The Donation Stele of Pharaoh Ahmose I endowed the office of the God’s Wife of Amun with an estate that consisted of financial income, real estate, her own retinue, and the means to support the entire operation. Called the Per Duat, or, House of the Adoratrice, this estate allowed (at least in theory) the God’s Wife to operate with autonomy from the priesthood and royal house alike.
But in the early part of the New Kingdom the God’s Wife and the Divine Adoratrice were two separate offices within the temple hierarchy at Karnak, which can cause some confusion when exploring the history of these unique institutions. This article will endeavor to disentangle this relationship as we seek to understand what these two offices were and how they came to be merged into a single position, or at least a single career track.
Note: At the end of the last article in this series, The God’s Wives of Amun – Royal Women and Power Politics in the Eighteenth Dynasty, I said that this article would also cover the details of the Donation Stele and exactly what was endowed to the House of the Adoratrice. After some revision it became clear that these were two separate articles. The properties of the House of the Adoratrice will be explored in Part 2: The Demesne of the God’s Wife. This present article will focus on the parallel development of the God’s Wife and the Divine Adoratrice, as well as the House of the Adoratrice as an institution.
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Tags: Adoption Stele, Ahmose I, Amenirdis II, Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Eighteenth Dynasty, Gods Wife of Amun, Hatshepsut, House of the Adoratrice, Late Kingdom Period, Maatkare, New Kingdom, Nitocris, Pinedjem I, Psamtik I, Ramesside Period, Second Intermediate Period, Shepenwepet II