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Tetisheri
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Tetisheri was the matriarch of the Egyptian royal family of the late 17th Dynasty and early 18th Dynasty. She was the wife of Tao I Senakhtenre, the mother of Tao II Seqenenre, and the grandmother of Kamose and Ahmose I.

It is believed, based on mummy-bandages from a mummy that has not been positively identified as belonging to Tetisheri, that she was born to parents (Tjenna and Neferu) who did not hold hereditary or elite offices but may well have been tribal royalty from one of the western oases. She was selected by Tao I, despite her non-royal birth, to be not only his wife but his "Great Wife". Tao I granted Tetisheri many privileges not previously given to a queen. She became the first queen to wear the "Vulture Crown," which signalled that the position of "Great Wife" had become integral to pharaonic power. When her son Tao II rebelled against the Hyksos, Tetisheri may have played a role in maintaining order at the Theban court. Tao II was killed in battle and his successor Kamose possibly suffered a similar fate. Most likely, Tetisheri set a strong precedent for subsequent royal wives, including Ahhotep, the mother of Ahmose, who may have had a role in military activities against the Hyksos, and Ahmose-Nefertari, the first queen to receive the important priestly title of "God's Wife of Amun." It is likely that Tetisheri established the precedent for powerful female royalty in Dynasty 18 including Hatshepsut, a Royal Wife who became pharaoh, and Nefertiti, who seems to have held a position of particular importance in the royal court of Amarna. Little is known of the details of Tetisheri's life, however, and apart from a fragment of papyrus naming an endowment in her name in Lower Egypt, most conclusions drawn by scholars derive from speculation or from the little that can be gleaned from the monumental stela from Abydos dedicated in her name.

Her grandson Ahmose completed the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt. Ahmose had a memorial structure or cenotaph at Abydos erected in her honour, in the midst of his own extensive mortuary complex at that site. This mud brick structure was discovered in 1902 by the Egypt Exploration Fund, and was found to contain a monumental stela detailing the dedication by Ahmose and his sister-wife Ahmose-Nefertari of a pyramid and enclosure (or shrine) to Tetisheri. Its discoverer, C. T. Currelly, believed the textual reference to a "pyramid" of Tetisheri to refer not to the building in which the stela was found, but rather to the more imposing pyramid associated with a large mortuary temple at its base discovered in 1900 by A. C. Mace. Based on recent discoveries, however, this view can no longer be maintained. The foundations of the structure, originally described by C. T. Currelly in 1903 as a "shrine" or "mastaba," was demonstrated in 2004 through the renewed excavations of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago under the direction of S. Harvey to have actually formed the lowest courses of a brick pyramid, the last queen's pyramid to have been built in Egypt. Portions of the limestone pyramidion or capstone were discovered as well, demonstrating conclusively that this structure was pyramidal in form. Magnetic survey also revealed a brick enclosure some 70 by 90 meters in scale, a feature not detected by earlier archaeologists. These accordingly may now be identified as the features described in Ahmose's stela found within: a pyramid and an enclosure, built in the midst of Ahmose's own mortuary complex. The text also indicates that Tetisheri possessed an additional cenotaph or memorial feature at Abydos (location unknown), as well as her actual tomb at Thebes. No tomb at Thebes has yet been conclusively identified with Queen Tetisheri, though a mummy that may be hers was included among other members of the royal family reburied in the Royal Cache (DB 320). A statuette long in the collections of the British Museum bearing an inscription naming Tetisheri was identified as a forgery by W. V. Davies, based on the slavish imitation of its inscription from a fragmentary lower portion of a similar statue of the queen (now lost). However, some scholars question this attribution, and have been raising questions as to the potential authenticity of the statuette itself, if not the inscription.

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