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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > May 2018 > Top 10: Female Pharaohs

Top 10: Female Pharaohs

These leading ladies all grasped the reins of power in Ancient Egypt – most for the better
Nefertiti may have reigned solo under the name Neferneferuaten
ALAMY X4, AKG IMAGES X1, GETTY X4

NEFERTITI

When: 14th century BC, 18th Dynasty

No woman of Ancient Egypt is as recognisable as Nefertiti, thanks to the 1912 discovery of her exquisite limestone bust. The Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten), her name means ‘a beautiful woman has come’, but she was much more than this. She took an active role as the kingdom reached the height of its power and wealth, and was a partner in a major religious revolution, replacing the traditional gods with a single deity, the sun disc Aten. In the art of the period, Nefertiti stands as her husband’s equal – and it is possible she ruled alone after his death.

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About History Revealed

In this month’s issue… Henry VIII’s Six Weddings While every detail of Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle has been anticipated and analysed, the nuptials of his Tudor namesake Henry VIII are less familiar. Alison Weir peers behind the drapes of the six days that preceded ‘divorced, beheaded, died…’. Plus: the CIA heist of a sunken Soviet nuclear sub during the Cold War; Wounded Knee massacre; female Pharaohs; the 1820 plot to murder the Cabinet; and Lee Miller’s photos of WWII