In the Shadow of Nakhtmin: The Unfortunate Crown Prince of Egypt | Ancient Origins Members Site


In the Shadow of Nakhtmin: The Unfortunate Crown Prince of Egypt

In the Shadow of Nakhtmin: The Unfortunate Crown Prince of Egypt

No other period in ancient Egyptian history had its share—almost a surfeit—of enigmatic and poorly understood characters as the Amarna era. Mysterious kings and queens apart, Nakhtmin, a generalissimo-turned-crown prince was a key player. An oft-overlooked figure, his life and death had a tremendous bearing on the unquiet events of the late-Eighteenth Dynasty.

This head of indurated limestone is a fragment from a group statue that represented Amun seated on a throne, and Tutankhamun standing or kneeling in front of him. All that remains of the god is his right hand, which touches the back of the pharaoh’s crown in a gesture that signifies his investiture as king. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

This head of indurated limestone is a fragment from a group statue that represented Amun seated on a throne, and Tutankhamun standing or kneeling in front of him. All that remains of the god is his right hand, which touches the back of the pharaoh’s crown in a gesture that signifies his investiture as king. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The Mystery of Lineage

There is no clear-cut answer to the background or origins of Nakhtmin (also called MinNakht). This person springs into view in spectacular fashion, only to vanish without a trace shortly thereafter. It was speculated that there were three individuals by this name during that time; but we can now be certain that two of those names actually referred to this Nakhtmin alone. Evidently close to the ruling pharaoh, Nebkheperure Tutankhamun Hekaiunushema, Nakhtmin was a military commander under him. (Another “Nakhtmin” was married to Mutemnub, the sister of Ay’s wife Tey; and the couple had a son named Ay, who went on to become the High Priest of Mut and also the Second Prophet of Amun.)


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