History : Nov-Dec 2016
26 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 THE GODS BLESS THE QUEEN 1 THIS SANDSTONE RELIEF was found in the funerary chapel of the Kush- ite queen Shanakdakhete who reigned during the second cen- tury b.c . Shanakdakhete was the first queen to personally exercise power in Meroë, and is believed to have left the throne to a son, the prince depicted in the relief. Although the Meroitic culture had developed its own distinctive customs—such as its own script, and powerful women rulers—the style of the carving, and the pres- ence of the Egyptian gods Osiris, Thoth, and Isis point to a strong influence from Egypt. Adopt- ing an Egyptian title used by the pharaohs, Shanakdakhete styled herself "Lord of the Two Lands." The relief, constructed from a to- tal of 51 blocks, formed the south wall of her steep-sided pyramid in Meroë's north cemetery.