The Princess Buried in QV 47 Witnessed a Turbulent Period of Egyptian History
Although Nefertari is one of the most famous queens of the New Kingdom, she is not the only famous royal woman buried in the Valley of the Queens. Initially, the site became the resting place for members of the royal family. Princess Ahmose, a virtually unknown Seventeenth Dynasty princess, was buried in QV 47, what is largely thought to be the first tomb constructed in the Valley of the Queens. She is the only royal woman from the Seventeenth Dynasty buried at the site.
Not much is known about Princess Ahmose, except that she was an eyewitness to a turbulent period in Egyptian history. After the fall of the Middle Kingdom, the Hyksos, a Semitic people from the eastern Mediterranean, invaded the country and took control of Lower Egypt, beginning the Second Intermediate Period. The Hyksos established the Fifteenth Dynasty, usurping the power of the pharaohs. The former royal family fled to Thebes, where they negotiated a peaceful coexistence with the Hyksos, ruling as the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties.
The Egyptians maintained control of the area surrounding Thebes while the Hyksos ruled the rest of the country. Princess Ahmose’s father Sequenenre Tao and brothers Wadjkheperre Kamose and Ahmose I led a lengthy campaign to remove the Hyksos from power. When the Hyksos ruler Apophis offended Sequenenre Tao, one of the last pharaohs of the Seventeenth Dynasty, they engaged in a series of diplomatic insults, and the two soon went to war. Sequence Tao was killed in battle, and his son Wadjkheperre Kamose continued the assault on the Hyksos until he died in battle himself.
Sequenenre Tao’s younger son, the child-pharaoh Ahmose I, renewed the resistance as an adult, driving the Hyksos out of Egypt, reuniting the country as the first ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty. While no written record exists of her experiences during this struggle for power, Princess Ahmose remained a valued member of the royal family throughout the reigns of her brother, Ahmose I, and her nephew Amenhotep I. She appears to have died during the reign of Amenhotep’s successor, Thutmose I, outliving most of her immediate family.