Statue of Amanimalel, designated on the back pillar as “beloved of Amun of Napta who resides in the sacred mountain.“ Found in 1916 by George Reisner in a cache of B 500 at Jebel Barkal. Image Credit: Matthias Gehricke.

By Gabby Storey

Amanimalel (fl. 7th century BC) was queen of Napata, a kingdom of Kush. She is presumed to have been consort to the king Senkamanisken who ruled in the latter half of the 7th century.

Knowledge of Amanimalel’s existence comes primarily from two surviving statues: as such, it cannot be confirmed how many children she bore, though she is suspected to have had two daughters who may have gone on to be queen consorts as well.

A 4 foot high statue of Amanimalel was uncovered in April 1916 by George Andrew Reisner at the Gebel Barkal temple. The statue depicts the queen in a traditional Egyptian pose, wearing a Nubian variation of an Egyptian dress.

The dress may have been sheathed in silver, and the feet may have been adorned with golden sandals, according to Bianchi. The rear pillar of the statue states that she is “beloved of Amun of Napata who resides in the sacred mountain”.

This inscription indicates that the queen participated in the cult of Amun at Napata. The inscription was under the aegis of a goddess whose portrait is damaged, with much speculation about which goddess it is.

The queen holds a miniature of a god child wearing the double crown. A second, very similar, quartzite statue is located at the Neues Museum, Berlin. Due to the close resemblance between the two statues, it is also thought to be of Amanimalel.

Recommended Reading

Dows Dunham and Laming Macadam, “Names and Relationships of the Royal Family of Napata,” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 35 (1949): 139–149

Richard Lobban, Historical dictionary of ancient and medieval Nubia. Volume 10 (Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2004)

Robert Steven Bianchi, Daily life of the Nubians (London: Greenwood Press, 2004).

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