Nefertiti smiting

These talatats (stone fragments) show an Amarna Period scene of Nefertiti within a kiosk upon a royal barge smiting an enemy of Egypt.

Usually this pose would be reserved for the king alone, however, as we can see, Nefertiti is clearly depicted in such a position, representing her status at the time of this images’ production. The boat itself has Nefertiti’s likeness upon the oars, she wears the double plum.

Nefertiti smiting - talatat. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 63.260
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 63.260

This scene was found within Hermopolis, but was originally from el-Amarna, the site of Akhenaten’s experimental new capital city. Parts of the scene are missing, the second boat seems to show another smiting scene, but unfortunately it is difficult to figure out if it is Akhenaten smiting, it is likely but due to the missing head and torso it is unsure. From the costume that is visible, it can be said that the origin of the person being smite is either Libyan or Asiatic.

Upon the boat on which Nefertiti smites, there appear rowers of Egyptian and Nubian origin.

There are multiple theories of Nefertiti’s role during and after Akhenaten’s reign. Many propose she and Akhenaten had a dual reign, and Nefertiti’s status was that of Co-Regent. Others propose she even became pharaoh after the rule of Akhenaten. None of these theories are certain and are currently unknowable. There are varied books explaining opinions of certain scholars.