Kandake Amanitore: Daughter of Amanishakheto, Granddaughter of Amanirenas

The Kandakes of Meroë were the queens of the Kingdom of Kush who ruled from 284 B.C. to 314 A.D.,  a number of whom did so independently.

Queen Amanitore is the daughter of Kandake Amanishakheto and granddaughter of Kandake Amanirenas. She descends from a long line of Meroitic kings and queens reigning over the ancient Kushitic Kingdom, also referred to as Nubia in ancient sources.

Amanitore reigned as co-regent with Natakamani, who was either her husband or her son during the 1st century A.D. Many believe that she might have been his mother.

Judging by the number and quality of monumental structures (temples and palaces) which they constructed, their joint reign represented one of the peaks in the history of the kingdom of Kush, comparable probably only to the the 25th dynasty, an era when the Kush monarchs also ruled Egypt.

The quantity of buildings that were completed during the middle part of the first century indicates that she led a prosperous time in Meroitic history. More than two hundred pyramids were built, most plundered in ancient times. Reservoirs for the retention of water were also constructed at Meroë during her reign.

Meroë flourished as the capital of the Kingdom of Kush between 750 B.C to 350 A.D. The city grew rich from trade and its ironworks and abundant grain supply ensured a steady production of goods.

The city began to decline due to overuse of the land and resources and had already passed its peak when it was invaded by the Axumites (c. 330 A.D.). It was abandoned 20 years later, at which point the title of kandake vanished from historical record.

Amanitore is mentioned in several texts as a ruler; these include the temple at the Nubian capital of Napata, in a temple in Meroë near Shendi, and at the Naqa Lion Temple.

Meroitic script has not been deciphered and the history of Meroë is far from clear - but in respect to the monarchy it seems quite apparent that women not only ruled but enabled the kingdom to prosper.

Megaliths discovered at Nabta Playa, in the Nubian Desert, are early examples of what seems to be one of the world’s first astronomical devices, predating Stonehenge by almost 2000 years.

In 1834 A.D., Giuseppe Ferlini looted the treasures of Meroë. At Wad ban Naqa, he leveled the pyramid of Kandake Amanishakheto starting from the top, finding treasure composed of dozens of gold and silver jewelry pieces. Overall, he was responsible for the destruction of over 40 pyramids. It’s said that he couldn’t find buyers because the European market refused to believe that a black African kingdom had produced such incredible works.

The Kingdom of Kush has disappeared with history, becoming part of what was later called Nubia. Nubia has also vanished. One-third is in modern day Egypt. The rest is Sudan.

Like this post? Stop by and read 5 Inspirational Women of Ancient Civilizations.”

I'd love to have you as a customer, head to the online store and shop for handcrafted beaded jewelry by beYOUteous.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published