Kemet Klub

NA-God’s Wives of Amun


22 and 29 January
With Dr Robert Morkot

God’s Wives of Amun

Sunday 22nd and 29th January 2023

2-5pm (UK time) or watch again via recordings at a time to suit you.


The office of God’s Wife of Amun was created in the early 18th Dynasty in Thebes and was significant both in the religious aspects of the cult and the wealth and power of the royal women who held the office. It has been suggested that the power of the office may have enabled Hatshepsut to move from the role of regent to King. The title disappears in the middle of the 18th Dynasty, perhaps as a direct result of Hatshepsut’s reign and appears to be of little significance under the Ramessides until the princess Isis was installed by her father Ramesses VI. From then onwards the office has a very different character, usually being likened to that of the Chief Vestal in Rome. It has been widely assumed that the God’s Wife was unmarried and presided over a group of elite unmarried priestesses. In more recent years these assumptions have been challenged. Certainly, the God’s Wives of the Libyan, Kushite, and Saite Periods were very prominent, had a significant role in ritual, built numerous small chapels, and were served by a group of very powerful, and wealthy, officials.

In different periods, the office of God’s Wife had very different characteristics, but always played a leading role in Thebes and the worship of its principal deity. Join us for this series of 4 lectures as we explore the role of these ancient women. 

  1. The creation of the office and its early holders.
  2. From Hatshepsut to the Ramessides: how and why does the office change?
  3. The new office from Isis to the Libyan God’s Wives.
  4. Kushite and Saite God’s Wives, the hight and end of the office.

All lectures will be recorded and you will have access to the recordings for a month after the last lecture. 

Reading suggestions

Many of the older key works on the early God’s Wives are in French or German (available in Egyptology libraries: notably the works of Michel Gitton).
Miriam Ayad, 2009, God’s Wife; God’s Servant. The God’s Wife of Amun (c. 740-525 BC). London/New York.
Meike Becker, Anke Ilona Blöbaum and Angelika Lohwasser, 2016, “Prayer and Power” Proceedings of the Conference on the God’s Wives of Amun in Egypt during the First Millennium BC. Ägypten und Altes Testament 84, Ugarit Verlag Münster.
The numerous volumes on Hatshepsut will also have some comment on her role, and that of Neferure.

Dr Robert Morkot

Dr Robert Morkot gained both his BA and PhD from University College London. Part of his postgraduate studies were spent at the Humboldt University in Berlin (GDR as it was then) which was the leading centre for Meroitic studies. He held a post-doctoral research position and Oxford and for many years taught in the Archaeology Department of a UK University. He was Chair of the Society for Libyan Studies and worked on the Eastern Marmarica Coastal Survey, and served for a long time on the Committee and Board of the EES. He is currently President of the Friends of the Petrie Museum. His best-known books are The Black Pharaohs, Egypt’s Nubian Rulers and (along with colleagues) the controversial Centuries of Darkness.

Booking instructions

To book your place on this course you must add this product to your basket and go through the checkout process. You can pay with PayPal or your debit card, or you can select to post a cheque or make a bank transfer. Once your payment is received and complete you will have access to the course pages from your profile page. 

Session links will be available in the course Classroom. Room opens 30 minutes before the lecture begins. If you do not have the course link or have any other queries please get in touch

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