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Quiz about The Incomparable Nefertiti
Quiz about The Incomparable Nefertiti

The Incomparable Nefertiti Trivia Quiz


The Great Royal Wife of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten -- and, perhaps, a ruler of Egypt in her own right -- she was, for a time, the most powerful woman in the world. Test your knowledge of the beautiful, the powerful, the mysterious Nefertiti.

A multiple-choice quiz by CellarDoor. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
CellarDoor
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
258,906
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
1284
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: psnz (10/10), turaguy (10/10), Guest 172 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Nefertiti's very name evokes her unusual position in history, to say nothing of the hopes that were held of her. What is the approximate meaning of her name? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Nefertiti's name is similar to that of a type of jewelry she often wore as queen: long, thin, elegant nefer beads, made of a precious metal that symbolized the pharaohs' wealth and power. From what were nefer beads made? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Like most women in ancient Egypt, the course of Nefertiti's life would be defined by her husband. As the wife of Amunhotep - future pharaoh and thus the future incarnation of the god Ra - her position and glory would be assured. There was only one problem: young Amunhotep had a decidedly unconventional interpretation of the Egyptian religion, which would lead to his taking the new name Akhenaten. What was her husband's defining religious belief? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. As the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, Nefertiti had many duties. One of these was the same as that of queen consorts throughout world history: she was to bear pharaoh's children. How many children is she known to have had? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Early in his reign, Nefertiti's husband Akhenaten completely overturned the old religious order. Priests and temples were stripped of their property, new temples were built, and even the capital was moved. Did Nefertiti approve of these changes? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. As Akhenaten's reign progressed, Nefertiti's power grew, and was reflected in the art of the time. Her depictions in sculpture were shockingly similar to depictions of pharaohs! Which of these is NOT a depiction of Nefertiti that emphasizes her unusual power? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In Year 14 of Akhenaten's reign, Nefertiti suddenly vanished from the kingdom's records, giving rise to one of the ancient world's most fascinating mysteries. At first, archaeologists thought that she must have fallen into disgrace with her husband. Why? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Nefertiti disappeared from history, but she may not have disappeared from palace life. In fact, a number of archaeologists believe that she outlived her husband -- and succeeded him as pharaoh in her own right before the ascension of Tutankhamun. Under what name would she have ruled? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. For more than three thousand years, Nefertiti, Akhenaten, and their children were forgotten. Akhenaten and his immediate successors were stricken from the official list of pharaohs; the new temples were destroyed; their tombs were, in many places, defaced. Why? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Since she was rediscovered by history, Nefertiti has captured the modern imagination - to the extent that she is more famous to non-Egyptologists than her husband, who only upended the entire religious and political system of a major empire for two decades. Which of these factors contributed most to her fame in the current era? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 17 2024 : psnz: 10/10
Jun 17 2024 : turaguy: 10/10
Jun 06 2024 : Guest 172: 6/10

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Nefertiti's very name evokes her unusual position in history, to say nothing of the hopes that were held of her. What is the approximate meaning of her name?

Answer: The beautiful woman has come.

Nefertiti's name -- also translated as "The perfect woman has come" -- seems to some scholars to indicate that she was a foreign princess, although the current consensus has her as a native Egyptian and relative of her future husband Akhenaten. (The most accepted choice of her father is Ay, a powerful adviser to Akhenaten and to Tutankhamun who became pharaoh himself after Tutankhamun's death.)

She was famous, then and now, for the exquisite beauty mentioned so straightforwardly in her name; let's examine the life that makes her interesting.
2. Nefertiti's name is similar to that of a type of jewelry she often wore as queen: long, thin, elegant nefer beads, made of a precious metal that symbolized the pharaohs' wealth and power. From what were nefer beads made?

Answer: Gold

Gold came to Egypt from Nubia, an ancient enemy and sometime vassal state whose very name may have signified its economic value: "Nub" was the Egyptian word for "gold." It was used in religious displays: the sun god Ra was described as "a mountain of gold," and the pharaohs (living gods) were sometimes titled "golden one." It appeared in fabulous displays of wealth, in jewelry and tomb goods, and it often translated directly to power: Nubian gold paid many a mercenary soldier.

Nefertiti was not the only queen to wear nefer beads as jewelry, but she is so strongly associated with them that archaeologists searching for her tomb always look for nefer beads nearby.
3. Like most women in ancient Egypt, the course of Nefertiti's life would be defined by her husband. As the wife of Amunhotep - future pharaoh and thus the future incarnation of the god Ra - her position and glory would be assured. There was only one problem: young Amunhotep had a decidedly unconventional interpretation of the Egyptian religion, which would lead to his taking the new name Akhenaten. What was her husband's defining religious belief?

Answer: That there was only one god: the sun disk, Aten.

By the time of the Eighteenth Dynasty, Egypt had a well-established pantheon of gods. Many of them are still familiar to us today: Ra, god of the sun; Osiris, lord of the dead; Set, goddess of destruction. Amun, creator figure and god of air, had achieved the peak of his importance during this dynasty, merging with Ra in the public consciousness to unite the two most widespread sects. Into this mix was added the pharaoh, the living god, the incarnation of Ra.

Young Amunhotep ("Amun is satisfied") insisted that these well-known gods were imaginary. The only god, he said, was the Aten - the disk of the sun - and this is why he changed his name to Akhenaten ("Spirit of Aten"). And as Aten's representative on earth and sole intermediary, he neatly inserted himself in the place formerly occupied by the powerful priests of the old gods. This power struggle would define the next several decades of Egyptian history.
4. As the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, Nefertiti had many duties. One of these was the same as that of queen consorts throughout world history: she was to bear pharaoh's children. How many children is she known to have had?

Answer: Six daughters

Many records from this time have been lost, so we cannot be sure if we have a complete count -- especially since there were royal children whose parentage we do not know. Surviving records do conclusively show that Nefertiti and Akhenaten had at least six daughters over a period of eleven years; from oldest to youngest, these were Merytaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Neferneferure, and Setepenre.

Contemporary art shows a close-knit family; Akhenaten and Nefertiti are even depicted playing with their infant and toddler girls, in a radical departure from the more formal royal portraits of years past. Sadly, the children brought sadness as well as joy: the youngest three died before reaching adolescence, and only Ankhesenpaaten definitely survived both of her parents, marrying the pharaoh Tutankhamun (and changing her name to Ankhesenamun).

They had two stillborn daughters, and then Tutankhamun's early death without an heir left his 21-year-old royal widow in an extremely vulnerable position: marriage to her was the best claim to legitimacy for contenders for the throne. She is the probable sender of a desperate letter to the Hittite king, begging him to send one of his sons to marry her: "I would not wish to take one of my servants as a husband ... I am afraid." The Hittite prince was murdered on his journey to Egypt. Ankhesenamun eventually married Ay, who was probably her grandfather; he became pharaoh, and she vanished from history.
5. Early in his reign, Nefertiti's husband Akhenaten completely overturned the old religious order. Priests and temples were stripped of their property, new temples were built, and even the capital was moved. Did Nefertiti approve of these changes?

Answer: Perhaps. Many surviving works of art show her praying in the new style, along with her husband and family.

At first, relief sculptures showed Nefertiti in the traditional role of a Great Royal Wife at worship -- even if the worship itself was decidedly unorthodox! She stands behind the pharaoh, scaled down so that she is less than half his size and importance, receiving the rays of the Aten (which were often represented as ending in hands of blessing); their children stand behind her. In later works, Nefertiti is even shown worshipping the Aten by herself -- a significant change from Akhenaten's earlier insistence that he was his god's only intermediary.

There is evidence, then, that Nefertiti participated in the new ceremonies -- but that doesn't say anything about whether or not she liked it. Her husband the pharaoh was an absolute monarch, and despite the power of her own position, she would have had to tread very carefully when disagreeing with him. Some archaeologists have theorized that she may have worked behind the scenes to undermine her husband's reforms and bring back the old gods (Lynda Robinson's series of ancient Egyptian murder mysteries adopts this theory); most believe that she was an instrumental part of her husband's revolution. No one can know what she really believed.
6. As Akhenaten's reign progressed, Nefertiti's power grew, and was reflected in the art of the time. Her depictions in sculpture were shockingly similar to depictions of pharaohs! Which of these is NOT a depiction of Nefertiti that emphasizes her unusual power?

Answer: She is shown playing with her young children.

Other queens were shown in art caring for their children, or feeding their husbands, or admiring their husbands, or perhaps admiring their husbands from a slightly different angle. They were generally sculpted or drawn on a much smaller scale than their husbands, showing that they were his subordinates, and their pursuits were either ceremonial or domestic.

Nefertiti had her share of domestic scenes, but the other sculptures are truly striking. Vast temple reliefs show her worshipping the Aten in her own right, accompanying her husband as an equal, and even taking on the traditional role of pharaoh in smiting her nation's adversaries as a god looks on. Nefertiti's position was clearly special, and so was the art that revolved around her.
7. In Year 14 of Akhenaten's reign, Nefertiti suddenly vanished from the kingdom's records, giving rise to one of the ancient world's most fascinating mysteries. At first, archaeologists thought that she must have fallen into disgrace with her husband. Why?

Answer: On monuments that had once belonged to a wife of Akhenaten, the woman's name had been systematically erased.

The defaced monuments -- later used for the daughters of Nefertiti and Akhenaten -- were originally meant for a woman called Kiya, one of Akhenaten's junior wives. Although she was probably the mother of Tutankhamun, Akhenaten's eventual successor, she was disgraced and repudiated around Year 11. The reasons are unknown.

Nefertiti did not disappear because of disgrace or exile; if she had, her name would have been removed from the temples and tombs. She may have died in Year 14; a plague swept the capital near that time, and claimed at least two of her daughters. A carving in Akhenaten's tomb may depict her funeral -- but it is not known what happened to her or whether she outlived her husband. There are, however, some tantalizing hints ...
8. Nefertiti disappeared from history, but she may not have disappeared from palace life. In fact, a number of archaeologists believe that she outlived her husband -- and succeeded him as pharaoh in her own right before the ascension of Tutankhamun. Under what name would she have ruled?

Answer: Smenkhare

What if Smenkhare -- whose history and parentage are almost completely unknown -- was Nefertiti, ruling under an assumed name? It had been done before: the queen Hatshepsut ruled as pharaoh a century earlier, sporting a false beard in her official portraiture. And the pharaoh after Akhenaten apparently ruled with two sets of names: Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten and Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare. Some artifacts are even labeled with feminine titles! And the few documents that survive do not describe Smenkhare's claim to the throne, except to describe the pharaoh as "beloved of Akhenaten."

It is an entrancing theory, and a logical extension of Nefertiti's expanding power as her husband's reign progressed. What might she have done if she had lived longer? There are some signs (an inscription, for example, from a minor priest of Amun) that the pharaoh Smenkhare was taking tentative steps towards a reconciliation with the priests of the old gods -- but at the same time, the new pharaoh stayed in Akhenaten's capital and took no concrete steps. It was not until the reign of the child-king Tutankhamun, guided by his adviser Ay (Nefertiti's probable father), that Egypt's seventeen-year experiment with Atenism ended.
9. For more than three thousand years, Nefertiti, Akhenaten, and their children were forgotten. Akhenaten and his immediate successors were stricken from the official list of pharaohs; the new temples were destroyed; their tombs were, in many places, defaced. Why?

Answer: The pharoah Horemheb wanted to erase all traces of Akhenaten's religious experiment.

The effort to expunge Atenism from history began with the reign of Tutankhamun. Guided by his advisors, the boy king moved the capital back to Thebes and restored the old priesthoods. His successors, Ay (his grand vizier) and Horemheb (his chief general) took things a step further by raiding some of Akhenaten's temples for building materials. And when Horemheb became pharaoh, he decided that the whole family (including his predecessor Ay) was heretical and shameful to Egypt. He ordered them struck from the official lists of pharaohs, which thus show that Amunhotep III was succeeded directly by Horemheb, and he likely personally ordered the defacement of Ay's tomb -- and possibly other tombs as well.

Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Smenkhare, Tutankhamun, Ay, and all their family were not rediscovered until 19th-century excavations began to turn up some of their public works. Horemheb's attempt to erase their memory failed; in fact, his very attempt made them still more fascinating.
10. Since she was rediscovered by history, Nefertiti has captured the modern imagination - to the extent that she is more famous to non-Egyptologists than her husband, who only upended the entire religious and political system of a major empire for two decades. Which of these factors contributed most to her fame in the current era?

Answer: A painted limestone bust, now in the Altes Museum in Berlin

Though the relief carvings of Aten-worship do exist, Nefertiti's fame arises from the busts that have survived. The most iconic of these is a painted limestone bust that has survived intact, but for the missing crystal inlay in her left eye and some slight damage to her left ear. The bust shows her neck to be long and graceful, her face perfectly symmetrical, her cheekbones high and sculpted. The 3,300-year-old sculpture has gone a long way towards reinforcing Western notions of timeless beauty.

As one of the most recognizable names and faces of ancient Egypt (excepting, of course, her probable stepson Tutankhamen), Nefertiti has also made numerous appearances in fiction. Sometimes she's merely used to set a scene in a memorable way, as in the first line of Kristin Gore (Al Gore's daughter)'s debut novel "Sammy's Hill": "The party really started to rock when Willie Nelson and Queen Nefertiti began pouring shots." (The party in question is, naturally, a costume party.) In historical fiction, her life is fleshed out more fully than it can ever be by archaeology. P.C. Doherty's "An Evil Spirit Out of the West" depicts her reign as Smenkhare, after Akhenaten's death; in Lynda Robinson's Lord Meren series of mysteries, several books hinge on her murder shortly after being named Akhenaten's co-regent. Her appeal is only enhanced by the deep mysteries of her life; she is a plausible focus for almost any type of intrigue that a writer can imagine.
Source: Author CellarDoor

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor gtho4 before going online.
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