Lintel of the God’s Wife Amenardis
ca. 740—656 B.C.
This stone lintel, or overdoor, once crowned the doorway of a temple, tomb chapel, or other monument. The hieroglyphs tell us that the monument was dedicated by or to Amenardis, who is described here as “the God’s wife, Divine Adoratress, the Hand of the god.” Such lofty titles were reserved for the chief priestess of the god Amun in his temple at Karnak. As head of the temple’s songstresses and priestesses, the chief priestess played a dominant spiritual role within the clergy. The position was invariably filled by a daughter of the king, who, as “the God’s wife,” could not marry or have children