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Queen Of Nubia & Egypt: Naparaye

Naparaye was a Nubian queen dated to the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt.

Naparaye was the daughter of King Piye and the sister-wife of King Taharqa.

-Illustration by Sara Winters

She held several titles: Great of Grace, Great of Praises, Sweet of Love, (Great?) King’s Wife, Lady of the Two Lands  and King’s Sister.

Naparaye’s name is known from her tomb in el-Kurru (Ku. 3). At her pyramid an alabaster offering table was found (Khartoum, No. 191)

Shawabty of Queen Naparaye | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Napatan Period, reign of Taharqa
690–664 B.C.

Shawabty of Queen Naparaye | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

These are the other pyramids of the Queens:

Naparaye (K.3), Khensa (K.4), Qalhata (K.5), and Arty (K.6)

El-Kurru was one of the royal cemeteries used by the Nubian royal family. Reisner excavated the royal pyramids. Most of the pyramids date to the early part of the Kushite period, from Alara of Nubia (795–752 BC) to King Nastasen (335–315 BC).

The area is divided into three parts by two wadis. The central section seems to be the oldest and contains several tumulus type tombs that predate the Kingdom of Napata. Reisner thought that the earliest tomb, Tum.1, dated back to the time of Pharaoh Sheshonq I of Ancient Egypt (c. 850 BC) and predates the Kingdom of Napata by some 200 years. At the present scholars (Kendall, Hakem, Totok) think the early cemetery stretches back to the Ramesside period and date the earliest burials to the end of the Twentieth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt (c. 1070 BC), although Kendall has reverted his position and now adheres to a dating closer to the one proposed by Reisner.

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