Little is known about Ankhesenamun, which means “living through Amun”.
She was the third daughter of the Pharoah Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti and was 13 years old when she married her half-brother.
During their 10-year marriage Ankhesenamun gave birth to two children (both girls) who were born prematurely and died. One of these foetuses is now known to have had a condition called Spengel’s deformity, in conjunction with spina bifida and scoliosis. The two tiny mummy encasements were found during the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
After Tutankhamun’s sudden death, Egyptologists believe that Ankhesenamun made a desperate attempt to save the throne.
According to tablets found dating to the later 18th Dynasty period sent to the Hittite king Suppiluliumas from an Egyptian queen, who cannot be definitely identified but in the letter she called herself “Dahamunzu” and her dead husband “Niphururiya”, Egyptologists associate this letter with Ankhesenamun.
Despite the fact that the Hittites were enemies of Egypt at that time, Ankhesenamun begs the king for help. In the letter she asks Suppiluliumas to send one of his sons to marry her as she is worried and frightened. The queen points out the loss of her husband and states, “Never shall I pick out a servant of mine and make him my husband. I am afraid!” Was this servant the high priest Ay? Many believe so.
Suppiluliumas sent his son prince Zannanza to be married but he never made it to Egypt. He was assassinated on his journey.
After this failed attempt to marry a Hittite Prince, Ankhesenamun was obliged to marry Ay, who could have been either her grandfather or great uncle and who inherited the throne.
Ay’s tomb is shared with his wife Tey.
Was Ankhesenamun killed? No evidence has been established, but her assassination may be a possible end to a “traitor” who tried to give Egypt’s throne to a Hittite prince. Ay may have had her killed in order to protect his throne and to prevent her from any further attempts.
Ankhesenamun’s tomb has yet to be discovered.