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Ring of Queen Ahhotep I

Ahhotep I (alternatively spelled Ahhotpe or Aahhotep, meaning "Iah (the Moon) is satisfied"), was an Ancient Egyptian queen who lived circa 1560- 1530 BC, during the end of the Seventeenth dynasty of ancient Egypt, she was the daughter of Queen Tetisheri (known as Teti the Small) and Senakhtenre Ahmose, and was likely the sister, as well as the wife, of pharaoh Seqenenre Tao. Ahhotep I had a long and influential life. Her titles include Great Royal Wife and "The associate of the White Crown brearer" (khnemet nefer hedjet). The title King's Mother (mwt niswt) was found on the Deir el Bahari coffin.


Ahhotep was likely the mother of Pharaoh Ahmose I. Her exact relation to Pharaoh Kamose is not known, but he may have been her brother-in-law (brother of Tao) or her son. Other children of Queen Ahhotep I include the later Queen Ahmose-Nefertari who was married to her brother Ahmose I. There were also Prince Ahmose Sipair, Prince Binpu, Princess Ahmose-Henutemipet, Princess Ahmose-Nebetta, and Princess Ahmose-Tumerisy.


A stela from the reign of Ahmose I states that Ahhotep I may have rallied the troops and played a role in defending Thebes. It is not known when these events took place. They may have occurred after the death of Tao or Kamose.

She is the one who has accomplished the rites and taken care of Egypt... She has looked after her soldiers, she has guarded her, she has brought back her fugitives and collected together her deserters, she has pacified Upper Egypt and expelled her rebels.

Ahhotep is mentioned on the Kares stela (CG 34003) which dates to year 10 of Amenhotep I, and her steward Iuf mentions her on his stela (CG 34009). Iuf refers to Ahhotep as the mother of King Ahmose I, and would later be the steward of Queen Ahmose, the wife of Thutmose I. This suggests Ahhotep I may have died at a fairly advanced age during the reign of Thutmose I.

David Rohl argues that Ahhotep can be associated with the mythical Io. The glyph 'Ah' in her name is the same as Canaanite/Pelasgian moon goddess Io or Ya(h)[4] (which may have become masculinised as Yahweh). The Aegean region was known to the ancient Egyptians as Yawan (Iaones) (written in Linear B Ia-wo-ne). Yawan is also given as among the Indo-European descendants of Japeth in Genesis. Her unique title hnwt idbw h3w-nbwt 'Mistress of the Shores beyond the Islands', the Egyptian term for lands bordering the Aegean Sea, also points to an Aegean connection.


Ahhotep I's outer coffin was eventually reburied in TT320 in Deir el Bahari. The coffin shows the queen with a tripartite wig and a modius. The body is covered in a rishi-design (feathers) and is similar to the outer coffins of Ahmose-Nefertari and Ahmose-Meritamon.

Ahhotep I's original tomb is not known, unless this queen is identical to Ahhotep II. Measurements of the coffin found in Dra' Abu el-Naga' however show that it is too large to have belonged with the Deir el Bahari coffin. This has been used to argue that Ahhotep I cannot be identical to Ahhotep II.