The Treasures of Nubian Queen Amanishaketo
Amanishaketo (10 BC - 0) was the daughter of a queen and the wife of a brother whom she survived. Her successor was her daughter, Amanitore, who is mentioned in the Bible (Acts 8:27).

Queen Amanishakheto: This remarkable woman must have possessed vast wealth and power, considering the pyramid where she lay buried and the treasures that surrounded her in her death. In 1832 her pyramid at Wad Ban Naqa was leveled to the ground by the explorer Giuseppe Ferlini, then working in Meroe as a treasure hunter. Here was found her residence and several temples. Her mud brick palace is one of the largest identified to date. It measures some 61 meters in length and covers an area of some 3,700 squares meters. The ground floor contained over 60 rooms for various purposes. This palace originally had a second story as the remains of columns found on the ground floor indicate, and this may have contained an atrium, a design feature paralleled elsewhere.
Queen Amanishaketo
From Wad Ban Naqa
Daily Life of the Nubians, Robert Steven Bianchi, Oct. 2004
The treasure itself is remarkable for the variety of types and materials used. It contained ten bracelets, nine so-called shield rings, sixty-seven signet rings, two armbands, and an extraordinary number of loose amulets and elements belonging to necklaces and other articles. Most of the articles were created especially for Queen Amanishakheto, although a few were heirlooms, and almost all of the jewelry appears to have been created by Nubian artists in the Kingdom of Meroe.
Reference Cited:
Pyramid N6 of Queen Amanishaketo,
before it was destroyed.
Broad collar; shell, stone, carnelian, faience, glass
Armlet: Gold with fused-glass inlays. Worn either on the upper arm or wrist, this ornament was closed by means of a fastening element of leather or linen, thus it did not extend fully around the arm. Over the hinge is a separately worked figure of a four-winged goddess standing on a papyrus umbel. On top of her vulture diadem she wears the Double Crown, and is thus to be identified as the goddess Mut, consort of Amun.


Shield Ring: Gold with fused glass. In addition of two winged figures of the goddess Mut surrounding the ram's head crown.
Fragment of Relief

Painted and gilded stucco.

This representation of the queen, shows the sumptuous jewelry adorning her neck and arms. The entire figure was covered with gold foil, while the background was painted blue, creating the illusion of a faience tile. The queen holds a decorative collar with both hands, and a mirror with one; both objects are intended as offerings for a missing deity standing to the left.
Most photos from the book Sudan Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile, Dietrich Wildung, 1997
Stela of queen Amanishaketo.
Reverse:

The temple of Amon (1st cent. BC/ 1st cent. AD). Hypostyle Hall.

Sudan Ancient Treasures, Derek A. Welsby, p. 181:

"The rear and the sides of the stela have fifteen lines of text in cursive Meroitic, topped on the rear by a line in Egyptian hieroglyphs without specific meaning. In his still unpublished analysis of the Meroitic text egyptologist Claude Rilly (letter of 8 September 2000) states the "feeling of frustration" of the philologist in front of such a well-preserved inscription, but he succeeds at least in defining the character of the text as a religious hymn.

Not only does the text keep its secret, but an important historical question also remains open: why and how was a stela of Queen Amanishakheto, dated about sixty years before Natakamani and Amanitore, donated to the Temple of Amun at Naga, a structure not yet in existence during the lifetime of this queen? Do we have to rethink the sequence of Meroitic rulers?"


Photo from: Poznań Archaelogical Museum
Stela of Queen Amanishaketo

The temple of Amon (1st cent. BC/ 1st cent. AD). Hypostyle Hall.

(left) Goddess Amesemi (right) Amanishaketo

Amesemi - Woman with falcon on head, sometimes also with crescent moon

Amesemi was a Meroitic goddess, who was the wife of Apedemak, lion god of Meroë. The Egyptians never worshiped her. Amesemi wears a crown shaped like a falcon or a falcon standing on a crescent moon. (The falcon is a symbol of kingship and of the god Horus.) The moon was known as the Eye of Horus, as was the cobra on the ruler’s crown. People believed that the moon and the cobra were forms of their ruler’s protective goddess. Because Amesemi wore the falcon and the moon on her crown, many people believe that Amesemi was this protective goddess.
(left) Gold ring; The concluding scene of a sacred marriage is represented here, the crown prince between the king and queen, (right) Gold ring; An enthroned ruler holds a staff in each hand.

click to enlarge
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