to Amenirdis I, Nitokris, Shepenwepet II and Mehytenweskhet.
The funeral chapels of the Divine Adoratrices of Amun are situated in a small building in the south-eastern part of the space preceding the first pylon. In the course of the Intermediate Period and in the period of the 25th and the 26th Dynasties, certain Divine Adoratrices of Amun were worshiped. The Divine Adoratrices of Amun ruled upper Egypt, at least nominally, on behalf of the King during this period of Egyptian history.
These were the royal princesses and princes enjoying great prestige and representing the King in the area around Thebes - such as Amenirdis (sister of Shabago), Shepenwepet (daughter of Osorkon III) and Nitocris (daughter of Psamtek I) were all buried within the Ramesseum.
Since the day Ahmose, first Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty had first made his wife Ahmose-Nefertari the god’s wife of Amun at Karnak. At this remote time Ahmose-Nefertari, the god’s wife, wasn’t the Divine Adoratrice. It would be several centuries before the God’s wife took the office of the “adoratrice of the god” and combined it with her royal office. Until that time this secondary office for women in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, was held by well-born noble women. The God’s Wife position was a priestly office at first held by non-royal ladies of the Middle Kingdom. From the reign of Ahmose-Nefertari onwards it would be an office held only by women of the royal house. Ahmose endowed the position with lands and entitlements, making it a wealthy position as well as a religious office. During Ahmose-Nefertari’s occupation of the office, its title "the God’s Wife appears" to be the title she preferred over the usual titles. She was entitled to use such as "King’s Wife", "King’s Principle Wife", or even "King’s Mother".


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معبد حتحور دندرة Temple of Hathor, Dendera