Kiya was a concubine of the ancient Egyptian King (Pharaoh) Akhenaten in the 18th Dynasty ( New Kingdom ). Their origin is unknown and it is generally believed that she was a princess of foreign origin from the Mitanni kingdom.

  • 4.1 Recent studies

Name and origin

The short form of the name presumably indicates a foreign name that was Egyptianized. Based on this assumption is generally accepted that it was identical with the Mitanni princess Taduchepa that Akhenaten from the harem of his father Amenhotep III. had taken over. Thomas Schneider, however, argues against such an interpretation of the name. Kiya does not necessarily have these same Mitanni princess, the daughter of King Tushratta, have been, which was accompanied by about 317 other ladies of Mitanni at the Egyptian court. Another possibility is that they came to Egypt in the wake of Princess Taduchepa.

As the full title Kiya is narrated:

The title of Kiya as a whole appear somewhat unusual. So find names such as "wife", but also " Large lover of the king of both countries" and " Posh of Naharin ".


Erik Hornung argues that Kiya 1959 and 1961 for the first time was brief mention in the scientific literature and has been known in more detail through further research of Yuri Perepelkin, Rainer Hanke, Wolfgang Helck and Rolf Krauss. Kiya is occupied by various finds from Akhenaten's newly established capital of Akhetaten, which bear their name or leave their inscriptions are complementary to the name Kijas: Makeup tubes, ointment vessels of calcite and palimpsests with text fragments. The objects are now including in museums in London (British Museum ), New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Berlin (Egyptian Museum Berlin).

Over the past few years her even further representations were associated with the other people in the Amarna period were attributed previously. Characteristic of representations of Kiya are the so-called Nubian wig ( stepped curly wig ) and large disc- shaped earrings.

Your life in Akhetaten

Ye that is unambiguously associated documents originate mostly from Akhetaten, so that conclusions about their lives in Akhenaten's newly established capital can be drawn. However, the evidence on the part of Egyptology be interpreted differently. However, the findings give no indication as to when Kiya to Egypt and after Akhetaton came.

Kiya and Akhenaten

That Kiya for some time at the court of Akhetaten came to the fore, is indisputable. Nevertheless, there are differences of opinion as in Egyptology at what time this happened. The reasons that Akhenaten Nefertiti favored except another woman, are also unknown. Is substantiated their prominent position and their simultaneous occurrence to Nefertiti by a fragmentary view: Here she stands behind Akhenaten under the sun god Aten, Nefertiti, and two of her daughters are in proskynesis on the floor. Another assumption is that Kiya after Nefertiti's death came to the fore and is said to have tried to obtain Nefertiti's position of power. Pictures of princesses had to have been so fashioned that they now Kiya showed. Your special position not only confirmed that Kiya Akhenaten's "Big beloved wife of the king " was, but also the fact that they (often referred to as a kiosk ) and a palace in Atontempel own chapel in the south of the city had. Since Kiya is always represented with only one daughter, she had at least one daughter with Akhenaten. In which year of the reign of Akhenaten Kiya their child or children brought into the world, is not known.

Kiya and Nefertiti

The common interpretation of the finds to Kiya is that they Akhenaten and Great Royal Wife Nefertiti at the same time spent in Akhetaten several years. However, these findings do not say anything about the relationship of the two women from each other. However, both ladies are clearly distinguishable in their rank and their importance at the court of Akhenaten. This is not only because of its title, but also by position and role. Nefertiti was the " Great Royal Wife" Akhenaten, Kiya whereas the unusual title "Big beloved wife of the king " was, but also as " the lady " or " high lady " is called. Akhenaten she stood by while all the other ladies of the harem, but she received, as opposed to Nefertiti, no religious duties. Another difference is found in the representations of the two: While Nefertiti's name written in a cartouche and she is represented with a crown and royal uraeus, there are no pictures that show Kiya these royal attributes. Furthermore, all the pictures show Kiya always with only one daughter, and not like Nefertiti, all daughters.

Kiya and Meritaten

After Wolfgang Helck Kiya led after Akhenaten's death, apparently at first the government. This would come as the unknown king widow Dahamunzu in question to have asked the Hittite king to a prince as king of Egypt. Displaces she was then of the King's eldest daughter Meritaton, married the Smenkhkare. That it came to disputes between her and Meritaton to the throne, is speculation.

Death or expulsion?

Just as Nefertiti Kiya disappeared from the records at Amarna in the 12th year of the reign of Akhenaten, where there is also a dating with her name from a later year of reign. What is certain is that her name was repaid on various text fragments and replaced with the names of two daughters of Akhenaten. In Maru - Aton were found palimpsests on which her ​​name had been replaced by the Meritatons. On coming from Amarna and built in Heliopolis blocks, referred to talatat, her name was replaced by both the Princess Meritaton as well as by the Princess Anchesenpaaton. The discovery that it is here to mentions of Kiya, was of particular importance, since these names eradication had previously been viewed as evidence Nefertiti had fallen from grace and been banished from Akhenaten.

Recent studies

In 2007, the mummy of the younger lady ( KV35YL ) from the grave of Amenhotep II ( KV35 ) was examined by computed tomography by the radiologist Dr. Ashraf and showed a highly probable identification as Kiya. The type of mummification corresponds to a member of the royal family of the 18th dynasty. The Mummy has, among other things, to a very large gash in the cheek. Further studies of the head showed signs of bruising in this area, from which it was concluded that she had been inflicted during his lifetime this injury. In addition, remnants of the shattered upper jaw and tooth pieces found deep in the nasal cavity. This finding suggests a violent death by a blow with a hard object. In the following embalming the wound was cleaned and hides the hole under resin and filler.

Otherwise, the skull has several special features. The rear part of the skull is asymmetrical, left underdeveloped and has an unusual extension, which looks like a small spur. A similar anomaly has been known exclusively with Tutankhamen. The age of the women was estimated at the time of death of 22 to a maximum of 45 years. In addition, the birth could be detected at least one child.

DNA analysis from the year 2010, the mummy now identified as Tutankhamun's mother, as their parents, Amenhotep III. and Queen Tiye could be determined. This assignment of the mummy to Kiya is unlikely since their origin is unknown and it is called in no inscription found so far with the titles of " king's daughter " or " King's Sister ". The study suggests that the mummy was both a sister and a wife of the mummy from KV55 grave, which is in all probability to the concerns of Akhenaten.

Connection to KV55

The following grave goods from the ominous grave KV55 in the Valley of the Kings could be assigned after detailed investigations Kiya: canopic jars and the magnificent gilded coffin, in which there was a male skeleton. Both the canopic jars and the coffin were fashioned for the burial of the male person in KV55. At the last observation of the coffin in 2001, and the related with KV55 grave goods Alfred Grimm came by comparing the inscriptions Kijas titulary to the following conclusion: " This long titulary of Kiya contains Akhenaten's coffin Formula The perfect child of the living Aton, is true of the: He is live now and forever for all eternity, what has been mistakenly interpreted as an indication of Kiya as first owner of the coffin of KV55. "